The Body Electric - Beth Revis 4 STARS
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?
*Received a copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review
I really liked this book (up until the end), which is why I docked a star (or a half). It was different, it was entertaining, and gripping. There was action, mystery, a little romance. What I love about this book the most though, is that its one book. Not a trilogy or duology. Could another book be made? Sure. But it's not needed. This book is complex with the twists and characters and Revis once again builds an amazing back drop that is so easy to follow, believe and see. Even though the book is set in the future, its set on Earth. Its also set in the Malta region. A region I know absolutely nothing about. (Okay Im exaggerating but I know very little). I will say, that the one thing that nagged me through out this book was that some things seemed REALLY out of place or obvious to me, and considering Ella was pretty keen, by the end I was annoyed that she didnt figure certain pieces out sooner. Now to be fair, this book threw even me off! I was surprised by some of the twists and facts that presented themselves throughout the book. Of course some things I saw coming, but others? No way. BUT, I know there is always a BUT, a few of these "twists" were not twists that I was happy with. Especially the one about Jack. Without giving anything away, I was REALLY disappointed with this. And at times I felt there was a slight (I said SLIGHT) similariy to Keary Taylor's Eden Trilogy.
I must say though, I am more than impressed with Revis' world building ability and her ability to really draw me into the characters, falling completly in love with Ella and Jack, as individual characters (as compared to a romantic couple). Even though I in no way can relate to Ella and Jack, I felt connected to them. I wanted to know their story, I wanted to know them personally, I wanted to know their history and their love. I was intrigued and invested.
This story line was fresh and new to me! While I had similar points of interest as other books out there (its hard not to these days), I found that Revis really gave a fresh new take on the idea. We follow Ella as she tries to figure out whether the government or a rebel group are the ones out to exploit her late fathers and dying mothers work and research. set in a futuristic dystopian world, where it seems Big Brother exists and people are content to be submissive to the governments whim, Ella finds herself in a peculiar situation. She must decide whether helping the government is the "right" thing to do, or whether the government is the one on the wrong side of things.
There are a lot of scientific/technology pieces to this book, that can at times be hard to follow, but as usual Revis set the back drop up perfectly, weaving a story that we must continue to follow in order to find our way out. I was struck by the story telling, which is the primary focus of the book. While there is a love interest, it is a minor role in this book. Instead the primary focus is figuring out the governments plan and whether Ella is willing to help them. Or if their plan is everything she has been working against since the beginning. Where does the line begin and end? This is a constant battle of who is right and wrong? who can you trust when you arent sure you can trust yourself? Following this story was so much fun. I was happy though with the way things unfolded and the ending was perfect.
I love that Ella struggles internally with every decision and every fact she learns. Ella is really a remarkable character. She is both vulnerable and naive but also so willing to recognize her weaknesses and attempt to better herself. She is strong in her own right, and gets stronger throughout the book. Ella struggles in so many ways, she struggles with who to trust, with own mind and memories, she struggles with family, love and freedom. I love that Ella is her own person. She never bends to the whim of others, she always thought for herself. She took in whatever anyone else provided but tried to make sure that she understand all the facts before making a decision, or moving forward. She was thoughtful. As she really gained momentum she started putting together all the pieces. She accepted things gracefully even when they were difficult or torturous in some instances.
Jack, he was a fighter. He fought for freedom, for love, for his future, his life and so much more. Jack was a great character overall and I enjoyed his personality and the aspects that he brought to the book. He forced Ella to wake up in more than one way. His passion brought out the best in Ella, showing her that she needed to critically think about the way she was living her life. Causing Ella to open her eyes to the way the world works was Jack's greatest accomplishment. And while their "love" story was quite sparse it was sweet. This story though really focuses on the young couple, who try to figure out whether the country and government they know is the right government for the future.