by Jay Kristoff
Who is truly human?
LifeLike feels like a mashup of Mad Max, Terminator, Total Recall, and various mythologies. It’s really written for the younger generations with its constant use of slang and incomplete sentences, using repetition and terseness to convey urgency. LifeLike reads almost like a stream of consciousness, especially when the POV is Eve. Although the POV switches, the book is mainly told from Eve’s POV… and yet at the same time, it’s LemonFresh who completely steals the show. I loved, loved, loved LemonFresh’s perspective and personality. In many ways, she made a better heroine than Eve.
While it was hard to get into the book, in part because the world-building is a bit hit-and-miss, once I delved in far enough, I didn’t want to put the book down. I wanted to see what came of Eve’s powers and how she would reconnect with Silas and the lifelikes.
This was almost a five-star book for me. After I got past the beginning, I was invested and I was totally willing to suspend my disbelief… Hey, I watch anime and Marvel movies, so I’m used to unbelievable action. However, certain events were just too disconnected without sufficient emotion, motivation, or characterization shown. There were just too many cons to make this a five-star for me. I’m hoping the rest of the series will make up for that. So I’m giving it four stars, wishing it had been five stars and holding out hope.
Pros: LemonFresh. Good energy, a plot that sucks you in just wanting to see what happens. Lots of original ideas – gotta love the kraken – we need those now! LemonFresh. A lot of fun action and suspense. Great to see kids allowed to try and fail without adults, while accepting help from adults at times, so that the adults are not portrayed as stereotypical stupid adults. LemonFresh. Good conversation openers about racism, redemption, and recycling. Yep, way cool recycling in LifeLike.
Cons: The heroine was unlikeable; I don’t know if that was by design or by accident. Inconsistencies, including reactions to radiation, glass storms, tremendous amounts of physical damage, etc. The ending coming totally out of the blue and not in a good way. Implied out-of-the-blue casual sex with insufficient motivation. Not enough background for characters or world-building.
Would I read the next book? Definitely. I hope so much was left out because so much more will be in the next books. And LemonFresh calls to me.
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.
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.