Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review: The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Title: The Body Electric
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Scripturient Books
Publishing Date: October 6th 2014
Length: 482 pages
Keywords: YA, science fiction, dystopia, romance, friendship, artificial intelligence
Source: Author

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?

Summary by Goodreads 

Everyone who's read my review of SHADES OF EARTH, the last book in the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, knows I'm a huge fan of all three books in Beth Revis' debut series. Since the end of SHADES OF EARTH I have been craving a sequel to Amy and Elder's story and wanting to know how life on earth looked like after so many years spent on the Godspeed. In THE BODY ELECTRIC Beth Revis gave us the chance to learn more about what happened to our planet after Amy left it in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. You can imagine how ecstatic I was when Beth asked me to review her newest book. I admire her for writing this story and for deciding to publish it on her own!

THE BODY ELECTRIC is set some time in the 2300s and comes along as part sci-fi, part dystopia. You'll definitely recognize a few details and elements from the AtU trilogy, the Godspeed and its story is a legend now. I loved that!

As much as I was looking forward to get to know Ella and Jack and the world they are living in, I was beginning to notice that some components of the story weren't quite working for me. If you know how brilliantly Beth Revis' previous books are written you'll notice that this story still could've used some fine-tuning and polishing. This is a problem due to lack of thorough editing. All chapters are pretty short, spanning only a few pages, which I appreciate in a book. 

Beth's narration in THE BODY ELECTRIC often provides very vivid images and gory details. I certainly wouldn't describe these bloody details as YA inappropriate, but definitely not very appealing for a reader like me who had been looking forward to a more romantic story. I had expected the major part of the story to revolve around Ella and Jack and their romance. I didn't need the entire focus to be on it, but I would've wished for more intimacy and emotional attachment between the two. Because the moments they had were great!

Furthermore, I wasn't entirely comfortable with the character cast Beth Revis chose for her THE BODY ELECTRIC because I was convinced it wasn't as rich and varied as it could have been to provide the background for a thrilling and riveting story. In addition, dystopian Malta, only confused me more than it worked toward an exotic choice of a setting. But I can also imagine that many readers will find the dystopian city of New Venice interesting to explore. Bonus points for the map of New Venice on the first pages of the book. 
Also there sure will be many fans of the discourse between humans and robots. The mind and feelings of a living, breathing individual versus those of a machine, technically constructed and programmed.

Whereas the overall picture of THE BODY ELECTRIC didn't ultimately made me see this book as a perfect companion novel to Beth's previous books, I noticed that her eye for detail and technical innovations was as sharp as ever. She has the writing magic to conjure a stunning future world!  

3/5 *** THE BODY ELECTRIC - A slightly flawed harmony between character cast, setting and editing work make for an average YA sci-fi read. Yet, many readers will find it thought-provoking and visionary!

This story is a possible treat for many ACROSS THE UNIVERSE fans. But notice that you don't have to have read Beth's previous trilogy to enjoy Ella and Jack's story. I can honestly say that even if I didn't enjoy THE BODY ELECTRIC quite as much as I had hoped I would,  I would always support Beth Revis' writing and encourage readers (especially those who are new to the genre and are hesitant about picking up a sci-fi story) to read her books!

"I push the button.
The reverie chair hums with life. I have a moment to see the sparkle of the nanobots mixed with the green puff of reverie drug, and then I blink, and then
My body explodes with pain." p. 29

THE BODY ELECTRIC by Beth Revis you will enjoy her ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, too. I loved it so much and have recommended it to many friends and readers already.

* Read LOVE IS A CHOICE and dive into Beth's dystopian writing.

* Click here to read an excerpt of THE BODY ELECTRIC!

* Read Beth Revis' short story THE TURNING TEST for free.

* For more information about Beth and her books visit

* A big thank you to Beth Revis for sending me a copy of THE BODY ELECTRIC for review!


  1. Aw :( I am sorry you did not love this book. But I am glad you still enjoyed it :D I loved it a whole lot, hiih. <3 but I do understand. Probably. But anyway. Thank you for sharing your awesome review of it :)

  2. I couldn't get into Across the Universe but was looking forward to this one because of all the positive reviews. Even though you didn't enjoy this one as much, it's nice to see a differing opinion because it gives me better idea of how well suited this book would be for me.

  3. A great review of an intriguing book. Thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com