In a futuristic time, the Earth is plagued with a deadly virus, killing off humans at a rapid pace. Those affected don't exactly die, instead they come back to life (Reboot) as emotionless, irrational human like beasts. Adult reboots are dangerous and must be destroyed. Child reboots have proven to be useful, collected and trained by HARC as assassins to do the government's dirty work. Child reboots usually don't question authority, are stronger than their human counterparts and are usually void of most emotions, making them ideal candidates for protecting those who have not been infected by the virus. The longer a kid remains dead, the less human they become. Wren178 is the most bad ass of all reboots. Dead for over 178 minutes before she came back to life, she's cold and emotionless, that was until Callum, a 22 arrives at the training facilty. Dead for a brief 22 minutes, Callum is almost more human than Reboot. When Wren reluctantly agrees to train him, everything changes and Wren discovers she just may not be as icy as she originally thought.
From Amy's Website: Amy Tintera grew up in Austin, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in journalism. After receiving a masters in film at Emerson College she moved to Los Angeles, where she promptly discovered she didn’t enjoy working in the film industry, and went back to her first love, writing. HarperCollins/HarperTeen will publish her debut, REBOOT, a young adult novel about teens in a future Texas who reboot after death and are subsequently forced into slavery. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000.
SETTING PACE AND STYLE
This story is set in the future in New Texas. The Earth is experiencing the effects of a deadly virus. Pacing is fast, action packed and full of nail-bitting suspense. There was always something going on in this one, a real page turner. Be prepared to get sucked into this story. Its told in a first person narrative through the unemotional, starkly honest voice of our female heroine 178, also know as: Wren.
CHARACTERS AND PLOT
Wren (178) is a reboot. She died five years ago and 178 minutes later she came back to life. Now she takes orders from humans, does their dirty work. Wren is a endearing character. She lead a rough life before she died and its not been a picnic after. She's strong, nearly indestructible, very callous and a rule follower. As a reboot, the longer dead, the more distant and cold a reboot becomes. According to HARC she may be their best reboot.Wren isn't supposed to experience human emotions. Then along came reboot 22 (Callum).
Callum (22) is almost more human than reboot. He was only dead for 22 minutes before he woke up. He is weak, full of emotion and compassion for others. I'd consider him an underdog, for sure. He clueless to how life as a reboot is supposed to go, constantly challenging authority, causing trouble for himself and feeling so much than other reboots. He's convincing, likable and has a great sense of humor. Its easy to see why Wren falls for him.
This is a great book for readers who like to root for the underdogs. Also those who like bad ass female heroines will also enjoy this read. Hard core dystopian lovers may not find this one as suitable as those who appreciate some romantic themes blended in to the story line.
Inventive concept, a "reboot" is a child who has died and been resurected into a shell of a human. The longer the kid remains dead, the less human they become. Reboots are trained by HARC as assasins and end up doing the government's dirty work. They usually don't question authority, are stronger than humans and are void of emotions making them ideal candidates for the job.
World building is decent. This story takes place in Texas. A bad virus has infected the Earth and the government is trying to set a barrier between those who are ill and those still healthy. They've also created an oranization called HARC to protect and safeguard those who have not contracted the virus, with the help of reboots. In a way, a reboot is a government slave, the team of reboots are trained to capture and bring in troubled humans, sick ones, criminals and those acting out against the government.
The conclusion is somewhat abrupt. It could be considered a cliffhanger, but not a nasty one. I think it concluded similarly to a book with more than one part would conclude before opening to part two. Instead of sectioning this one into parts, the author decided to make part two an entirely seperate novel. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel soon to see how my favorite characters persevere in the next installment of the series.
I've deducted one ring because I felt like the first part of the story was awesome, but then Wren changed and fell for Callum just a little too quickly for me. I wished it would have happened a bit slower. Plus I didn't really like how the story concluded so abruptly.
4 out of 5 Rings (CAPTIVATING ~ LOOKED FORWARD TO READING)
Jakes father is missing and he's determined to uncover what happened. The strange circumstances surrounding the disappearance leave cause for concern it may have been foul play. Jake insists on traveling to his godfather's home, he's convinced Oberon Venn is somehow responsible for his father's situation or maybe he may have even murdered his father? Upon arriving at Venn's mansion nothing is as it seems. Jake discovers a mysterious visitor and an usual obsidian mirror, where he just happens to see his dad's reflection, even though no one believes him. As the plot unfolds, Jake gets sucked deeper and deeper into something big. As he gets closer to solving the mysterious disappearance of his father, he quickly realizes his situation is more complex than he could have imagined and he just may be in over his head.
From Wikipedia: Catherine Fisher (born 1957) is an author, broadcaster and adjudicator who lives in Newport. Her former jobs include working as a primary school teacher and archaeologist. She also taught Writing for Children at the University of Glamorgan. She began writing poetry and wrote poems that were published in several anthologies. She also published three collections of poetry with Seren Publishing. The collection Immrama won the Welsh Arts Council Young Writers Prize and she also won the Cardiff International Poetry Competition; both in 1989. Since the late 1980s she has written children's fantasy. Her nineteen novels have been translated into seventeen languages and many of her novels have won or been shortlisted for literary awards. Obsidian Mirror is her most recent children's fantasy novel.
SETTING PACE AND STYLE
Well composed, the writing was solid, descriptive, and powerful. Some parts of the book are in letter format. The main story goes back and forth through several different time periods. One aspect worth highlighting is the way the author uses quotes, poetry and lyrics at the beginning of each chapter. These are interesting tidbits and very relevant to the entire plot - so pay attention. This one is told in a third person perspective, switching frequently throughout the book to include many characters perspectives and stories.
CHARACTERS AND PLOT
Ugh! So many characters and separate time lines to keep track of, this is part of the challenge of the book - keeping it all straight. Jake is the main character, he's angry, mostly because his father is gone, presumed dead and he refuses to believe it. Armed with a bad attitude, he makes trouble at school and develops a reputation for having a stand-offish personality. Mr Wharton, the school teacher escorting Jake back home, resolves to being not only a good friend, but also an ally in helping to solve the mystery of Jake's father's disappearance. Oberon Venn is Jake's god father and guardian, though he's not really doing a respectable job. His idea of taking care of Jake is sticking him in a prestigious boarding school to get him out of his hair. Venn, is withdrawn and sad, he's still not bounced back from his wife's premature accidental passing, years back. Then there is young Sarah, she has an entirely different subset of problems, she's somehow managed to escape from a psychiatric ward and has people searching for her, not everyone is sincere in their desire to help her out. This is just a splash of the various different characters introduced in this book. So now you can now probably start to imagine how it might get a little tough to keep track of it all, especially since some of the characters are in a completely different time period.
PLOT: The main story line is a boy's father mysteriously disappears and the boy is determined to get him back.
This book is for patient readers who don't want to be spoon fed a plot line. Do you want a complex story with mystery, dynamics, action, magic, time travel or even a touch of the paranormal? Then, give this one a try. Its definitely different.
If you are looking for a straight forward book which follows a plot line from point A to point B, this is not your book. This is a story about time travel, introducing various different time periods, told in third person from multiple character perspectives which change up randomly, making it hard to follow. With numerous side plots and a multiple story lines finally converging at the end, patient readers will appreciate this book, everyone else - not so much. I felt lost for a long time, at about 75% through the book I started piecing things together. If readers are aware of this going into the story and are prepared to dedicate themselves to the book, I think the story will be very appreciated in the end.
Obsidian Mirror is a fantasy book, with complex world building, like a hardy dinner salad with a little bit of everything in the fridge tossed in. It had magic, history, a creepy old mansion, backstory, action and paranormal elements. Shockingly, the author even manages to weave a variety of fairies, called "Shee" into the story line. Laced with unexpected twists and turns, this one kept me more than just guessing, it perplexed me. As the novel comes down to the conclusion/wrap up the author slips in one final surprise. Now I really want to read the sequel!
This one is so tough to rate. The writing is strong, I might even go as far as to say powerful, but the presentation is complex, bordering on confusing. So, I guess I'm going with 4 out of 5 Rings.
4 out of 5 Rings (CAPTIVATING ~ LOOKED FORWARD TO READING)
A projection countdown clock in the skies is an everyday reminder the end of the world is right around the corner and Ashara Vinn is asked to join an Ethereal Task Force to help save it. As it turns out, rumor has it, she is a very powerful ethereal magic practitioner, something which just manifested in the past timeline. Her ex-boyfriend Loken is tasked with preparing her to fight along side the other practitioners against the evil Mages, converging on her settlement. It appears these mages will be the ones to end the world. Not long ago, Ash's little brother Pace was murdered by a Mage. She'd really like nothing more than to get revenge. The only problem is, she has no clue how to use or control her newly discovered powers. The countdown clock currently says less than ten days and counting down, will she be able to learn before the world ends? It sure doesn't seem like enough time!
From Amazon.com Alicia Wright Brewster is a mild-mannered lady of average height and above average paranormal obsession. By day, she works in an office. At night, she's an author, an electronics junkie, and a secret superhero. (Please don't ask what her superpower is. That's not very polite.) In her virtually non-existent free time, she loves to read, watch movies, and eat food. She is particularly fond of the food-eating and makes a point to perform this task at least three times per day, usually more.
SETTING PACE AND STYLE
An atypical kind of read which blends ethereal magic and time travel, this story takes place on a planet similar to Earth, in a future time period. Writing style is light, explanatory, easy to read, with believable dialogues between characters. Its told in a first person narrative through the eyes of a female heroine called Ashara Vinn.
CHARACTERS AND PLOT
The main characters Ashara and Loken are both decent people. They both don't really possess any irritating or nagging traits, other than it was difficult to really get inside their heads. Its evident from the very beginning these two have both chemistry and history between them. Ashara appreciates her family, with especially strong ties to her younger sister Sona, who I would have liked to get to know a little better. Ash is vested in saving the world, especially for what it means to her little sister. I also respected the open mindedness Asha possessed when it came to The Believers. She reserved judgement and gave consideration to believing in the gods, even though it was hard for her since she felt if gods existed they really let her down when it came to the death of her younger brother.
Loken possesses a strong moral character, is a good protector and cares deeply for Ash, even though he tries to push aside his true feelings, so he can focus more on his job. Well, that and saving the world. He's a worthy guardian and protector, always looking out for Ashara. She seriously needs someone like him in her corner as the story progresses.
Rey, Ashara's cousin, a Breather (a practitioner who can manipulate air), is also the greatest friend Ash could ask for. He's always there for her, has her back and will even break rules to help keep her safe.
PLOT: The world could potentially be coming to an end and its up to a young girl and her fellow ethereal practioners to save it.
This would be a great book for those readers intrigued by time travel. Some exciting new concepts are introduced. Also fans of magic and conflict should appreciate this one. Those who prefer more of a plot based story than a character driven one will enjoy all the action and world building in this book has to offer.
The opening story starts out pretty typical, Asha doesn't realize she has special magical powers. She's told she's an Ethereal Practitioner, but of course. like usual, she has no idea how to use or control her so called great magical strength . Her assignment in the story is to join and Ethereal task force and help prevent the world from ending. You see, the upper government bodies have been able to rewind time over five different times. Each rewind has failed to save the planet and left the council members weaker with each succeeding attempt. Throughout the entire book the author did well to create a sense of urgency for the players to hurry up and save the world, almost every chapter title is part of the countdown and the projection countdown in the sky is mentioned on numerous occasions. The time travel elements in this story were inventive, too. I liked how the government was able to rewind the time line. This book not only provides great entertainment, action and battle scenes, but also a decent dose of romance between Ash and her trainer Loken, who have some past history together. It gets fairly steamy, not just innocent kisses in this one. Some of the secondary characters are developed more than others. Asha's sweet little sister Sona is one character I would have liked to know more about. Her cousin Rey seemed like a really great guy, I felt I knew him decently. At first this story reminded me a lot of Half-Blood because Loken is tasked with training Asha as Aiden was tasked with training Alex. Thankfully, this was just initially about 30 pages in, then plot lines begin to diverge and they really aren't anything alike after that. Another important aspect of this story worth mentioning is two different factions exist, the Science based crew (which Asha and Loken's beliefs align with) who desire to save the world and then there are the Believers, who would rather just leave it up to "the gods". This is an interesting facet of the story. I'm pretty sure this book is a stand alone. It doesn't appear to be part of a series and I felt the conclusion was solid, answering all my burning questions.
I'm deducting two Rings because for me, the story was a little overly romantic (especially on how far the characters went) and even though the characters were likable, I didn't really feel a strongly attached to any of them.