LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff
The dialogues are mostly street slang but the book is also jazzed with something lyrical here and there.
Alliterations: “Because beneath the bravado and bluster...”, “whispering winds”, “grit and glass”
Rhymes: “dust and rust”, “stronger together, together, forever”
The ghetto talk and the poetic prose meld impeccably on the pages, creating an exquisite flavor unique to the book. Not bad for my first Jay Kristoff book.
Eve as a main character is at the middle of my likability meter. She is a hardworker, a loyal friend and a filial grandaughter but she can only do so much with the plot given to her. Her main motive in the book is to run away from various people chasing her and at the same time, find out the truth about herself despite the fuzzy memories and the lies of some people around her. Her personality is badass but all serious-like. I like the personality of her bestfriend Lemon Fresh better. The love interest Ezekiel has the personality of a robot, as he literally is, with a boring must-protect-Eve-at-all-costs role. The villains are yet to be villainous. And who are the actual villains here? The rebelling robots? The CorpStates? Still a lot of dancing around, cat-and-mouse style, which is understandable since it’s just the first book.
At the beginning Eve is a Domefighter which is like a gladiator fighting inside a human-operated machina with a wide live audience, betting and bookies involved. Something that happened in the WarDome and later something that Eve found in the streets made a cult and a street crew come after her armed to the teeth. And then a war-freak android comes knocking down her door hellbent on either kidnapping or murdering her. All of these lead to Eve and crew running away for the most part of the book until they accidentally get swallowed by a giant kraken under the polluted sea, where Eve experienced a lot of flashbacks. Ugh, too much flashbacks for my taste. I was actually having headaches along with Eve, true cert’. And then after that, moooore chase scenes!
The plot is in non-stop frenetic motion that it gets tired and boring after a while. I was literally droning on with absent-minded reading and was able to only jolt awake upon the climax. The book draws a lot of parallels with Pinnochio, with its characters obviously being versions of the characters in the beloved fairy tale. The book has its own surprises but if you are too familiar with the inspiration, you will almost get spoiled.
Will I read the sequel:
Yes, because I like Jay Kristoff’s writing. Plus, there are still a lot of characters that we are yet to meet in flesh (in metal?). And there is something about Lemon Fresh and the way she always touches her her five-leaf clover necklace that tells me she will have her own origin story in due time. Plus the book ended in uncertain terms on how Eve processed and handled the truth that she found out. She seemed to be allying herself with the same characters chasing her before. Hmm, interesting.
- impeccable melding of slang and poetic prose
- plot-driven, non-stop action