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LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike)

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LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike)
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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.
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Overview
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.
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Product Details
Sales Rank:
99,999,999
Pages:
416
Publication Date:
05/29/2018
ISBN13:
9781524713935
Product Dimensions:
5.81(w) x 8.50(h) x1.19(d)
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
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About the Author
Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES, and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards and an ABIA, was a nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, has been named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books lists, and is published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6'7" and has approximately 13,030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife and the world's laziest Jack Russell. He does not believe in happy endings. Follow Jay: jaykristoff.com or @misterkristoff.
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Read an Excerpt

Almost everybody called her Eve.

 

At first glance, you might’ve missed her. She wouldn’t have minded much. Hunched on the shoulder of a metal giant, she was just a silhouette amid the hiss and hum and halos of glittering sparks. She was tall, a little gangly, boots too big and cargos too tight. Sun-bleached blond hair was undercut into an impressive fauxhawk. Her sharp cheekbones were smudged with grease, illuminated by the cutting torch in her hands. She was seventeen years old, but she looked older still. Just like everything around her.

 

A black metal sphere sat in the socket where her right eye should’ve been. Six silicon chips were plugged behind her right ear, and a long oval of artificial flesh ran from her temple to the base of her skull. The implant obviously wasn’t made for her--the skin tone was a little too pale to match her complexion.

 

It was just about the right shape for a nasty exit wound.

 

“Testing, testing . . . y’all hear me out there?”

 

The girl almost everyone called Eve clamped a screwdriver between her teeth, glanced at the monitors across from her work pit. A high-def image showed the arena above her head, three hundred meters wide, littered with scorched barricades and the rusting hulks of previous competitors. The EmCee stood in the spotlight, wearing a sequined jacket and a matching bowler hat. There was no need for a mic. Her voice fed directly to the PA via implants in her teeth.

 

“Juves and juvettes!” she cried. “Scenekillers and wageslaves, welcome . . . to WarDome!”

 

The crowd roared. Thousands of them clinging like limpets to the Dome’s bars, humming, thrumming, feet all a-drumming. Most were the worse for stims or a bellyful of home brew, drunker still at the thought of the carnage to come. Their vibrations sank into Eve’s bones, and she couldn’t help but smile. Tasting her fear and swallowing it whole.

 

“Showtime,” she whispered.

 

“In the blue zone,” cried the EmCee, “the condemned! A fritzer, fresh from the border of the Glass, with the murder of seventy-two accredited citizens on its head. Brought here tonight for a taste of oldskool justice! All y’all give this fug a warm and fuzzy Dregs welcome. Some volume, if you please . . . for GL-417!”

 

Blue floodlights arced at the Dome’s north end, and the floor panels rolled away. A hulking lump of robotic menace rose into view amid a hail of spit and jeers. Eve’s insides turned slippery cold at the sight on her monitor. Her cutting torch wavered in her hands.

 

Hard to swallow your fear with no spit, isn’t it?

 

The robot in the blue zone loomed ten meters high. Bulky as a battleship, it looked like a high-speed collision between an earthmover and some armored knight from the history virtch. It was a heavy-combat model, Goliath-class, and the thought of a bot that lethal throwing down under the Dome lights sent punters lunging for their pockets and bookies scrambling for their tabs.

 

This was going to be a fight. . . .

 

“This is going to be a massacre,” said a tinny voice in Eve’s left ear.

 

Ignoring the warning, she finished her welding, her dark goggles held up to what she thought of as her good eye. Talking true, the glossy black optical implant that replaced her right peeper saw better than her real one--it had flare compensation, a telescopic zoom, low-light and thermal imaging. But it always gave her headaches. Whirred when she blinked. Itched when her nightmares woke her crying.

 

“How’s that, Cricket?” she shouted.

 

“Targeting only shows a 13.7 percent improvement.”

 

Cricket peered out at her from the pilot’s chair with his mismatched eyes. The little robot’s face couldn’t show expressions, but he wiggled the metal slivers that passed for his eyebrows to show his agitation. He was a homunculus of spare parts, forty centimeters tall, the color of rust. There was no symmetry to him at all. His optics were too big for his head, and his head was too big for his body. The heat sinks on his back and across his scalp looked like the spines of an animal from old history virtch. Porcupines, they used to call ’em.

 

“Well, it’s showtime, so it’ll have to do,” Eve replied. “That Goliath is big as a house, so it’s not like it’s gonna be tricky to hit.”

 

“This might sound stupid, but you could always back out of this, Evie.”

 

“Okay, now why would you think that’d sound stupid, Crick?”

 

“You know better than this.” Cricket scrambled down to the floor. “Shouldn’t even be throwing down in the Dome. Grandpa would blow a head gasket if he found out.”

 

“Who do you think taught me how to build bots in the first place?”

 

“You’re punching too far above your weight on this one. Acting a damn jackass.”

 

“Grandpa’s gonna wipe you if he hears you swear like that.”

 

Cricket placed one hand on his chest with mock solemnity. “I am as my maker intended.”

 

Eve laughed and scaled across to the cockpit. The fit was snug; her machina stood only six meters high, and there was barely enough room for her beside the viewscreens and control sleeves. Most of the machina competing in Dome bouts were salvaged infantry models, but Eve’s baby was Locust-class, built for lightning-quick assaults on fortified positions during the CorpState Wars. Humanoid in shape, what it lacked in bulk, it made up for in speed, and it was customized for bot wrecking--serrated claws on its left hand, a jet-boosted pickax on its right. Its armor was painted in a violent camo of black and luminous pink. Eve dropped into the pilot’s chair and shouted down to Cricket.

 

“Does my butt look big in this?”

 

“Do you want the truth?” the little bot replied.

 

“Do you want me to disable your voice box again?”

 

“Seriously, Evie, you shouldn’t go up there.”

 

“It’s an opening spot, Crick. We need the scratch. Badly.”

 

“Ever wonder why you got offered first swing against a bot that big?”

 

“Ever wonder why I keep calling you paranoid?”

 

Cricket placed his hand back on his chest. “I am as my maker--”

 

“Right, right.” Eve smiled lopsided, running through the start-up sequence. “Jump on the monitors, will you? I’ll need your eyes when we throw down.”

 

Eve was always amazed at how well the little robot sighed, given he didn’t have any lungs to exhale with.

 

“Never fear, Crick.” She slapped her machina’s hide. “No way a bot this beautiful is getting bricked by some fritzer. Not while I’m flying it.”

 

The voice piped up through the speaker in Eve’s ear. “Right. Have some faith, you little fug.”

 

“Aw, thanks, Lem.” Eve smiled.

 

“No problem. I can have all your stuff when you die, right?”

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Editorial Reviews
03/19/2018
Two years ago, Eve’s family was murdered, and she only barely survived, requiring cybernetic implants to restore her sight and memory. Now, she supports her ailing grandfather by piloting robot gladiators in the ruins of a devastated California, until everything goes wrong: she manifests a forbidden power to destroy technology with her mind, she rescues a “lifelike” robot, Ezekiel, during a salvage expedition, and the local gangs want her dead. On the run with her best friend, Lemon; a robotic protector, Cricket; and Ezekiel, Eve finds herself searching for the secrets of her past in a deadly postapocalyptic world, encountering everything from bioengineered kraken to an unstoppable murderous preacher. In one twist after another, Eve discovers that everything she knew may be a lie and the truth rests in whatever happened when her family died. Kristoff (the Illuminae Files, with Amie Kaufman) delivers a solid, fast-paced adventure in which well-drawn, resourceful characters struggle against the dangers of a vividly described world. The plot falters a bit due to the overuse of shocking revelations, but the stylized language and futuristic slang give the narrative voice extra zing. Ages 12–up. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (May)04/01/2018
Gr 9 Up—Eve is a 17-year-old girl living in a postapocalyptic world after a failed robot uprising. She spends her days working on fighting robots in an organized "robot wars" competition. The teen is on the run from gangsters and loan sharks while trying to care for her ailing grandfather. The memories of her past are murky; all she knows is that the robot uprising changed her life forever. After a particularly brutal robot war battle, Eve and her best friend Lemon Fresh discover a handsome android named Ezekiel in a pile of rubble. Ezekiel is a special android called a "LIFEL1K3" because they look exactly like humans. Much to their surprise, the android comes to life and starts to interact with them, despite the fact that androids have been outlawed since their unsuccessful attempt at taking over humankind. Ezekiel holds the truth to what really happened with the robot uprising and may hold the key to Eve's lost memories. Kristoff has crafted a fast-paced adventure full of energy and verve that will leave readers breathless. Fans of such popular sci-fi movies like Blade Runner and Mad Max: Fury Road will devour this series opener and will wait on the edge of their seats for the next installment. VERDICT A first purchase where fantasy titles thrive and for fans of Kristoff's "Illuminae Files."—Christopher Lassen, BookOps: The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library2018-03-05
A scrappy survivor learns dangerous secrets in an artificial intelligence-heavy "post-apocalyptic hellscape."In a devastated post-nuclear war North America where corporations reign supreme, radiation occasionally causes mutations, but the main impact is rampant cancer. What's left of Kalifornya is an island called Dregs, where white teen Eve pilots a machina in the WarDome arena against bots that have malfunctioned and broken the First Law of Robotics (harming a human) in order to earn enough to cover her grandfather's medication. When a match goes wrong and Eve is about to be killed, she lifts her hand and screams, causing the rogue robot to destruct—to her shock and everyone else's. Unfortunately for Eve, Brotherhood fanatics exterminate "abnorms" and "deviates," so she has to go on the run. She and her redheaded best friend, Lemon (a tiny girl with a big personality), find Ezekiel, an olive-skinned, blue-eyed "lifelike" (the most advanced androids ever made, but ones that broke free of robotic laws and slaughtered their creators). Hunted by multiple parties after the WarDome incident, Eve uncovers revelations about herself, thanks to Ezekiel, while also struggling to keep her loved ones alive. Between the worldbuilding, nonstop action, endless twists, and futuristic jargon, characters sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Refreshingly, romance and female friendship are given equal weight. Inventive and unexpected. (Science fiction. 12-adult)
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Customer Reviews (11)
LIFEL1K3 is a heart-pounding non-stop-action sci-fi novel with mul ...
LIFEL1K3 is a heart-pounding non-stop-action sci-fi novel with multiple unexpected plot twists and suspense-filled situations. The setting is the future where cyborgs, robots and androids are commonplace, The main character Eve has had a share of her own body modifications. After a near fatal gun shot to the head, she has had a series of chips inserted into her skull that help her remember her childhood. When I initially picked up the novel, I did not think I'd like it. I was afraid it would be too sci-fi for me. However, a few pages in, I was hooked. Eve and her sidekicks Lem, Kaiser and Cricket are likable, hilarious and just plain fun to watch. Thus, the novel has an engaging and interesting plot and a great cast of characters. I also loved the nod to the legend of the miraculously saved Romanov princess Anastasia. If you are not familiar with the story, the last Russian emperor, his wife and five children were brutally murdered and dumped in an abandoned mine in Siberia by the bolsheviks in 1918. Over the years, there were countless rumors that the youngest girl Anastasia miraculously survived and lived under an alias in the West. The last name of the main character in Kristoff's book - Monrova - is an anagram of Romanov. Her name is Ana - short for Anastasia. The father's name is Nicholas and he keeps referring to her as "Princess". The names of the other siblings also closely match the Romanovs': Olga (Olivia in the novel), Tatyana (Tania), Mary (Marie) and the boy Alexey (Alex in the book). Ana's childhood was spent in what she refers to as a modern-day palace. She was sheltered from the outside world and basked in luxury until a tragedy occurred that led to the murder of her entire family. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. 5 out of 5 stars. I received an e-ARC from Netgalley.
- Anonymous
May 29, 2018
My head is still spinning from all the revelations and twists in t ...
My head is still spinning from all the revelations and twists in the last part of this book - like being put in a blender and turned on puree. Think a big dose of Mad Max setting, a splash of Pacific Rim robots, and an overwhelming hint of Russia's royal Romanov family, and you'll have the feel of this book. From the first page, the world is dark, gritty, dangerous, and heartbreaking, and the pace is seriously mind-blowing. Eve may be the protagonist of this story, but Lemon Fresh steals nearly every scene and deserves a spin-off of her own, in my opinion. The supporting cast is one of the strongest I've read. The romance is sweet and powerful, but not a heavy presence, and for that I'm grateful. But, and this is just a personal peeve, if I had to read 'little logika' one more time, I probably would have smacked the closest person. If you're a YA sci-fi fan, I can't stress enough how much you need this book. One of the best I've read in this genre. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.
- tpolen
May 29, 2018
I’m at a loss for words on how to describe LIFEL1K3. It is a litt ...
I’m at a loss for words on how to describe LIFEL1K3. It is a little like The Wizard of Oz meets Pinocchio and runs away to iRobot, just to make it all the more different. Now Pinocchio is one of my least favorite stories but you add in Eve who battles huge megabot things in a gladiator pit, her bestest, a freckled up chick named Lemon Fresh, a little bot, Cricket, who tells her when something is a bad idea and a cyborg dog that could blow up any minute and really, why wouldn’t I love this story. “Look outside that door, and you will see a world built on metal backs. Held together by metal hands. And one day, those hands will close, Ana. And they will become fists.” Jay Kristoff became an auto-buy for me over the last year. The best thing is his imagination. I never know what new cool/horrible/fascinating thing he is going to come up with next. Plus the guy doesn’t do Mary Sue or Gary Stew. All of his characters are on the complex side of the spectrum and they do good things and bad things. Not one of them is the golden hero and every single character is going to make a mistake or two along the way and might not make it out of the story alive because of it. “Lawbreaker,” Lemon smirked. “Always had a thing for the badboys.” “Put it back in your pants, Miss Fresh,” Cricket growled. “What good will it do me in there?” Eve is easy to like immediately. She is a girl who has lost her entire family and so she’s gathered around her people and bots to make a new one. She is also fighting in the Wardome to buy meds for her grandpa…how can you not like a girl like that. But when a Lifel1k3 boy bot literally falls out of the sky, Eve’s life won’t be the same because he thinks she is Ana, the girl he’s been searching for over the last two years, and if he can find her, that means the others like him are coming too. Lifel1k3 has a great dystopian world with fun language changes and a feel all its own. I’ve never been to this world before. The character interactions and dialogue of the main group are fantastic and I adore that Eve and Lemon Fresh are there for each other through thick and thin….stronger together. I appreciated all the little details thrown into the story which added to all of the crazy world-building and how I could picture this world and all the wonderful and ugly in it. “Will you shut up?” Ezekiel bellowed. “Right after you pucker up and kiss my shiny metal man parts!” “You got no man parts, Crick!” Ana yelled. “Shiny or otherwise!” Action – check Cool Sidekicks – check Mysterious past – check, check Adorable Romance – check checkity check Danger around every corner – um…Yeah Crazy Plot Twist - OMG I can’t even. Once this got rolling, it was action packed and threw me for a loop. I never saw the end to this coming. I thought I had the big secret all figured out, but I wasn’t even close and my hat’s off to Mr. Kristoff for taking some chances and not going the easy route on this. I will definitely be first in line to pick up the sequel to LifeL1k3.
- Robin_Snyder
May 29, 2018
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LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike)
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LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike)
Pub. Date: 05/29/2018
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
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