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The Body Electric Paperback – October 1, 2014
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"Short chapters... make for addictive reading, and the reverie-within-reverie sequences are vibrantly rendered games of cat and mouse. ...Revis (Across the Universe) gives a masterly blend of worlds familiar and new in this standalone SF mystery." --Publisher's Weekly
"I loved this book. It's twisted and odd. I had no idea what would happen or what ended up being the truth until the very end." --USA Today (HEA Blog)
From the Author
Whenever I finish a book, I'm always curious about how the author developed the world and what sparked her imagination to write the story. That's exactly what I wanted to show you here--a peek behind the scenes, and a few last moments in the world. I hope you enjoy the extra content in this special edition; I wrote it with you, the readers, in mind. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Originally posted at Vampire Book Club
Are you tired of the stresses of everyday life? Do you wish to be able to go back to a simpler time? Well then, make an appointment at the Reverie Mental Spa. They have the finest scientists developing the latest technology that will let each patron relive their happiest day over and over again. Come on in and relax for an hour or two. Your dreams are safe in reverie.
About twenty years after the Seccessionary War, the world is at peace. Well, as peaceful as the world can get. Those who seek further escape from the stresses of everyday life can go to the Reverie Mental Spa to relive their happiest moment over and over again. Total relaxation. Ella Shepherd is interning at the spa, which features her mother’s invented technology, the reveries, as they’re called. When Ella discovers she’s able to enter other people’s reveries, it’s not long before the government comes calling and asks her to spy for them in order to root out possible terrorist cells trying to overthrow the government. Ella is all for helping out, until she starts having hallucinations featuring her dead father. When a boy named Jack—who apparently knows Ella, yet she has no recollection of him—warns her from trusting her best friend, Ella starts to question the possibility that her memories have been tampered with.
There are several classic sci-fi stories that Beth Revis pays homage to with The Body Electric. One stands out from the rest, but to tell you would be a kind of spoiler to anyone familiar with those stories already. There are ways to successfully adapt a classic story/concept, and Revis does it with such finesse (and you can truly tell she loves the source material from where some of these ideas came) that she turns around and makes the story her own.
I know oftentimes when so much of the plot is based in the theoretical, thereby forcing the reader to suspend what they believe is real along with the characters, it can be frustrating. Revis handles Ella’s situation very well in that by the beginning of the book Ella is already someone who does not trust easily. She thinks through her actions thoroughly with every decision she makes. Even if her decisions lead to more questions or are ultimately the wrong ones, I was never willing to give up on Ella and her fight to find the truth of herself. I liked going on the journey with her.
There were a few bits of info that I saw coming a mile away, but I liked going along with Ella in discovering how things ended up they way they did. I think by making some surprises easy to guess, Revis was then able to blindside me with the more surprising revelations later on.
The Body Electric is a book that will benefit from multiple readings in order to go back to pick up all the clues littered throughout. In true sci-fi fashion the ending doesn’t necessarily mean the end. Though on the surface the conclusion is solid and definite, I think there is a note of possibility, whether ominous or positive I cannot say, it’s open to the interpretations of each reader.
First of all, the plot is incredibly predictable. There was very little suspense about what was going on (despite the fact that the book tries to convince us that we are unraveling some great secret) & what was going to happen in the end.
While the world the characters live in is interesting, the plot itself felt like a mishmash of stories I've read or seen before. Revis does no favors to herself on this front by including multiple references to ACROSS THE UNIVERSE throughout the story, which made me question her creative ability. One reference is fun, multiple ones feel forced. I also didn't enjoy how the characters repeated themselves over & over & over- I understood the intention the first time a character said something. I think it was supposed to imply uncertainty in the character, but instead it was just repetition for repetition's sake. Also, in the Kindle version there are numerous typos & issues where a word (or two) is left out of a sentence entirely so that you have to read it a few times to figure out what you just read & what it's supposed to mean. Bottom line, this was a book desperately in need of an editor.
An interesting soft biopunk/cyberpunk sci-fi story with lots of twists, turns, and complex emotions. The premise reminds me a bit of Total Recall, actually. The setting of New Venice, which is really located on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean, is a fresh dystopian world I've yet to encounter in YA lit. It's really not heavy science fiction at all. So those who find the idea of reading cyberpunk an intimidating notion need not fear. The author touches lightly on explanations and the story explains itself. The main character is in a perpetual state of internally filing away information, leaving the reader clued in at all times.
If you read The Across the Universe Trilogy, then you'll appreciate some fun connections, which I won't share. I'll just leave you with that teaser... :-)
And oh my, that cover is beautiful! I must confess, that is what drew me to the story before I ever read the synopsis :-)
Most recent customer reviews
This is a joke, right? I'm missing the last one hundred pages, this isn't really a standalone, surely there's more,...Read more