When I request ARCs, I always assume that I’m never going to be approved. (I’m very much an assume-the-worst-so-you-are-never-disappointed kind of person, which can be both good and bad. 😅) I definitely never expected to be approved for Jay Kristoff’s latest book, LIFEL1K3. But reader, when I was, I screamed a little. No joke. 😱❤️ Having heard tons of hype about this book, I was ready to drop everything and leap right into it. Part of me was afraid I would be disappointed. (I’m still having lots of ACOFAS feels, okay?) But this book blew my mind again and again and again. If you’re a sci-fi fan, get ready for an intense — and I mean edge-of-your-seat, heart-pounding, skin-tingling — ride.
Not sure what this book is about? You can find a short synopsis here!
What I Liked:
- This book is described as: “It’s Romeo and Juliet meets Mad Max meets X-Men, with a little bit of Blade Runner cheering from the sidelines.” And I have to say, that’s completely accurate. I would also add that there are hints of Pinocchio and Anastasia, too. And DEFINITELY a whole bunch of Westworld vibes. Basically, this book is a sci-fi dream that will overload your brain in the best possible way.
- The characters in this book are BAD. ASS. Especially Eve and Lemon Fresh. (Seriously, I can’t tell you how much I love Lemon. Let’s just say that I could wax poetic about her. 😁🍋) Each character was distinct and memorable, and I found myself feeling attached to all of them — even Preacher, and he’s a real piece of work.
- I’m crazy about the world that Kristoff has created. It’s a post-nuclear fallout version of the United States, and while some places sound familiar — like the Grande Ol’ Yousay, Kalifornya, Zona, and NeoMex — they resemble an entirely different world. I liked the inclusion of rival corporations BioMaas Incorporated and Daedalus Technologies, and how both are approaching innovation from different directions — the former focusing on biological development and enhancement, and the latter forging ahead with advanced forms of tech, like machina and logika.
- I was totally blown away by the twists and turns in this book. While I had my suspicions about some things, and I was able to predict one or two plot developments, the ending in particular left me stunned. Without revealing any spoilers, it will, without a doubt, leave you eager for the next installment in this series, because WOWWWWWWW. I did not see it coming. 😵
- While I’ve read the Illuminae Files series, which Kristoff co-wrote with Amie Kaufman, this is the first solo Kristoff book I’ve read. (I own Nevernight and Godsgrave but have yet to read them. Story of my life, guys.) His writing is fascinating, and honestly a joy to read. He completely inhabits this world, incorporating the lingo and terminology with enviable ease.
What I Disliked:
- I don’t think there was anything I really disliked. I will say that I didn’t feel as strongly about Ezekiel as I did about Eve and Lemon — or even Cricket or Kaiser. I wouldn’t necessarily call him bland, but he’s… less interesting to me? For a lifelike, it’s clear that he’s unique, and that he sets himself apart from the others. But he mostly seemed like a cookie-cutter, cute-boy love interest. 😟
I absolutely loved this book. It was a wild ride from start to finish, and I think it’s very well-written. Even if you’ve read the synopsis and thought to yourself, “Wow, this sounds familiar,” or, “This sounds like a story I’ve already read,” I encourage you to at least give it a shot. It might surprise you! For me, at least, it was a really entertaining sci-fi adventure that pays homage to many post-apocalyptic/AI/robot stories that have come before it.
Publication Date: May 29th
About the Author: Jay Kristoff
Other Books by This Author:
Illuminae (co-written with Amie Kaufman)
Gemina (co-written with Amie Kaufman)
Obsidio (co-written with Amie Kaufman)
**Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for providing me with a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.