Series: Lifelike #2
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on 2019-06-25
Length: 426 pages
Reviewing Kindle from Amazon
Reading Challenges: COYER All Year 2020, COYER Quarantine Edition
From bestselling author Jay Kristoff comes the second installment in the LIFEL1K3 trilogy--hailed by Marie Lu as "a breathless, action-packed exploration of what humanity really means."
In the wake of a climactic battle in the ruined city of Babel, two former best friends suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of the same quest. Eve is torn between the memories of the girl she was, and the synthetic she's discovered herself to be. Together with her lifelike "siblings," Eve sets out to find the real Ana Monrova, whose DNA is the key to building an army of lifelikes. Meanwhile, Eve's best friend, Lemon, is coming to terms with a power that she has long denied--and that others want to harness as a weapon. When she meets a strange boy named Grimm, he offers to lead her out of the horror-ridden landscape and to an enclave of other abnorms like herself. There, Lemon quickly finds a sense of belonging--and perhaps even love--among the other genetic deviates. But all is not what it seems, and with enemies and friends, heroes and villains wearing interchangeable faces, Lemon, too, will join the race to locate Ana Monrova before her former best friend can get to her.
Gah! Y’all I stayed up way too late to finish this book because I NEEDED to know what was going to happen. I knew a cliffhanger was coming, it wouldn’t be a Kristoff book without a horrific cliffhanger, but this cliffhanger destroyed me. If you’ve read book one, you’ll understand this next statement….it isn’t as bad as LIFEL1K3‘s cliffy, but it comes close 😉
DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff is the second book of the Lifelike series, and picks up just a few hours after the end of book one. If you haven’t read LIFEL1K3, there may be minor spoilers to it in this review. Read at your own risk. Our characters have been torn apart by the revelation that Eve isn’t who she thought she was. Eve is now with the lifelikes, Ezekiel has escaped with a radsick Lemon and the now warbot Cricket. Their circumstances and goals have changed drastically, but one thing is certain: rule number one of the scrap heap still stands: Stronger Together. Together Forever.
While book one focuses most of its energy into developing Eve, this book spends a lot of time on Lemon Fresh. I liked Lemon in the first book, but I fell in love with the spunky sidekick here. She is never the leader, always the follower, but after she’s kidnapped by a Biomass Hunter, Lemon is on her own. Now she must rely on more than her looks and charm. She has to use her brainmeats to escape and find a way back to her friends. However her conscience gets the better of her, and while in a Brotherhood run town, Lemon winds up rescuing two deviates like herself. This leads her down a new path where she may just discover who she really is. Lemon’s journey, which includes a kidnapping, near death, and finding new friends, really develops this character to a point that she is no longer just the sidekick. She’s a force to be reckoned with and tired of being left behind.
Ezekiel didn’t want to leave Lemon behind when Cricket’s battery died, however the girl couldn’t withstand the radiation of Babel and they needed a new battery if Cricket was going to continue with them. Making a promise to come back for her, he sets off. However when a distress call comes in from Lemon, Zeke is too far away to answer, and she’s gone when he gets back. Determined to find his new friend, Zeke makes a deal with the devil to get her back. Zeke’s storyline in this book shows the maturity that his brothers and sisters lack. As a lifelike, Ezekiel struggles with his emotions and his obsession with Ana. However after the shock of who Eve is wears off, Zeke is also coming to terms that he may just love both girls. I really enjoyed getting this lifelike’s point of view. We got a taste of it in book one, but this book gives us more. His loyalty and determination to rescue his friends endears him to the reader. I found myself rooting for him and hoping to see him come out on top.
And little Cricket….he’s not so little anymore after Silas’s last upgrade. Cricket finds himself in a world of trouble after his batteries die in the wastes outside Babel. When he awakens, he’s no longer with his trusted friends but being sold into the hands of the Brotherhood, a zealous cult who kills what they find impure. Forced to fight in the Wardome as their champion, Cricket begins questioning his the three rules that have bound him since he was created, especially knowing his friends are in trouble and there is nothing he can do to help them. I really love Cricket’s point of view! We are given an insight into what it feels like to be bound and ruled by the three laws of robotics. Cricket can’t defend himself if it will cause harm to another human, he can’t leave to rescue Lemon because he’s ordered to follow the Brotherhood. Cricket’s life is changing, and the little logika must learn to adapt or die trying.
While the three friends are working to find each other again, Eve has sided with the lifelikes, embracing the choices taken from her by her makers. Now she is on a mission to find the real Ana Monrova no matter the costs. The devastation she leaves in her wake calls her character into question. I can’t compare her to the character we met at the beginning of the series. She’s someone else entirely….and slightly terrifying.
Overall, if you haven’t already guessed, I love every word of this book! Kristoff has yet again blown me away with his immersive world-building, fully fleshed-out characters, and the gray area of morality that they live in. If you enjoy science fiction and true dystopia, you will love this book!