Here is the summary of the book:
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?
We asked and she answered. Beth Revis enamored us with her sci-fi dystopia series, Across the Universe. We asked for more and she answered, while Amy & Elder were on Godspeed this here is what was happening on Earth. Across the Universe showed us life in space in an ingenious made up colony aboard a space ship and The Body Electric shows a utopian Earth with chaos hanging just round the corners..... Of course this is a standalone and you don't really have to read Across the Universe series to read this.
And Beth Revis went all out. She held nothing back. There is a level of details prevalent, be it the world building, the plot or the characterization. Be it Malta itself or the fictional New Venice, its quirks and its opulence, the finesse is there. Revis mentions that the world building is inspired by her travels and we can find no fault with that claim. Vivid and exotically conditioned you can just about construct every detail in your mind and there it will be with you a long while.
Characters too play their parts well. Well fleshed and equally heart-rendering, each of them bring something new. Be it the humans or the androids. They all held their personalities and they each held a unique spot. Truly Ella was the cream on the top. Ingeniously fleshed out and highly relatable and rather unreliable too. A higher degree of vulnerability, she just fights on. Be it the loss of her father, her mother's terminal illness, or Jack. She feels them all very deeply. And you just can't help but read on.
Ella & Jack are definitely the apple of our eyes. The romance may play a key role to the story but it is safely held in the corners, important but not all consuming. With a past shrouded among layers and layers of secrets, an obsession for answers is not far behind. There are not many authors who can hide such truths and keep us tethered till the end and keep us invested in the lives of these refreshing characters.
There is a marked improvement. While Across the Universe held its own mysterious peculiarities and its eccentricities, The Body Electric is a virtual treasure trove of creativity. Revis' world isn't new but all of the allusions to some of the mainstream pop culture and it is very much her own. Twists & turns, and secrets, unexpected truths and whatnot. Read it folks, just give this a read. Highly recommended.
"Vividly exotic and highly imaginative. Another jem worth experiencing from Beth Revis"