Yeah, 200th book of 2014!
I'm always on a quest to search for good Dystopian novels, but to be honest, that's not even why I chose this book. I mean, look at its cover. I found it to be one of the covers that stood most out for me last year. It almost feels like a bonus that the story itself was so good too...
Ella works in a spa, using a technology her mother created to let people relive their memories and that will allow Ella to enter these memories. It's a bit like the Animus from Assassin's Creed now I think of it. Still struggling with the loss of her father, who was murdered by terrorist because of his work, and the upcoming loss of her mother, who terminally ill and deteriorating quickly, Ella starts to see mysterious things, like images of her father trying to tell her something. When different groups are telling Ella different stories, what should she believe?
One of the things I really liked is the setting: Malta. I don't think I've read a lot of books set in that region, and even though the stories takes place a long from now in the future I still think it added to the story even though the biggest part of the story takes place in so called New Venice, built between the two main islands of Malta.
Technology has advanced, there's colonization of space, androids to do chores and experimental nanobots that will instantly heal you (to a certain point where it starts to get dangerous). However, there's also talk about the limitations of these advances, where will they stop. It even asks the famous question from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? : What is it that makes humans human? (As I write this review I wonder if the title is in fact a reference to Philip K. Dick)
The story started as the usual dystopian YA. Girl is asked to help spy on the rebels, she meets rebels, we all know what happens next. But is has been given nice twists, even to the mandatory love-subplot. It also stars one of the biggest plot-twists from last year, which I should have seen coming, but saw far too late.
I haven't even mentioned the best part: It's a standalone! It's still possible to write Dystopian YA without feeling the need to stretch the story endlessly! I read most of this book on a train/waiting for said train (as it was such a nice, fast read), and I'm definitely going to check out Beth Revis' other series Across the Universe.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!