The Body Electric is a standalone Young Adult, Science Fiction novel from Beth Revis, the author of the Across the Universe Series. The story is told in the first person narrative by 18-year old Ella Shepherd, a girl who lives several hundred years into the future on the island of Malta. The Body Electric is filled with futuristic technology, mysteries, and a government that controls most of the world after a bloody Secessionary War left the world fundamentally changed.
Ella is a very different character from those I'm used to reading about. While reading this book, I discovered that the story is not unlike 1984's Dreamscape, or Total Recall, the original version, not the remake, but nothing to do with Inception as people have been saying since the book was released. Ella is the daughter of two brilliant scientists, Rose Shepherd who created the means to live your most joyful moments of your life, and Philip Shepherd who revolutionary created a way to help his wife live a longer life until it got him killed.
After her nightmares grow even more vivid, and her dead father starts makes frequent appearances, Ella discovers that she has the ability to enter people's dreams and memories. She has the ability to change dreamscapes which ends up leading her to question everything about her parents, her friends, and the government that is supposed to protect her, and stop so called radicals from unleashing another unnecessary war.
I will absolutely admit that I got caught up in the technology, the mystery, the characters, and the twists that are set up to lead readers into believing one thing, only to find out much later that you were wrong on almost all counts. I will also admit, bowing my head, that I figured out what was so different about Ella right from the early stages of the story. Just call me a science fiction nerd who catches certain phrases that lead to the truth.
There is a relationship angle between Ella and Jack Tyler. Jack is a mysterious character who ends up being more of a friend, than a romantic interlude for Ella. As a leader of a rebel group, Jack knows things about Ella that she questions right until the very last chapter of the book. I loved the fact that Ella and Jack's relationship was rocky from the start, and not OH MY GOD, I LOVE YOU! MUAH! It took a long time for Ella to realize the truth behind Jack, and uncover more secrets than she could have ever imagined.
After reading the authors epilogue and notes, I believe this is supposed to be set in the same time frame that Across the Universe is. Basically, instead of outer space, this story takes place on earth. I'm happy that this is a standalone, and not part of a series. I like that things are wrapped up mostly without needing to continue any further into Ella's life or what is to happen next for the characters who find themselves looking at life in a whole new light.
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