Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Title: The Body Electric
Author: Beth Revis
Publication Date: October 6, 2014
Rating: 3 Stars
The future world is at peace.
Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.
But not all is at it seems.
Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…
Someone’s altered her memory.
Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.
So who can she trust?
-Summary from Goodreads

I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Body Electric. When I started reading it I didn’t remembered what the summary was and I hadn't read any reviews for it. All I knew was that it was a Beth Revis sci-fi book and that I wanted to read it. It starts out pretty slow, but once things get going it is really an action packed book. There is one chase scene in particular that was just awesome and the climax of the story is just… EPIC! 

The world building in this was pretty interesting. The story takes place in a futuristic version of Malta that survived a war and becomes a flooded city like Venice. Actually, the city the book is set in is called New Venice. This takes place in the same world as Revis’ other series, Across the Universe, but besides a brief mention of Godspeed there is no other connection. AtU is set in space, this is set on earth.

Ella Shepherd’s parents are scientists who made some pretty interesting discoveries. Her mother invented the technology where people can relieve their happiest memories. Her purpose for it is simple and innocent, but science has a way of getting out of hand. The government wants to use Ella’s knowledge of the tech to break into a suspected terrorist’s Reverie and into his mind. I always love books that explore the mysteries of the mind. There are a lot of scenes in here that don’t take place in reality but in the Reverie and sometimes things are not as they seem. There were a lot of things presented in the Reverie as just strange things in the mind that turned out to be important to the plot.

I had a couple of problems with the book, one of which was the graphically disturbing scenes peppered throughout the book… some of them involved bees. If you have a fear of bees (or bugs in general) you might have a problem with this book. Besides that, my main issue with the book was a huge contradiction in plot. I can’t say what without spoiling the book, but there is something that is supposed to be the key to everything and then you begin to wonder why they need the key because there’s actually nothing wrong to begin with. Normally I don’t pick out things like this, but it was confusing enough to me that even I noticed. There was also another small contradiction in one scene where the beds are pushed apart and then in the next scene the two characters wake up beside each other with no explanation. Even though there are these contradictions I think it is possible to still enjoy the book for what it is: a sci-fi political thriller.

One of the things I really liked was the romance, partly because it is not a huge part of the book. The love story is another step in Ella’s character development and her journey, it takes a backseat to the main plot. I was worried that it would be instalove, but it’s not. It’s slow burn. It takes it’s time to develop and in the end when Ella decides she does care for Jack, you believe her because she doesn’t say it lightly. It takes Ella a long time to trust anyone because when her world is in chaos she stops thinking in terms of good guys and bad guys and starts looking for the truth by herself. Ella is a smart and strong character and I couldn’t help but root for her.

The Body Electric has its issues, but it is overall an enjoyable sci-fi political thriller set in an interesting world with an amazing lead character.

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