Oooh this is a good one...
You know those books that you are hooked onto from page one, keep moving despite longish chapters, and just completely blow you away on the last page?
Yep that's what Lifel1k3 was like!
I just finished reading Lifel1k3 by the genius that is Jay Kristoff!
"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." - Harper Voyager
Oh my goodness guys this was something else.
Meet Eve, a girl who grew up in the ruins of what once was California. She spends her time in the WarDome, fighting robots, and trying to make money for a living with her best friend, Lemon. By her side is also a dog and her robotic logika - Cricket. One day, they find Ezekiel, a Lifelike: a robot that is very, very human-like. Ezekiel recognizes Eve as Ana, much to her surprise and confusion.
Then, all hell breaks loose as they are chased through cities, are held captive in a living ship, and have to tread through radioactive waste sites.
It's a little difficult to not give too much away, but I'll do my best.
I really loved this book - from the second chapter, I found myself to be drawn to the pages like I haven't been in quite a long time. It was incredibly cinematic, in all the good ways! The chapters weren't exactly short but since the plot was constantly moving, you didn't notice the usual drag of long chapters. (Creds to you for that, Jay!)
I thought that the post-apocalyptic world that Jay created was very well thought out - even the science. Not everyone thinks about the fact that a giant bomb in a sandy desert would create glass, or that anything with an intelligence above our own could potentially find ways to break rules... Even the fact that religious groups might be revolting against robots was brought into play, with I thought was well done!
Even the characters were rich and detailed. I liked each of them for different reasons and found myself to be emotional if anything bad happened to them. Ezekiel was... well... and angel, Eve was super cool (her memories were an amazing part!), Lemon was dynamic, Cricket was adorable... I really need to know what happens to everyone in book 2!
The lifelikes felt alive - their motives, emotions and wills were very human, even though some small aspects of them were more obviously programmed. It was a beautiful balance that I think would be difficult to master for authors not used to writing sci-fi. In fact, I'm very sure both based on Illuminae an on Lifel1k3 that he grew up on series like Star Trek - in Next Generation a character called Data is technically a lifelike robot, but has no emotions - this life 'goal' of sorts is to understand the human condition.
It's a book that makes you think about the future, and about the consequences of artificial ´superintelligence'. In fact, while reading this I kept remembering a book by that title - Superintelligence, by Nick Bostrom. It goes over the consequences of having superintelligent agents (Maybe Jay read this too?? It seems like he could have!).
Now there were some things that I didn't like, but that I understood. Ezekiel could be so cheesy at times, and Eve could be a little stubborn, but there were 100% reasons why. So I can't really complain about these little bits.
I'm keeping this review short and sweet to avoid spoilers! Overall I'm giving it a 5/5 feathers! It's been a long time since a book got me so hooked, and that left me so shaken!
Have you read Lifel1k3? What did you think of it? Let me know!