‘Lifel1k3’ by Jay Kristoff is a good’un – true cert.
Synopsis: Eve is a Domefighter: she battles goliath machines in a gladiator style ring. She does this so that she is able to pay for her Granpa’s meds but when her ninth battle goes wrong and she’s about to be OOC, Eve screams and somehow terminates the robot opponent. With the world seeing her ability, Eve runs home only to come across a wreckage with a Lifelike inside. Knowing the potential of the android, Eve takes it home but when he wakes, her world is upended. Now on a quest to save her Grandpa from evil lifelikes, Eve, her bestest Lemon Fresh, her robot companion Cricket, and the Lifelike Ezekiel are on a rescue mission. But secrets unravel and lies turn to smoke, can Eve manage the truth, or will it turn her mad?
I found this post-apocalyptic world pretty amazing. It’s kinda believable? And all the trials the characters go through make the world they live in a little scary I guess. It reminded me a bit of Mad Max, with all the deserts and the scrap cities. I especially liked the city of Armada. It sounded like such a cool place and I love the way the directions were written. The place names were all slightly different to actual place names and the geography was slightly different too but you could get a decent picture of where everything was.
I’m going to start with the smaller characters and work my way to Eve/Ana/??. We didn’t get to see a lot of Silas but he wasn’t evil, he was a scientist but he understood the life around him too. I found Cricket quite funny and I don’t know why, but I never think of robots having a sense of humor. Cricket has definitely changed that view of mine and I’m happy for his upgrade. Lemon Fresh is an entirely unique character. Being only fifteen, she is incredibly street wise, has buckets of over spilling confidence and she was kinda horny? Haha, her continual comments about Ezekiel’s appearance were hilarious and I appreciated it immensely. Ezekiel is just a loved up puppy. He basically exists to love Ana and he does everything within his power to keep her safe and to love her. Plus, he’s attractive and is better than human.
Now, onto possibly the most complex character, Eve/Ana/??. I’ll try to not give the game away too much about her but it will be difficult. Her character is complex because she struggles with her identity. We find out her whole life is a lie and that she’s actually this entirely different person from a very well off background. She doesn’t know who she is or who she is meant to be as the life she thought she knew has crashed into the one she’s only just remembered. Not only that, she also believed she possessed an ability that singled her out and one that set her journey off. When this turns out to be untrue, she’s set back and again, she contemplates who she really is. NOT ONLY THAT, the ending throws a huge spanner in the works and she has to question who she is AGAIN. Also, I’m just gonna put this here, I’m not sure I like who she is going to be.
There is a burning question/discussion point, I think regarding this book. About whether acting as God is ever a good decision. About whether making robots self aware is a good decision. It’s slavery at the heart of it and as it didn’t end well with humans, these characters have a chance to amend the outcome regarding the machines and robots. I did a lot of thinking during and after this book on these issues. Can I also say, that I love the language in this book? Kristoff has created his own slang and when the characters use it, it adds so much feeling to the plot that I just can’t even.
I really enjoyed this one. It’s my first Kristoff book and there’s so much hype around him as an author that I didn’t want to be the one where I didn’t get along with his work but I can honestly say that I love his style. Not only that, but the story had an Anastasia spin to it that was music to my ears and the way that tale meshed with the robotics and Mad Max style world was pretty incredible.
“But 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. You. And only you.”
I received this in Shelflove Crate’s June ‘Romance Reboot’ box.
You can get it here