Published by Scripturient Books on August 22nd 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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?
Ella Shepherd lives a life after war. The Secessionary War, which established peace all across the world and created new capitals and world powers, ended over twenty years before she was born. After the death of her father, a proclaimed scientist, Ella is left alone with her dying mother and Ms. White, a family friend. Ella has to watch her mother wither away right before her eyes of a futuristic, incurable disease, Hebb’s Disease. Combining the technology her mother, who also was reclaimed for her work, invented with the breakthroughs that her father unearthed before he died, she discovers a way to help make the inevitability of life alone more comfortable for her unintentional deserter. Her newfound discovery soon has untapped potential to either help the government or a budding rebel group. Being as her memory was already altered so she’d forget the leader of the rebel group, who claims to have been in love with her, both groups begin vying for her trust. She can already delve into other’s mind, however, so who’s to say someone can’t invade hers?
This is the first book of Beth Revis’ that I have read. It is a companion novel to her other series, Across the Universe, and when I went to a book signing she said that the other series did not have to be read in order to understand the book (the wonderful thing about companion novels).
I did like Ella’s character, but I did not find her relatable. I had a difficult time believing that she was eighteen and not a few years younger. In the world Revis created, teenagers go into either the military or an internship after graduating from high school, but Ella still seemed like she should be in a younger atmosphere. However, her character’s demeanor does change and become more mature as the story progresses. Her younger nature when she is first discovering more about the journey she is about to take makes more sense when she finally comes into terms about who she really is, the way she has changed unconsciously and consciously.
The world that Ella lives and explores is exciting and beautiful. I loved the way she described how this new, peaceful world was built on top of the old, war-ridden one. In this society, the rougher and more grotesque areas are hidden from the view of those who live in the upper society, literally raised above the lower parts of the city.
For lovers of Sci-Fi, this book does not do a lot of explaining on how the machines work. There are the nanobots, which have the stereotypical description that almost resembles mercury, in my opinion. The bodies of all citizens have been altered so that technology such as phones and hand-held cameras had become obsolete. Even though the technology is required for these people to get through life, because they are not aware of any other way to live, there isn’t much mention of it after the beginning of the book. Some of the way the technology was explained confused me and did not make sense in some parts. Even though it is a Sci-Fi book, it is not overwhelmingly Sci-Fi.
A large portion of the book deals with the enigmatic Jack and his nonexistent relationship with Ella. He claims that they had a trusting, intense relationship that ended without preemption. While Ella does toy with the backstory that Jack gives her, their past relationship is not a focus on the bond they create throughout the novel. I did like the connection they created, even though it seemed similar to a blooming relationship—where it is new for both parties—rather than a deep connection that they are trying to uproot rather than plant.
I enjoyed this book and would like to read her other Sci-Fi books, the Across the Universe series. There are inklings of what her other series is about that surface throughout the novel, which piques my curiosity.