Life L1k3

life like

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.

Bang Bang Rating bombbombbombbomb




Thunderhead (Arc of the Sythe Book 2)

By Neal Shusterman

Genre: Science Fiction/Post Apocalyptic

Publication Date: January 9, 2018

Bang Bang Review

I kinda don’t remember how Scythe ended so hopefully I don’t reveal any spoilers.  After Rowan kills Goddard and Rand, he escapes. A major takeaway is after Rowan pushes Citra and snaps her neck leaving her deadish, Citra hears a voice telling her she is meant for greatness (or some bullshit like that-I don’t remember).  That voice was the Thunderhead and you can probably surmise by the title that book two is about the Thunderhead. Thunderhead picks up almost a year after book one where Scythe Anastasia, Citra, is the new scythe and remains working under Scythe Claire.

Thunderhead is riddled with spoilers so this review is going to be very short.  If you want spoilers, click here.

If you recall from book one, Goddard was a new age scythe who believed there should be less rules involving quotas or less government if you will.  His death was meant to squash all that thus ending all the panic.  Anastasia is the new shiny scythe and she’s decided to give her victims one month to get their affairs in order before she returns to glean them and of course all the new age scythes and some of the old ages ones are up in arms.  Giving people time is unheard of and as a result, Anastasia is now in the spotlight of followers and haters.

Meanwhile, there’s a mysterious scythe named Scythe Lucifer who is killing scythes he deems as bad-revenge gleaning; race cleansing gleaning; etc. When Anastasia and Claire are almost murdered, gleaning by fire, they think Lucifer is after them and Scythe Constantine has ordered them to be protected.

Meanwhile again, we have a new character named Greyson Tolliver who is a loner and talks to the Thunderhead adnausium because his parents are shitty.  He’s selected to enter an academy but is soon singled out.  I won’t tell you why because of spoilers.

More stuff goes down but I can’t say and there’s another conclave but I can’t say and some serious shit goes down in the end but I can’t say.  What I can say is that this book is NEVER boring and that ending-DAMN!

It is DISGUSTINGLY clear that the 2016 election affected Shusterman because there are plenty of Trump metaphors.

The Thunderhead is an interesting character and reminded me of Google with a heaping cup of government splash of God.  The Thunderhead, like we’ve been taught in church, is always watching us-there are cameras everywhere.  Although it sees all of the good and bad, it can’t intervene and when bad things really happen it cries.  This was an interesting theme because the Thunderhead is basically a computer but it has feelings.  This series is extremely approachable to teens because it’s good vs evil and moments of violence but there are some pretty strong themes under the surface.  Acceptance, free will, judge and jury, and mortality-if a short life has been eliminated, does life have meaning?

This book was a perfect score until about 75% in.  It started to get a little too bananas.  It was entertaining and shocking but I felt it was a bit too ridiculous. There was one moment between the villains that bothered me and I’ll explain in the spoiler section. With that being said, I liked Anastasia and all the other characters; Shusterman’s world building is clear and concise; and the story was never predictable.  I enjoyed it immensly, I just wish the ending wasn’t so…So upon a few weeks of reflection, I decided to up my initial rating of 4.5.  The ending was shocking and I didn’t know how to process it but I’ve decided that the ending had to happen.

Bang Bang Rating: bang

FIRST BANG OF 2018!!!!!