Review: LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

Title: LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 29th 2018
Kindle Edition, 398 pages

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it. But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past. Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

I am a huge Jay Kristoff fan, so imagine my dismay the first time I tried to read LIFEL1K3 and hated every second of it. I made it about 200 pages in and called it quits. I was quite dissapointed and questioned the fact I considered myself such a big fan. Fast forward to 2020 and I decided it was time to give LIFEL1K3 another chance and what would you know, I LOVED it this time around. Jay as usual is the master of world building and shattering his readers hearts.  

In what's left of the country after World War 4.0, Eve lives on a scrap of land of what used to be the West Coast. Living life looking over her shoulder, Eve isn't looking for trouble. She spends her time building bots and then fighting them in the dome, until one night the fight goes horribly wrong and she destroys the opposing bot with her mind and screaming. Now with the Brotherhood (A band of religious men who believe that people with abnormal abilities are abominations) Eve just wants to keep her head down, but all the changed when Ezekiel, a Lifelike (an robot that resembles as human, with the capability to make its own choices) literally crash lands at her feet, insisting that she is this mysterious "Ana." With her best friend Lemonfresh, her robot companion named Cricket and Ezekiel she is on a quest to save the ones she loves. But in the process, Eve uncovers secrets that change everything. 

I liked Eve's character a lot, I found her fearless and determined. She's rough around the edges and snarky and will do anything for the ones she loves and cares about. As the story unfolds you begin to see a change in Eve, it's subtle but it is there and the more you read the clearer it becomes. In the climax of the book everything is explained. 

I really loved all the secondary characters as well, we get to see some of the story from Lemonfresh's point of view and she is just as sassy and loyal as Eve is. Ezekiel is such a complicated character, in the sense as there is so much more of him that needs to be developed. He is one of the twelve Lifelike's that were created several years earlier and it is easy to tell that his understanding of the world and emotions aren't developed, which I've come to learn was purposely done. (I'm writing this review after having read the whole trilogy, so you will see more of this addressed and discussed in the upcoming novels.)

Jay will always be my favorite when it comes to world building, from Nevernight, Illuminae and Aurora Rising there wasn't one world that he built or helped build that I didn't like. LIFEL1K3 was unique and different and though I wished that the past of what is left of the "yousay" was explained it doesn't change the story. My only complaint was I wish there was a glossary of the slang that Jay has created, at some points it was a little hard to follow because I wasn't sure what the characters were actually meaning. But again, it is only a tiny thing and nothing more. 

Overall I really enjoyed LIFEL1K3 and I am glad I gave it another shot. Like I said above, this review is being written after I I have finished this series so all I have to say is this: Buckle up, because you aren't expected what is going to happen next. 

1 comment

  1. This book has been on my TBR ever since I read The Illuminae Files last year. I'll have to prioritize it and just read it already. :P I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this book after all!


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