ARC provided by Random House Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review
Series: Lifelike, #1
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: YA Sci Fi
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
My rating: ★★★★★
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.
“YOUR MIND IS NOT YOUR OWN.
YOUR BODY IS NOT YOUR OWN.
YOUR LIFE IS NOT YOUR OWN.”
Y’all, I am shook. LIFEL1K3 was everything I needed in a YA Sci Fi book: nonstop action, excellent world building, romance, twist after twist after twist, likeable characters, and overall pure enjoyment. Never once was I bored. I cannot recommend this book enough!
LIFEL1K3 takes place in a post-apocalyptic United States. We follow Eve, a girl who pilots robot gladiators (think: battle bots on steroids.) After a robot battle goes wrong, Eve, her friend Lemon Fresh, and her tiny robot Cricket stumble upon a humanoid-looking robot named Ezekiel. Known as lifelikes, these robots look, talk, and feel (both physically and emotionally) just like a real human. But they’re strong and fast. And what Eve doesn’t know is that these robots hold a dark secret. Oh, and the trio decides to take this lifelike back home with them.
Eve, Lemon Fresh, and Cricket live with Eve’s grandpa, Silas. Silas is a mechanical genius, so he immediately freaks out when he sees the lifelike. In fact, things take a major, action-packed turn; the lifelike represents something much greater to humanity, Eve discovers she might have a special power, and now some very horrible people are coming after her.
Seriously, the action is non-stop.
Now, please allow me to share my favorite quote with you:
“God’s potatoes!” Grandpa roared, banging again. “I’ll not stand for it! This is my roof, young lady! Open this door right now before I get the rocket launcher!”
I mean, how amazing is Grandpa Silas? I loved him so much after this. He definitely gave me some Rick Sanchez (Rick and Morty) vibes, which I am all about.
So, as per usual with most of my blog posts, I will now discuss the things I liked and disliked!
- The cast. Did I mention that I found all the characters likeable? Not once did I want to punch a main character, which says a lot. Lemon Fresh had the best one-liners and she is quite possibly my favorite character in all of YA. Ezekiel is kind and sweet, Cricket is loyal and fierce, and Eve is such a strong and determined main character. I even loved Preacher, the mysterious man constantly hot on their tails.
- The world building. From the get-go we are thrown into the WarDome, the arena where the gladiator bots fight to the death. Not only did the post-apocalyptic USA feel so real and believable, I was also totally immersed in the scientific world of creating these robots. In addition, I got some major Disney movie vibes (one you’ll quickly pick up), which is always a bonus. I love all the breadcrumbs Kristoff leaves for us in this book.
- The pacing gets an A+! If you’re into fast-paced, action-packed stories, then this book is definitely for you! No slow burns here, folks.
- Aside from the scientific plot lines, the other major themes are slavery and oppression among the different types of robots vs. humans. There are also several biblical references you can’t miss.
“Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven.”
- There were some phrases that made me uncomfortable. Ezekiel is often referred to as “Stumpy” and “Braintrauma” after he gets hurt. It became redundant and just felt awkward while reading. Also there is a brief scene where Lemon gets curious and wants to take a peek under a lifelike’s pants to see if, you know, a robot looks like a human. While I totally get the thought process behind it (I mean, I’m sure we’ve all wanted to see what a Ken doll looks like, but in this scenario a lifelike is basically a real person), I did not find it okay, and it was awkward to read.
“When the ash rose up to choke me, it was thoughts of you that helped me breathe. When the night seemed never ending, it was dreams of you that helped me sleep.”
LIFEL1KE3 was such a pleasure to read, and I cannot stop gushing about it. Not only was it a fun ride, but there were so many things to cherish such as strong friendships, loyalty, and compassion. I can’t wait for you all to pick up this book. LIFEL1K3 drops on May 29, 2018 in the US. Thank you so much to Random House Children’s Books/Knopf for sending me a digital copy for review!
All quotes were taken from an ARC provided by the publisher and is subject to change upon publication.