Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review: The Body Electric

The Body ElectricTitle: The Body Electric
Author: Beth Revis
Genre: YA, science fiction, post-apocalyptic, dystopia
Release Date: October 6, 2014
eARC received through NetGalley

A Quick Introduction: Something strange is happening to Ella Shepard. She's been having vivid nightmares about her dead father, and she's plagued by imagined bees. She thinks she's losing her mind, though she's trying not to let on that anything is wrong, especially because everything else seems to be falling apart- her mother's illness grows worse by the day, there's unrest in the city, and she's been given a cryptic warning by a boy she's sure she's never met before.

Out of Ten: 5/10

Review at a Glance: Though plot and characters didn't engage me, fans of the Across the Universe trilogy might want to check it out.

Review: I do like the cover of this one. I just like the layout a lot... and green is a wonderful colour. I read the first two books in the Across the Universe trilogy, but I never finished Shades of Earth. As this book is just a spin-off, and contains only passing references to the trilogy, it wasn't really a problem.

Unfortunately, this wasn't really for me. I had the same problem with is as I did the Across the Universe series- I just wasn't pulled in, and I think that there were a couple things that contributed to this.

I found that I didn't feel anything for the characters- it was like they were placeholders. I just didn't find myself buying their feelings or following their thought processes. It wasn't that they were unlikable, it was just that they weren't really anything one way or the other, and they just didn't feel complete. They didn't compel me. This meant not only that the characters were difficult to invest in, but that the relationships felt contrived sometimes, just because there was no connection there.

Second for me was the world-building and plot, which I felt went hand in hand for this novel, the world was revealed as the story went on, as Ella lived in a very limited sphere when the story started. The world-building often occurred as the plot was rapidly moving forward, and both things were not done at once, leading to gaps in action to describe the setting, which impaired the flow of the novel. The plot felt, overall, sort of loosely created, jumping from event to event, and somewhat predictable, though there were aspects that I felt had potential. I liked the idea of the bees, and I enjoyed aspects of the futuristic world, like the androids and the computer-cuffs, though I struggled somewhat with some of the finer points of the nanobots (some of their behaviours in the book didn't mesh with my knowledge of nanotechnology, though I am, admittedly, no expert) and the reverie technology (I found myself curious about how it worked, but it wasn't ever explained to my satisfaction).

Finally, the writing. For me, it just didn't carry the plot. The writing can be a clincher for a story with a somewhat flawed plot, but, unfortunately, it just didn't pull me in enough to make up for the fact that the plot and characters didn't engage me. It felt somewhat inconsistent.

While this book wasn't really for me, I think this book is something that people who loved the Across the Universe trilogy will probably like, though it doesn't revisit the characters or places they'll be familiar with from the trilogy.

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