Book Reviews

Book Review: Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

From the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Illuminae Files comes the first book in a new series that’s part Romeo and Juliet, part Terminator, and all adrenaline.
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.

Only last year did I dive all into Jay Kristoff and is writing. I fell in love with so many of his books so quickly, and knew that him and Amie Kaufmann would both be lifetime autobuys for me.

One series I haven’t started yet is LIFEL1K3, but that didn’t stop me from requesting TRUEL1F3 on NetGalley….

So as the countdown to release day comes closer, I’ll be reviewing all three books as I read them! I’m so excited to start this series.

After reading the synopsis I 100% do not understand what this series is about, what a lifelike is, or literally anything about it.

In fact, I was lost for the first 80 pages or so…there was just so much new information being thrown at me and I was confused. I almost put the book down multiple times because I didn’t understand anything that was happening and didn’t know why I should care about any of these people/robots/whatever.

Your past doesn’t make calls on your future. It doesn’t matter who you were. Only who you are.

But then it was like something finally clicked for me, and all the robotic language, odd speech, it all just made sense and I became immersed in the story.

This story is mostly told from the perspectives of Eve and Lemon Fresh (who is my red-headed soulmate) and I genuinely love these two girls. After a mishap with some deviate powers being broadcast, a kidnapped grandfather, and a mysterious lifelike showing up and calling Eve “Ana”, things get difficult for these two as they go on a journey of love, self-discovery, and a whole lot of crazy.

Here’s a breakdown of my new loves:

  • Eve – A seventeen-year-old girl, who lives with her grandfather in Tire Valley. She has a robotic eye and her head is equipped with memory chips, since she lost all her memories in the accident that killed her parents. She’s smart, resourceful, and loves with her whole heart.
  • Lemon – Eve’s best friend and not-temporary roommate. Her parents abandoned her outside a bar and was named “Lemon Fresh” after the box she was found in. She raised herself on the streets and has some serious secrets of her own
  • Cricket – An AI that Grandpa Silas made for Eve. He hates being called little, and although he has to follow the three laws, he loves his friends fiercely and would do anything for them.
  • Ezekiel – the lifelike. One of the lifelike‘s created by Nicholas Monrova, before the lifelike’s figured out how to break the three laws and brutally murdered the Monrova family. Ezekiel is hunting for the love that he lost and finding his place in the world. I’m still not sure how I feel about him. I love his banter with Lemon, but all his emotions are so fierce, and constantly reminds me that he is not human.

Wait…did you catch that last name? Monrova… Nicholas? Ana? My heart flipped when I read the Monrova family names Nicholas and his wife Alexis, and their five children: Olivia, Tania, Marie, Ana, and Alex.

If any of these names sound familiar its because they’re really similar to these names: Czar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their five children: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexi. Otherwise known as the family of the last Emperor of All Russia, the family that inspired countless tales and speculations, the Romanov’s!!!!!

Yup. Aspects of this story are loosely based/inspired by the life and final days of the Romanov family, and the way their story fits in to this post-apocalyptical sci-fi world is absolutely perfect. I’ve been obsessed with the last czar of Russia and his family for as long as I can remember, and I was so excited to see their history woven into this story.


This story has TONS of twists (I mean its Kristoff, what would you expect?), and although I saw a few of them coming, I was still genuinely shocked with the way this book ended. It was such a great story and although I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, I really really loved this story.

If you haven’t read LIFEL1K3 yet, I highly recommend it!

And stay tuned next week for Part 2 of my LIFEL1K3 journey as I review DEV1AT3, followed by the final book, TRUEL1F3!

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