Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review - The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Title: The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Series?: N/A
Pages: 350 pages
Publisher: Scripturient books
Dates read: November 15th to 19th 2014 (Limited special edition paperback copy)
Goodreads Synopsis:
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?

Rating: 4.5/5 stars
**This review may contain spoilers**
As a long time fan of Beth’s Accross the Universe series, when I heard about this book, I was super, super excited. I rushed to buy the special limited/signed edition from Malaprops and ended up paying oodles of shipping fees. But let me tell you: it was absolutely worth it.

The world that is presented in The Body Electric is just so detailed. I almost felt like I was there most of the time. The descriptions of New Venice and all the new technologies that are present in this future world were just so realistic and didn’t feel like too much of a stretch of the imagination (wrist cuffs that act like computer/cellphones… aren’t we almost there, really?). Quite honestly, I’m wondering if Beth Revis has a crystal ball that tells her what the future’s going to look like.
I absolutely adored the characters. Ella was fun to read. She wasn’t too caught up in her own problems to take note of what was happening around her - her compassion for others was actually what made me like her that much more.  She is definitely one of the best heroines I’ve read in recent books. Jack was so, so sweet. I could really see how much he loved Ella and I felt heartbroken for him when he realized that Ella couldn’t remember him. Just like with Ella’s friend, Akilah, my only complaint is that I wish we could have seen more of Jack and Akilah in the book.

The story itself was also super interesting. I read The Body Electric in like three days, I think. I couldn’t put it down. All I wanted to do all day was read, read, read! - It did provide a good incentive for me to do my homework, though. Like I said before, the descriptions and the fact that everything is so realistic despite being so far in the future is what makes this book great. There isn’t too much dialogue, or not enough. Same with the action sequences. There’s a healthy balance - just like in the AtU series. I did find that some of the book went by really quickly. Especially the ending. I felt like there was all this action and then it just… ended. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing - everything was tied up and such, but I just wanted more. Maybe it’s just because I was so invested in the story!

I did find that the writing was repetitive sometimes. There are occasions where Beth re-states something that was already stated a dozen or so pages ago. It took me out of the story a bit, but these repetitions end around page 100, so it’s all good, and it isn’t really an awful complaint to have. The rest of the writing was pretty seamless.

The Body Electric is a wonderful story. If you’re in the mood for a story with an awesome, kick-ass POC heroine, androids, cyborgs, evil-people-trying-to-take-over-the-world, and just a dash of romance with an adorable male character (based off of Doctor Who’s Jack Harkness, if that tells you anything about how wonderful he is), then I definitely suggest The Body Electric. And even if Sci-Fi isn’t usually your thing, still give it a try. I was never a fan of Sci-Fi before reading Beth’s books and she made a fan out of me, and maybe she will make one out of you too!

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