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Review: LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay Kristoff

June 5, 2018
LIFEL1K3, (Lifelike #1), Jay Kristoff, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 29, 2018
Format Read: Kindle ARC Edition (416 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Dystopia/ Sci-fi
Series: Book one of Likelike
Source: Netgalley
Rating: TWO POINT FIVE STARS
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)
~Amazon~
On an island junkyard beneath a sky that glows with radiation, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Seventeen-year-old Eve isn't looking for trouble--she's too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she spent months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, she's on the local gangster's wanted list, and the only thing keeping her grandpa alive is the money she just lost to the bookies. Worst of all, she's discovered she can somehow destroy machines with the power of her mind, and a bunch of puritanical fanatics are building a coffin her size because of it. If she's ever had a worse day, Eve can't remember it. The problem is, Eve has had a worse day--one that lingers in her nightmares and the cybernetic implant where her memories used to be. Her discovery of a handsome android named Ezekiel--called a "Lifelike" because they resemble humans--will bring her world crashing down and make her question whether her entire life is a lie. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic sidekick Cricket in tow, Eve will trek across deserts of glass, battle unkillable bots, and infiltrate towering megacities to save the ones she loves...and learn the truth about the bloody secrets of her past.

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Graphic Violence, Animal Death

REVIEW:

This is marketed as Romeo and Juliet meets Mad Max, X Men and a little of Blade Runner. A mashup of sci-fi futuristic technology, in a post apocalyptic world featuring super powers led to memorable world building. Unfortunately the character development took a backseat to fitting in elements that never felt cohesive. Eve is a likeable protagonist who is determined to survive on a island exposed to radiation while dealing with traumatic memories from her past. Ezekiel is a lifelike, a robot immune to almost anything, who had little defining personality other then his relationship to Eve. Eve and Ezekiel  have a Insta-Love formed bond with starry eyed romance that never felt real.
"Rule Number Three in the Scrap: Carry the biggest stick."
Eve's best friend Lemon Fresh and Cricket were interesting and funny, but only served as two dimensional characters to balance out the violence and conflict in the story. Lemon Fresh who's name I never got used to had little desires or opinions that mattered to the plot or other characters. Cricket is a little bot focused on safety but his suggestions and advice was never listened to. He brought humor and logic to a story that needed more of both. The slang used in the book grated on me and never felt "fizzy" (what characters used to describe something good).
"But you get fancy, Mister Stabby gets dancy, you read me?"
I did enjoy the world building, action and villains, but never felt tied to this world because of the characters. The sci-fi elements were great including a sea creature who is a mix of organic and artificial parts, along with giant fighting robots. But in a world the author wants us to care about human like robots, I never found empathy for the Lifelike robots in the book. While I did finish the book there were too many twists that lead to a unsatisfying conclusion. I am a fan of Jay Kristoff's other books. he just missed the mark by combing awesome elements with little character development.
Recommended for Readers Who
-enjoy action packed post apocalyptic settings
-can tolerate a plot driven novel
-aren't hung up on romance that develops instantly

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 Jay Kristoff is the #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE LOTUS WAR. He is the winner of five Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over half a million books in print and is published in over thirty five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 12,000 days to live.

He does not believe in happy endings.


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