Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.
The perfect soldier is done taking orders. Quoted from Goodreads
Basically, there are a bunch of compelling reasons you should read this book. First, I'll start with Wren 178. She's strong. It's interesting watching her character turn from a hollow, bloody killer to someone who makes her own decisions and moral code instead of just following the orders of others. And by the end, she's still not perfect, so plenty of room for grown in upcoming books.
Then there's the world-building. I love this concept. People coming back as something between living zombies and human robots, who actually can find their humanity but have to work for it? It's bizarre, but absolutely works in the story. It also makes me excited for book two. I can't wait to see how a community composed of reboots would work. By the end, Wren was showing a lot of very human tendencies, and I'm curious how their community with contrast with the book's human ones.
Now for the action. Honestly, it's a lovely blend of physical violence (like I said, half zombie, half robot, with only a smidgen of humanity left), especially in the beginning. Maybe even too much violence, depending. The best part of it is, as Wren becomes more human, her choosing violence as the answer to everything goes down. She kills less people (so, yes, warning, there is a bit of killing in this book), and finds different ways to incapacitate them. Not to worry, though. Just because the flat out violence goes down, doesn't mean the action does. It just gets better. There's suspense, prison breaks, impossible situations, and encroaching madness just to keep things fun.
Then there's Callum, the boy who started it all. Part of me loved him. He's sweet, cute (without being the most beautiful creature ever---yep, that about sums up half of the YA love interest's descriptions), and the reason Wren 178 changes. Here's also where my one problem with the book sort of came in. Don't get me wrong, I fully support one person helping another to change, but this one was a little fast for me. This is nothing against Callum's character. I like him a lot, and he's perfect for Wren. I just wanted a few more scenes between Wren and Callum where she questions her whole lack of humanity. Instead, the romance was a little bit rushed. First he's weak, then suddenly she'll challenge her whole world for him? It just happened too fast. I wanted one or two more scenes, one or two more weeks of working together before they became that committed.
Still, if you're looking for a good half dystopian/half scifi adventure with a liberal dose of romance and tons of action, look no further. This is an exciting 4 stars for me, and I can't wait to read the next book. This book really did have an excellent first book ending. It wraps up the immediate, small problems, and promises a respite from everything that plagued them in the first book, while still promising action, adventure, and mystery in the books to come.