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The Body Electric | Beth Revis | Reviewed by Ria

the-body-electric-beth-revis
*Review copy c/o Netgalley, Image via Goodreads 

In a utopian society, where an uneasy peace seems to have been achieved thanks to a unified global government, Ella Shepherd is just another citizen of the capital of this peaceful society, New Venice.

With her mother destined to live - and eventually die - of an incurable disease, Ella decides to give her a lasting gift using her mother’s own invention - the Reverie. The Reverie allows users to enter into their dreams and relive their fondest memories and Ella’s going to help guide her mother into one.

Through this little experiment, Ella finds out she has a talent for entering people’s minds and dreams, and is soon enlisted by the Government to help them spy on a rebel group who seem keen to stir up the status quo. But Ella find herself in trouble. The leader of the group, Jack, claims they were once in love and that she’s fighting for the wrong side.

Either Jack is lying. Or someone’s altered Ella’s memories.

Caught in between secretive Governments, and the tales Jack is spinning about her ‘former life’, Ella becomes the unfortunate key which could help or hinder peace.

What’s my verdict?
This was my first foray into Beth Revis’ work and I have to say, I’m really impressed. The Body Electric is a novel set within the confines of utopian genre with the twist switching the focus on the the use of android and cyber-cell technology to enhance human life. It’s a refreshing take on the genre and reminds me a lot of Total Recall - according to Revis’ the Reveries in the story are directly influenced by the Rekall in the movies.

One thing I really loved was Ella and Jack’s relationship dynamics and their story arch. Their storyline always felt well balanced as Ella worked around the fact that she couldn’t remember who Jack was, yet there was none of the tragic love affair that other dystopian novels like Delirium or Under The Never Sky often focus so heavily on. If anything the blurb is misleading as the Ella/Jack storyline probably takes up on about 25% of the novel compared to the drama and action packed scenes of trying to the solve the mystery of Ella’s missing memories. It’s also a plot I feel like I can’t reveal too much - it’s really satisfying predicting the ending of the novel!

The world Revis has created is also fantastically rich, without it feeling unreachable. Placing the Mediterranean and Venice and at the heart of the story is works really well and only emphasises the conflict between new ideas and old values - something which Revis has cleverly linked with the first historical Renaissance. It’s also really great to read about a utopian society set outside of the stereotypical western USA setting.

For me, The Body Electric was a fresh new dystopian with a great twist to it and if you're already a fan of Revis' work then you'll definitely love it!

Soundtrack
Me The Machine: Imogen Heap; This Love: Taylor Swift; Echoes: Klaxons; All I Want: Kodaline; New Divide: Linkin Park; Song Of Forgetting: Next To Normal OBC; Take Back The City: Snow Patrol;

For lovers of...Divergent, Total Recall, and iRobot

This post was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.

*image (c) Ria Cagampang

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