Monday, January 5, 2015

The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Ella Shepherd and her mother are lucky - they live comfortably in New Venice where her mother has just opened the Reverie Mental Spa, a place where people can relive their best memories. But even with their relatively tranquil existence, the Unified Countries and the Secessionary States coexist in a tense and fragile peace. When the UC begins to suspect there is a spy in their midst, they turn to Ella for help. It seems her mother's technology might be useful in determining whether someone is collaborating with the enemy. When Ella slips into the dreams of one of the UC's politicians, though, she discovers something strange - visions of her father who seems to be speaking directly to her and visions of another man who says he knows Ella though she has no memory of meeting him before. Both are impossibilities in a reverie. Before she can attempt to find the meaning in this mystery, New Venice is attacked and Ella finds herself caught in the beginnings of a new war.

I hadn't realized when I started this one that it was actually a companion to the Across the Universe trilogy. I was already stoked about a new book by Revis to begin with but that discovery really made The Body Electric that much more fun.

You don't have to have read all or any of the trilogy - this is the story of what's been going on back on Earth while Godspeed has made its journey. There are a few mentions of the ship and its mission but nothing that really gives anything away.

All of that said, The Body Electric is a pretty great read on its own. The premise and the scientific concepts are fascinating and Revis manages to once again weave in a story featuring rich and real characters around these almost mind boggling theories. In truth, there came a point in the story where I felt like maybe I was losing my grasp on the science (I won't go into details in an attempt to avoid spoilers) but the characters always managed to pull me back.

The world building is excellent. Revis provides enough detail and backstory to make New Venice and this future world it exists in believable and easy to picture. My only complaint there is that there was a bit of repetition in explaining some of those details, almost as if the author forgot they had already been touched on earlier in the story.

Revis is one seriously cool author in my opinion and while I'm not sure what she has up her sleeve writing wise, I know I'm always going to be on board. One piece I'd love to see more of if she continues in this universe are the Lunar Colonies and their stories. In the meantime, I'll be waiting along with every other fan to see what comes next!

Rating: 4/5

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