Life L1k3 (Lifelike 1)
By: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Post Apocalyptic/Cyborgs
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Bang Bang Review
It’s a post apocalyptic America where two tech companies rule. Eve must earn money for her cancer stricken grandfather by competing in Battle Bots style competitions and she’s pretty good. During one battle, Eve accidentally displays something detrimental to her life and finds herself, her best friend Lemon Fresh, a life like named Ezekiel, and her grandfather on the run. Can’t say too much because of spoilers. Life likes are robots that look like humans but you probably already inferred that.
I love Kristoff’s adult fiction series Nevernight and book 2 in that series was my favorite read of 2017 but I cannot get into his YA fiction. I tried Illuminae three times and couldn’t do it and I won’t be finishing this series.
I was really enjoying it until about 30% in. The world was gritty and depressing; the characters were interesting, especially Lemon Fresh; and the dialogue was strong and insightful. This new world was easy to follow and there were several unpredictable plot twists and then enter the Kracken. There’s a moment when they fall into a body of water, I’m assuming the Pacific Ocean, and enter a large Kraken-SERIOUSLY?! This damn kraken was several chapters and I didn’t understand the point. It probably came back into the story but I was skipping around so much, I’m not sure if it did.
Then there was this dripping wet love bullshit between Eve and Ezekiel that I couldn’t get over it. I knew Kristoff was a better writer than that and there’s a viable explanation for it but there was so much of it, it bothered me so much that I began to skip over Eve and Ezekiel’s scenes. I personally think Kristoff writes better sex scenes than romance but then again, I didn’t read Illuminae.
There are two stories happening simultaneously and the sub story, the pre robot uprising story, was by far the worst of the two. It’s told in first person which almost always leads to info-dumping. It started off very strong because it contained mystery but once it got into the meat and bones, it was like a different author was writing it. I thought the characters in the sub story were tropey and extremely eye-roll inducing.
Although I skipped through half of it, I feel like I read the important bits because I read the twists which were well done and it ended well. Even though it seemed like I didn’t like it, I’m giving it this rating because the world was great, the writing was in true snarky Kristoff fashion and the themes were strong.