A breakneck follow-up to Reboot (2013) delves deep into its characters.
Wren 178 has successfully led a group of Reboots to freedom after breaking them out of the facility where they were imprisoned and forced to act as soldiers carrying out the bidding of the humans in charge. The numbers associated with Reboots’ names represent the minutes they spent dead before rebooting—reanimation as more physically sound versions of themselves, a side effect for some of a rampant virus that has plagued humanity in this near-future world. This second novel smartly delves into questions of ethical responsibility, placing Wren in the middle of situations in which others look to her for leadership even as she longs to escape the burden and forcing her to choose whether or not to challenge the radical notions of the leader of the refugee camp in which they’ve sheltered. She’s a tough, immensely likable narrator—a task newly shared with her love interest, Callum 22, this time around. Their alternating narration works just fine, but it somewhat lessens the sharpness of her voice. At the same time, readers who are thrilling to their developing romance may well like the insight into Callum’s thoughts.
Action-packed and intelligent, this science-fiction thriller offers a refreshingly hopeful conclusion. (Dystopian adventure. 14-18)