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Publisher's Summary

From the coauthor of the New York Times best-selling 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.

©2018 Jay Kristoff (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

“A fast-paced adventure full of energy and verve that will leave readers breathless.” (School Library Journal)

“A solid, fast-paced adventure.” (Publishers Weekly)

“[An] action-packed thriller.... It’s the print love child of movies Mad Max and Tank Girl.” (Booklist)

“Inventive and unexpected.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike)

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A protagonist too hard to like and moral dilemmas I wasn't engaged by

I truly adore other material by Jay Kristoff, but I simply could not bring myself to like Eve or the story. An entirely ungrateful wretch wallowing in self-pity and loathing. And the world such that it is comes across as a parody or caricature of a post-apocalyptic world. No spoilers here, but the conclusion was incredibly unsatisfying after I fought through hoping for a payoff to balance the score.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing, funny & unexpected

Jay Kristoff ascended to my to 5 with Nevernight and he keeps getting better. Lifelike takes strands of stories we’ve heard before about robots, androids, humans, apocalypse and survival and deftly weaves something new.
I look forward to and dread what comes next.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A poorly written, flagrant, soapy fantasy.

The dialog is overly childish. The supposed future world is so unrealistic as to nearly parody movies like San Andreas, and 2012. The protagonist constantly references the twentieth century, in a world that seems so different from our own as to certify that the author has no knowledge of science whatsoever. Nada. This is obviously a far future world, with mountains of trash littering the entire Earth. Many centuries would be referenced here, not just the only one you can think of.

Add to that, the treatment of the titular Al is explored in some human dimensions, but I dare say there are deeper implications which the author was unable or too lazy to fathom.

Sometimes, I could close my eyes and imagine manga, or Pokemon scenes, It's not a space opera, yet it's soapy. There's a flippancy toward human and robo emotions, in a story that could have allowed them to shine.

To the author: try again, you're onto something that just badly needs a rewrite.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Fantastic book... except for the very end.

Loved every minute of the story except for the very end. Never before have I seen a worse final twist in any story ever. The entire story is so amazingly woven together, the pacing is great, and the action scenes are very vivid. Even the romance part was more realistic and managed to not make me cringe. The only thing I wasn't big on throughout the majority of the book was the length of the flashback sequences. They probably took up a good quarter of the book. It's mostly understandable considering how crucial they are to the story, but they really seemed to drag on at times. All of this goodness culminates in an ending that is so unreasonable that I can only describe it as pure trash. Garbage, detritus, sewage, excrement. This is how I feel about the "twist" ending. Makes absolutely zero sense in the context of the rest of the book, and it makes me wonder who greenlit this multiple times in the revision process. I pride myself on being able to trudge through a saga until the very end, just to give it a chance. I don't think, however, that I will be continuing with this series. This first book's ending was so bad, I don't want to read the other two entries in this godforsaken series when they come out. Honestly though, if you can put up with the defecate of an ending, it's a good book, otherwise I don't recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An amazing book must read

I don’t do The Who review and rating I’m very picky about what I read/ listen to I listen to books 10-13 hrs a day at work and this book was amazing it had twists and a immersive story...... and the ending oh the ending!!! Talk about a shocking plot twist!!!! For once a book had a ending I didn’t expect awesome book 10/10 if you like fantasy post apocalyptic etc... this is a book for you!!! Amazing I loved it

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tribute to pulpy post-apocalypse B-movie greatness

I can just picture the author hanging out with his friends, jawing on their favorite parts from dystopian sci-fi movies. I can imagine them look to him, cause he’s an author, and daring him to write a story crammed with as many cliches, characters, and one liners from as many of these movies as possible. And, Bam! Challenge accepted! This is not like his grimdark Nevernight series, nor his Lotus War feudal Japan fantasy series. This is a Frankensteined creation that takes familiar tropes and yet also delivers a unique, fun, and action packed adventure.

Embrace the pulp. Embrace the cheese. Look for the movie tributes. This feels a little anime, a little YA, and ix-nay on the imple-day. Repeated phrases become running gags, from the directly poached Thunderdome utterance “ain’t we a pair?” to “don’t call me little,” feeling like Barbwire’s “don’t call me babe” or Snake Pliskin’s “I thought you’d be taller.” While classics like Asimov’s Laws of Robotics, Romeo & Juliet, and Bladerunner are honored, the best send-ups are based on Johnny Mnemonic, of all things, from tech seen as a disease, to twisted religion (brothers with muttonchops and Kevlar cassocks, what?!), to the unkillable duster-wearing stalker called Preacher.

Erin Spencer is phenomenal narrating, Lemon Fresh alone makes this book credit worthy, plus Cricket, and I suppose our MC, Eve. Are there flaws and annoyances? Sure, but “it’s better to be shot for who you are than hugged for who you are not.” I don’t love the author for his neat, tidy, HEA stories (because, listener be warned, he compulsively avoids traditional HEAs); I want to shoot Kristoff for his arcs that surprise me and anger me and have me screaming “Noooo!” ... as I immediately get the next book and beg for more.

Contains occasional Fbombs, comic-level blood & guts mayhem, and a jagged, mostly HEA if you can survive the gut punches on the way to the end of this trilogy. Worth it!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Dystopian Twilight

It's very rare that I don't finish books but this is one of those times. I've made it about halfway through the book and am tired of it already. It started out strong with this interesting premise but then quickly devolved into Twilight territory. All these references to the main character's super-human love interest and how perfect he was, his sculpted body, his jaw line, his dimples, etc. And we get it from two sides as Eve's best friend Lemon Fresh is constantly mooning over him, too. It's bad teen romance in a dystopian future suit. I'm a big fan of Kristoff's Nevernight series and I'm at a loss as how he could go from such a strong series as that to something so insipid as this star-crossed boy-android-loves-teen-human tale of woe.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book

There was a lot of predictability in this book even though he does his best to head fake you. Does not matter, though, the over story was very well put together. Great imagery and character building. You will notice similarities to the likes of many popular sci fi movies but this story is a great all around sci fi listen and more than worth a credit. Top notch performance by Erin Spencer.

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    4 out of 5 stars

What the entire . . .

What did I just listen to? Why is this the ending of book one. If this were a physical book I'd throw it (but I need my phone). The last hour literally killed me. I am officially grief stricken. Do not attempt to contact me for the next 24 hours.

4.5 Stars (lost half a star because of the mental torture I'm currently in)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining

The book was a fun world and full of excitement. I liked it and enjoyed it and it definitely got me through work. The dialogue was a little cheesy at times but the world is so fun you get over it 😊