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BOOK REVIEW: Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

| 30 August 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Allen & Unwin
May 2018
Paperback, $19.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Young Adult / Science Fiction


The Three Laws of Robotics
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

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.


By all rights this should be one of my favourite books of the year. I really enjoy other works I’ve read by the author, like Nevernight and the Illuminae Files, and I definitely lean more heavily towards science fiction than fantasy.

What with the snark, various types of artificial beings including a little robot who brings to mind images of Grrr from Invader Zim, exploration of Asimov’s three laws, a post-apocalyptic landscape, uncanny valleys, a family whose name is an anagram for Romanov, and the USA being referred to as “YOUSAY”… there is so much here to love. Technically. 

And yet, for this reader there was a certain kind of disconnect with the characters.

The writing lacked emotion, and instead seemed to be following a formula, rather than unfolding organically.

Towards the end there were some interesting twists and the pace definitely picked up as the story progressed. It will be worth checking the rest of the series out to see how everything unfolds, but hopefully they will carry a little more emotion.

All in all this had a lot of good, interesting, and fun elements, though readers who are well-versed in the genre are likely to find themselves a little underwhelmed.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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