Publisher: Scripturient Books
Release Date: October 6th, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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?
It’s with a heavy heart I write this review. I’ve always heard great things about Revis’ books and while I had never read any of them, I was eagerly looking forward to The Body Electric. Throw a pretty cover into the mix and I’m game. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into The Body Electric at all and in the end, I DNF’ed it.
The world Revis establishes in The Body Electric is intruiging. We’re in the future somewhere, where androids have taken over pretty much all the tasks humans no longer wanted to do. The world has seen some new, devastating wars, and, as per usual in the genre, we’re not sure whether the government can be trusted. In the middle of it all is Ella, our POC main character (I approve!), trying to figure out just what is going on exactly. She has to decide whether to help the government or the rebels, and her unique gift could definitely change the game for both groups.
Revis does some interesting things with her world building, and I like how she subtly raised questions about androids vs humans and what it means to be human, and whether an android can ever be considered one. However, while this was interesting and challenging, I was left wanting more. Especially from the characters: even after 44% (that was the point I DNF’ed it) I had no feel for Ella’s character at all. Who is she, really? I understand she might be a bit more of a blank canvas because there has possibly been messed with her memory, but even then I expect more from her. For me, she just wasn’t fleshed out enough. Even halfway into the story she felt flat to me, and the same goes for the other characters.
Which brings me to my main problem: the love interest and romance. This is where I started cringing a bit. It’s very personal and probably not something anyone but me will feel, but I did feel like this and it seriously held me back. My problem was with the love interest. He just didn’t feel real to me. I did not get his character. And if I’m completely honest, it feels like his character is a strange mishmash of the character traits everybody seems to like in a love interest nowadays. But it just didn’t fit. He was smirky and a smartass and serious and I’m probably the only one with this problem, but I just didn’t buy it. His character just felt unreal to me and because of this, I couldn’t really continue this book. Every time he showed up on the page I was completely thrown out of the story and it seriously affected my enjoyment of the book.
In the end, I don’t think The Body Electric is a bad book. It’s a classic example of it’s-not-you-it’s-me. Revis really does do interesting things plotwise and with the world building, but the characters made me not enjoy this the way I could have. The main character felt flat to me, but the love interest felt… fake. This is very personal though, so if you’re interested in reading this don’t let me stop you! I haven’t heard anyone else complain about this, so I’m probably just the weirdo again 😛 I’ll still be checking out Revis’ other work, I think, but The Body Electric and I just didn’t click.
~Thank you, Scripturient Books, for the review copy!~
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