Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: Lifelike, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Release Date: July 26th 2018
It’s just another day on the Scrap: lose the last of your credits at the WarDome, dodge the gangs and religious fanatics, discover you can destroy electronics with your mind, stumble upon the deadliest robot ever built…
When Eve finds 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 and her robotic sidekick in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, battle cyborg assassins, and scour abandoned megacities to save the ones she loves…and learn the dark secrets of her past.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
After a failed Domefight which sees her lose all her money, money that was supposed to pay for her grandfathers medicine, Eve discovers a new ability which paints a very large target on her back. Rushing home Eve, her best friend Lemon Fresh, her AI Cricket, and her cybernetic dog Kaiser, stumble across a Lifelike buried among the scrap. Lifelikes are outlawed, and taking this one home will only mean more trouble for Eve but she refuses to leave him for someone else to find.
LifeL1K3 drops you right into the action from the very first page and doesn’t let up until the end. While I was hooked from the start I did struggle a little to fully immerse myself in this book, mainly because of the language. Similarly to Nevernight in LifeL1K3 Jay Kristoff has created his own words and it took me a while to fully wrap my head around them, especially when in the first chapter we’re thrown into the middle of Eve’s Domefight and left to piece together what’s happening.
When the Lifelike, Ezekiel, wakes up he shakes the very foundations Eve has built her life on. Her grandfather is kidnapped by another Lifelike, her home is destroyed by the authorities who see Eve’s new power as unnatural and local gang who want to claim the Lifelike for themselves. Eve’s focus is on getting her grandfather back but the more time she spends with Ezekiel, who claims to know her despite Eve having no memory of him in return, the more she starts questioning her own memories.
LifeL1K3 is told in third person POV, so while the majority of the story follows Eve we do get scenes and chapters focusing on the other characters. There was so much happening in this book it’s hard to sum up the plot in my review, and most of the time I had no clue where the story was going but it certainly kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending was full of reveals and twists, and while I saw one of them coming the other two left me stunned, and desperate for the next book in the series.
Eve lost her family two years ago, and her memories of that day and everything before it were destroyed, but with the arrival of Ezekiel into her life Eve seems to unearth more memories from her past which cause her to question what she thinks she knows. Eve is fiercely loyal to her small family made up of her grandfather, Lemon, Cricket and Kaiser. Even though Cricket and Kaiser are programmed to protect her Eve wants them to be able to make their own choices, especially if protecting her means ending their own lives.
What I thought was well done in LifeL1K3 was how Eve’s character changes as she discovers more of the person she was before the murders of her family. Every secret, every new memory she re-discovers, throws an obstacle she needs to overcome onto her path, and add to that the turmoil she faces over her new powers and there’s a lot Eve needs to process while on the run.
The friendship between Lemon and Eve was probably my favourite part of this book. The two are more family than friends, and no matter what are always there for one another. Despite Eve’s new powers and despite all the secrets from her past that change in some ways who she is now Lemon doesn’t falter in her loyalty to Eve, and her loyalty to Silas who is in her mind Lemon’s grandfather too.
*Spoilers for LifeL1K3 below*
One small issue I had with Eve and Lemon’s friendship was how Eve reacted when Lemon’s powers were revealed. While I understand that after all the secrets and lies it was the straw that broke the camel’s back at the same time it wasn’t like Lemon didn’t try to admit the truth. When it comes down to it I think Lemon was just a scared kid, and after everything they’d been through together I wish Eve could have support Lemon the way Lemon support her.
*End of spoilers*
The banter between Cricket, Lemon, Eve and Ezekiel never failed to put a smile on my face, I think when it comes to writing AI characters Jay Kristoff is one of the best. Cricket was hilarious, fiercely defensive of Eve and Lemon in a way that almost went beyond his programming. Ezekiel was also an interesting character to explore. There’s so much he’s hiding from Eve but so much in his past he’s trying to make up for.
There was a lot to explore when it comes to the world building and I feel like the focus in this first book was on the AI and the Lifelikes. There was a lot of background into the three names that controlled the advancements of technology in this new world, the history of the Lifelikes which led to them being outlawed, and the three laws all robotics and AI followed. While I enjoyed learning all of that background, and it was definitely necessary to the story, I would have liked to explore the setting a little more. LifeL1K3 is set in a post-apocalyptic version of America and Eve, Ezekiel, Lemon and Cricket passed through some locations I would have loved to see more of.
LifeL1K3 is a brilliant start to a new series, the action didn’t let up for a second and I was hooked from the very first page. I loved learning more about Eve, Ezekiel, Lemon and Cricket in this book and after the way things ended for them all, and with everything that was revealed, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next in the series.
What did you think of LifeL1K3? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.