I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 29th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
Jay Kristoff is an author I’ve had on my TBR for quite a long time. I’ve read his collab with Amie Kaufman, Illuminae (and I still need to finish the series!) but have yet picked up one of his solo works. Until now! And if this is anything to go off of, I definitely need to get my butt in gear and finally pick up the rest!
Eve is this badass mechanic who takes up robot fighting in her spare time to help earn money to pay for her grandpa’s meds. We first meet her as she gears up to enter the ring, only this time it doesn’t go as she planned and on the verge of losing more than just the match she screams, manifests, and instantly destroys the robot in front of a whole crowd of people which immediately puts her in danger. When she discovers an android on her way home who appears to know her even though she has no memories of him, her whole life is turned upside down while on the run from those who are hunting her.
I really loved the characters we meet in this novel. Eve is crazy talented with mechanics, something taught to her by the grandpa who raised her. She’s smart, resourceful, and fiercely protective of the ones she cares about. We really see her go through so much throughout this story from learning more about the devastating death of her family to feelings of betrayal from those close to her… She has quite the squad along for the ride including a robot sidekick named Cricket, a cyborg dog named Kaiser, her BFF Lemon and the android Ezekiel, a lifelike, from her past. On the run they encounter all sorts of trouble that kept the action constant and the danger ever present as the villains in this story are plenty and seriously despicable. Of course there is a little romance thrown in as well.
I can’t say I totally grasped the world building with this one, which is probably the only downfall I had. We have all sorts of robots and cool machines and tech going on but the background of the world was a little hazy. There were a few times I went back and reread a few sections from the beginning to help refresh me since the world building didn’t feel as expanded on as I hoped. But I’m also a slower reader so perhaps it’s just a me situation. But I really loved the cool robots! And I loved learning all about the lifelikes – from their creation to how it all went so terribly wrong.
LifeL1K3 is one of those novels that kept me on my toes with lots of action, secrets, reveals, and a killer ending! It can be hard to find a novel to pull off so many surprises but this is one where there is so much that isn’t at all what it seems and there is nothing better, in my opinion, than a few surprises thrown at you during a read. I’m so excited to see how the story progresses with the sequel!