Thursday, December 25, 2014

Review: The Body Electric by Beth Revis


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
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?
SPECIAL EDITION WITH EXTRA CONTENT AVAILABLE FROM BN, KOBO, and IBOOKS

MY TAKE:
Two things that made me request this ARC right away were the book's premise and that its author is Beth Revis.

In The Body Electric, Ella works at a place wherein people can relive their happiest memories. Her mother is very sick, and in her desire to help her, Ella does something that sets into motion some things she'd rather not know and results in some shocking revelations not just for her, but for a lot of other people as well.

I've never actually read Across the Universe, but I've always wanted to read it and I know that it got good reviews. I figured, this book must be good too, especially given that premise. While it's not perfect, this was definitely an interesting book that's worth giving a try.

Given the blurb, I expected that Ella had the abilities innately. That's not exactly true. The reality is more complicated and too spoiler-y for me to detail, but it was a lot more interesting than how I originally thought it would be.

I'm usually good at figuring out plot twists, and though I figured out a few in this book, like who the villain was, I wasn't able to guess three relatively major plot twists. One of them was a real doozy too.

There was a lot of world-building here, so I think this may be the first book in a series. However, while there's seeds of what could be used for a sequel, the book does feel complete.

My only real quibble with this book was Ella herself. Or at least, Ella during the first half of the book, and maybe until 3/4th of the book. She was incredibly impulsive, and there were moments wherein I wasn't quite sure if she had no sense of self-preservation or if she was just so emotional that she lost all sense. She was also so desperate to hold on to her family and friends that she refused to see reason. Perhaps most of my anger and annoyance at her was due to the fact that despite my appreciation of art and literature, I am a science geek at heart. I have an open mind, but I question everything as well. Ella wasn't really willing to do that at first. She didn't even ask the big question, "Why?"

After Ella finally accepted that what she found out was the truth, I started to like her more and the rants in my notes stopped. Of course, it helped that I sort of got why she acted that way after all the plot twists unfolded.

If ever there's a sequel, I'd definitely read that if the Ella in that book is more like Ella at the end of this one and not like the one at the start.

Thanks to NetGalley and Scripturient Books for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. There were a few unexpected, major plot twists.
  2. Jack is a sweetheart.
  3. The world-building is detailed and seems solid. 

THE BAD:

  1. Ella can be annoying at first. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"Don't try to dress this up as nobility," I snarl. 
READ IT IF:

  1. You are fascinated by androids and nanobots.
  2. You've wondered if robots can ever really think for themselves.
  3. You like science fiction. 

RATING:
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