The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Published by: Scripturient Books
Publication date: October 6th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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.
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Reviewer's Copy: Digital Copy
Source: Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours (Thank you!)
The story world of The Body Electric was incredibly eclectic, bursting with colors and sounds, rooted from various cultures. It was a beautiful and chaotic world. Its detailed history was of wars, terrorism and death. Revis had a focused attention to detail when it came down to the the history and geography of her story world: bombing incidents, records of war and its aftermath in the present, old sites that were significant in the past and landmarks. With all these details, I felt like I had actually walked the bridges of New Venice, crawled inside the catacombs and the ruins and visited what once was Valetta, the old capital of Malta. The society remained divided into two classes: the rich and well off, and the poor. This was geographically mapped in the story world as the upper city and the lower city. The progress in terms of technological advances was evident in the cuffLINKS, imposed upon citizens of the Unified Countries under the guise of a safety device, and androids.
The main characters of the book, Ella and Jack, were endearing and complimentary. Ella was working as an intern at the Reverie Mental Spa, helping people relive a specific memory through the technology that her mother developed. She was careful, naturally suspicious of the people she didn't know, brave and overprotective of her loved ones. As she began to see clues about the impact of her father's work and its power, a past she couldn't seem to remember, she came to realize that everything she believed in might not be true at all. The boundaries of right and wrong blurred, and Ella must decide in which side would she stand. Though I initially struggled to connect with Ella as a heroine, I was able to understand her more as the story progressed. One of the possible reasons why I couldn't connect with Ella in the beginning was because someone had altered her memory: she wasn't herself entirely until she discovered what happened to her.
Jack Tyler was a character that I hated at first, and then loved deeply until the end of the book. He was the kind who believed in what he was fighting for, and stood up for it no matter how extreme and almost unavoidable the consequences were. He was true to himself and to his cause. He had a soft spot for Ella and I liked that about him.
The novel was filled with politics and conspiracies. The plot was amazing. You could never really trust a certain character, as Revis gave the life in such a way that they have their own motives, purposes and of course "facades." The characters had "layers" of protection on them, metaphorically speaking. They had a public face that they show to people but deep inside their minds, there were storms of emotions: fear, doubt, pain, guilt and worry. Through the Reverie Mental Spa, Ella had the chance to explore other people's minds and figure out their deep thoughts and fears.
The Prime Administrator Hwa Young was an incredibly powerful and manipulative woman. Though her intention was good (to prevent another war), the methods that the government was using was quite drastic and unhumane. I would consider The Body Electric as a dark science fiction - the pages were splattered with blood, cyborg body parts, death, android replacements and more. As they say, science fiction could be directly related to our present world. In the present, there are also deaths, torture and missing persons cases that are ignored and sometimes, never filed at all or looked into. Some of these cases are related to politics. It is unsettling to see this issue in The Body Electric, manifesting itself as a day-to-day occurrence, rampant and almost unseen by the public.
The Body Electric was atmospheric, engaging, chaotic and beautifully written. Readers are in for a treat with its memory-tampering, flavorful culture, sights and sounds, and politics and terrorism. The writing was superfluous and very effective. Revis will make readers marvel, flinch and sit at the edge of their seats with her vivid and cinematic storytelling. I highly recommend this to readers of science fiction, especially the ones who liked Across the Universe, Slated by Teri Terry and Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Also, if you like something as vivid and complex as A Thousand Pieces of You (but with more, more history and all) you should definitely try The Body Electric.
About the Author:
Beth Revis is the NY Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series. The complete trilogy is now available in more than 20 languages. A native of North Carolina, Beth’s most recent book is The Body Electric, which tells the story of what was happening on Earth while the characters of Across the Universe were in space.
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Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
Complete signed trilogy of the Across the Universe series
A signed copy of The Body Electric
An Across the Universe branded water bottle
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