Bentley ★'s Reviews > LIFEL1K3

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: arc, favorites

See this review and more like it on!

This was the first full novel I've read by Jay Kristoff, and it certainly will not be my last.

I knew I liked the style he brought to Illuminae, Gemina and Obsidio, and I've been meaning to give his solo work a try, so when an advanced copy of Lifelike landed in my hands this weekend, I set aside everything I was doing just so I could dedicate myself to this. Which is probably a good thing, as it turns out this is a story that demands your attention from page one, and doesn't let up on the gas until the very end.

Pitched as Romeo meets Juliet, meets Mad Max, meets X-Men, with a little bit of Blade Runner thrown in for good measure, Lifelike is just as frenetic, character-driven and fast-paced as all the above descriptors would imply. Thematically, the story explores the usual sci/fi tropes - the meaning of life; a world devastated by violence, and artificial variants of humanity - but it does so with awesome characters and a breath of fire that made this book difficult to put down! 

One thing I've begun to learn is fairly indicative of a Jay Kristoff novel is his penchant for action filled sequences that are unflinching in their imagery and evocative of the action movie genre as a whole. This was no exception. The opening scenes alone establish this world as one of brutality and violence towards human and machine alike, and equally lights the fuse for that breakneck pace. 

The entire story takes place over the course of only a few days, which should tell you something about the pace of this book. While full of almost constant movement, this story is grounded by the strength of its characters and the unexpected places Kristoff explores along their journey.

All of the main cast of characters were fablous and instantly memorable characters. I especially loved the friendship between Eve and Lemon though. One thing I appreciated about their dynamic is that so often in YA stories, the "best friend" character is eventually sidelined into what is clearly a role of lesser import to the world at large. Kristoff pays special attention to Lemon throughout the course of the story, and it is clear that her role in later additions will only expand from here.

The development of all the characters is quite well done, particularly in how twisty so much of it is. There were aspects I called early on, but just as many aspects that totally blindsided me. One character's journey in particular really wowed me and made me anxious to get my hands on book 2! In a way, I think this book is as much an origin story for the villains as it is the heroes. It appears Kristoff has used this first book as a launching pad for a number of greater character moments set in this universe and I'm so excited to see where it goes next.

The worldbuilding is surprisingly tight too. In a lot of post-apocalyptic set stories, we the reader are privy to nothing except: "the world has ended," because in a lot of those stories the fact that it's ended at all is the most important aspect. Kristoff is a bit more ambitious and sets the bulk of the plot squarely between corporations vying for control of what resources remain in  the irradiated wasteland of  America, post-explosion, and also in the rise of artificial intelligence and the exploration of what it means to be human. 

That being said, I appreciate that in this story there's no true robot uprising. There are only a handful of Lifelikes (androids) in comparison to human beings, but their existence at all creates quite the quandary for the characters that is explored over the course of the story. It's a softer opening than one might expect for a story that thematically tackles the implications of artificial life.

I could go and and on about how I enjoyed this all day, but I think this is one book that really speaks for itself. If you're a fan of sci/fi or action driven stories, make sure you put this book on your reading list for 2018!

5 out of 5 stars!

Thank you Netgalley, Knopf Books for Young Readers and Public Random House for approving my request!
79 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read LIFEL1K3.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

April 25, 2018 – Shelved
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: arc
April 29, 2018 – Started Reading
April 30, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
April 30, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica This sounds pretty awesome! Fab review :)

Bentley ★ Jessica wrote: "This sounds pretty awesome! Fab review :)"

It definitely was!! This was my first Jay Kristoff novel and I can't wait for the next one! Thanks Jessica. :)

message 3: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda I'm getting a copy of this, keep seeing great reviews.

Bentley ★ Amanda wrote: "I'm getting a copy of this, keep seeing great reviews."

Awesome, Amanda! I hope you love it! It's great. ^_^

message 5: by Kat (new)

Kat Valentine Excellent review !!😉💖

back to top