Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for The Body Electric (from Goodreads):
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?
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I adored Revis’ Across the Universe Trilogy. It’s pretty much a gold standard for YA Science Fiction Suspense novels for me. So I was eager to see what she would do next and I immediately bought The Body Electric when I saw it on sale one day. Like most novels I buy, I read it years later but my anticipation was still high for this one and that’s why it was on my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge in 2019.
The Concept / The World:
The world is very dystopian in its delivery and I loved that. It’s a very rich world (especially when you read the author’s note at the end and see all the layers she added to it with her research). At times though, the many descriptions of the world throughout the novel get in the way of delivering the plot.
I hate to say it: but you could easily cut out the first third of this novel and still get the point across. It took this novel so long to get anywhere and I felt like we were regurgitating the same things over and over at the start. Yes, some things that we learn at the start are important to the end but a lot seemed like filler.
The last half of this book is great. Twist after twist and the seamless weaving of various elements made for a fast paced, thrilling last few chapters to this novel.
Everyone is pretty well developed and if they aren’t, we learn more about them as the story progresses and what their role is.
I really liked the unreliable narrator aspect of Ella’s character. It added to the suspense of the story and kept the gears going in my head trying to figure out what happened to her memories.
Not a huge factor here but one that plays nicely off the other plot devices. It’s used extremely well here.
My Rating: 3.5/5
A solid, true SciFi novel that despite its slower start will have you hooked by the end.
Read if You Like: science fiction, unreliable narrators
Avoid if You: dislike slow starts
- Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Across the Universe Series #1)
- Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza (Mila 2.0 Series #1)
- Alternity by Mari Mancusi