Book Review: DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff

Book Review: DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff

Published June 2019 by Alfred K Knopf Books For Young Readers|448 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Lifelike #2

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Lemon Fresh has seen better days.

After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.

Honestly, I don’t know what I think about this book.  I felt the same about the first book in this series, and that continued with this book.

I liked Lemon Fresh, and she has an interesting time in this book.  It was the same with Cricket, but I didn’t really care about what happened with Eve.  It was interesting to see how the groups that Cricket and Lemon Fresh ended up had so many connections to each other.  Personally, I wish we saw more of that but with how things went with Lemon Fresh, I’m not that surprised we didn’t.  And I did feel for Lemon Fresh, because I wanted a different story for her.

I think Lemon Fresh was my favorite to follow.  Hers is the one I remember more, though Cricket had his own challenges.  I felt like we didn’t get enough of Eve for me to have strong feelings either way.

I know people love Jay Kristoff, and this series, but I had a really hard time getting through this book.  I could only read a couple chapters at a time before needing to put it down and do something else.  I felt like it took me forever to get through this book.  I struggled to get through Lifelike when I tried to re-read before this one, and I remember having a hard time getting through it when I read Lifelike for book club ages ago.

I think I read this one because I wanted to know what happened next.  For some reason, Eve’s family made me think of the Romanov’s, and how people think Anastasia survived her family’s execution.  Part of me is wondering if it’s just coincidence, or if there is some inspiration there.  Either way, I wanted more about that, and it didn’t happen.  Which is fine, because I’m glad we followed Lemon Fresh and Cricket.  Still, I would have liked a chapter or two from Eve’s perspective.

Both Lemon Fresh and Cricket narrate, but it didn’t really work for me.  I thought it was confusing and their chapters sounded exactly the same.  It took a while to figure out who was narrating, and by the time I got settled into who was narrating, it switched, and I’d start the process all over again.  Maybe I’m just really used to books where it’s obvious who’s narrating.

I’m not sure if I’m going to going to finish the series.  Part of me does want to know what happens next, but I don’t know that I’m invested enough to keep going.  It’s an interesting world, and I wish we knew more about what life was like before this world started, and what life is like everywhere else.  It seems pretty contained to a Southern California-type area, at least from what I can gather from the map.  So it makes me wonder what it’s like everywhere else in the U.S.

2 stars.  Overall, Deviate is just okay.  I really liked Lemon Fresh’s story, but I don’t know if it’s enough to keep me reading.

Book Review: Likel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Book: Likel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Published May 2018 by Knopf Books For Young Readers|402 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Likelike #1

Genre: YA Sci Fi

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.

I’m not sure what to think about Likelike.  I read this one because it was this month’s book club pick, and I get why people like Jay Kristoff.  I don’t know that I would have picked up Likelike if it were not for book club, but it’s different.

At first, I had a hard time getting into.  Partly because of the…terminology I guess.  It’s my least favorite thing about sci-fi, and I generally don’t read a lot of sci-fi focusing on robots.  Not only that, but I had a hard time keeping up with who was who, and I had to read the first few chapters a few times just to figure out who the characters were and what was going on, because I wasn’t getting it.  It could have been me, it could have been the book, but that is neither here nor there.

It also felt painfully slow, and the memories that Eve had were kind of disjarring.  I mean, you knew she was remembering things, and there are some secrets that should have stayed secret.  This is a dark book, and it is definitely not for everyone.  I don’t know if his books are ones I would like- there were things I really liked about this one, but I also don’t know what to think about it.  Between this one and Illuminae, which I couldn’t finish because the formatting drove me up a wall, I don’t think I’ll seek out one of his books.  I’d give it a try if it were for book club, maybe, but on my own?  Probably not.

I liked the plot twist (as obvious as it was), and I like the premise of the story.  I liked the world that Eve lived in, and it’s a futuristic wasteland.  I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it, and it is different than a lot of the other sci-fi I’ve read.  It stands out, and in a good way.  If you’re looking for something unique and that doesn’t shy away from the dark side, this is the book for you.  There is no happy ending, but I’m oddly fine with that.  I had the feeling it wouldn’t have a happy ending, and it seems like happy endings are not his thing.

Also, I don’t read a lot of sci-fi.  Well, something so strongly sci-fi.  Set in space, yes.  Dystopia, definitely yes.  Maybe sci-fi that’s not super-technical, but something like this?  Usually not.  Maybe it’s just not my thing.

Anyway, I did like the world he built.  It’s vivid, and I could picture things so clearly.  Honestly, while I’m not sure what to think about this book in book form, I’d probably watch the hell out of a movie or tv show based on Lifelike.  I’m pretty sure it would be interesting to watch, and all of a sudden, I’m thinking that this is one of those books that I’d like far better on screen than in print.  Or maybe, I’d like it better as an audio book, but I’m not sure if that’s something I’m interested in doing.

I feel like I’m making no sense at all with this review.  My thoughts are all over this place for this one, and I can’t seem to get them organized.  Or in a way that’s cohesive and makes sense.  I think it’s time to move on, because I have no idea where I’m going with this.

My Rating:  So, I’m not actually going to rate this one.  Well, not yet.  I have no idea what to rate it because I have no idea how I really feel about it.  So for now, Likelike gets no rating.