Review: The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Title: The Body Electric
Author: Beth Revis
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: None
Pages: 336
Published: October 6, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating: 3 out of 5

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?

The Body Electric was a really challenging book for me. I liked a lot of the ideas, but I found the execution very lacking. The twists aren’t just telegraphed, they’re explicitly revealed halfway through the book. Yet, the story continues to try and build tension by asking questions that have already been answered. “What is Ella?” The boat scene made that clear. The lab scene made it clearer. When she laid down on the medical table, crystal. But still the big climax contains as “shocking” flashback. I felt hammered over the head. And yet, the initial reveal did have great impact and kept me reading, though I’d been planning on stopping at the end of the chapter.

Over the course of the book, I made a pro/con list to help me with this review, but I realized that it said all I wanted to. So I give you, Pros and Cons of The Body Electric:


WOC main character
WOC LGBT best friend
Memento-style clues to prior life
Cool futuristic city
Impactful initial twist - well written
Exciting action scenes
Interesting premise with the dreamscape
Female MC vs female villain with no male interference
Villain with three dimensional motivations


Underdeveloped main character
Fridged WOC LGBT best friend
Memento plot dropped out of nowhere?
Derivative world building
The forced kiss between MC and LI
The romance. The whole thing.
Easily guessed twists - and a lot of them
Government reveals their big secret for no reason
Government reveals their big secret in front of rebels who could easily be recording
Muddled climax, layers of reality not well explained
Very little conclusion

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