Lifel1k3 (Lifelike)

Jay Kristoff

Lifel1k3 (Lifelike)
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Lifel1k3 (Lifelike)

Jay Kristoff

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.

Review

Lifel1k3 is the new dystopian thriller from the prolific Jay Kristoff and it is a non-stop, action-packed romp. The novel opens with Evie Carpenter (also know as Riotgrrl), a scavvergirl just trying to get by on the junkyard island known as Dregs. Her grandfather, and only living family member, Silas is sick – really sick. To pay for his medicine Evie secretly becomes a dome fighter in the WarDome, a gladiator-type arena in which humans in robot mechs (giant, mechanical battle suits) battle malfunctioning rogue robots for credits. This was working out okay for Evie until her own mech was smashed to smithereens and she lost all her credits to the bookies.

Down on her luck, Evie and her best friend Miss Lemon Fresh scheme other ways to make some quick cash to pay for Silas’s medicine. So, when they see an airship fall out of the sky they choose to investigate, hoping to scavenge something valuable from the wreckage to sell. Instead, they find a one-armed, outlawed Android named Ezekiel who has his own hidden agenda for tracking down Evie.

Lifel1k3 is one of the most fun YA novels I have read in a very long time. The world that Kristoff has created is immensely rich, full of colourful characters and vivid landscapes with twists and turns every step of the way. It has everything from mech battles to murderous cults, implanted memories and kids with mutant powers to sassy robots, doomed romance and 90s punk references. It is a wild ride and will have readers on the edge of their seats, desperate for a sequel. Ages 14+.


Alistair Mathieson Lynn works as a bookseller at Readings Malvern.

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