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by Jay Kristoff

Series: Lifel1k3 (3)

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253703,964 (4.13)1



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It is no secret I adore Jay Kristoff’s novels. I have two different tattoos containing his words, and his books remain among my all-time favorites. The final book in the LIFEL1K3 series ranked among my most anticipated books of 2020. Except, while TRUEL1F3 is a perfectly satisfactory ending to a fantastic series, I did not love it like I thought I would.

In many ways, it is a typical novel by Mr. Kristoff. He is not afraid to jump right to the worst-case scenario in any scene and does so here many times. He does this to show his characters’ true motivations and personalities, for it is within conflict a person’s true nature comes to the fore. In that regard, the series morphs from being about Eve, as in books one and two, to being about Lemon Fresh as a sidekick turned heroine in her own right. Frankly, I like her character more anyway, so this was a welcome change.

Still, I didn’t LOVE TRUEL1F3. The ending was a bit too…pat…for my taste. While there are battles and apocalyptic explosions, it is not as dark and therefore as emotionally wrought as his other novels. In his adult novels, his characters fight for every ounce of happiness. That isn’t quite true in his standalone young adult work. Even with his collaborations, you know that he is not afraid to sacrifice a character for a storyline. I never felt that any of the characters were in danger, and therein lies my issue with this final book. It is almost as if Mr. Kristoff played things too safe. I missed that edge, that fear that your favorite character might die on any page, and while you would mourn, you know the story is stronger because of that death. There was none of that here.

That being said, any Jay Kristoff novel is better than most of the other stuff published these days. He is probably the only author these days willing to place his novel in the middle of a radiation zone with easy access to nuclear weapons. I also love his sly criticism of modern-day priorities where in his world, they have the ability to build AI with the ability to feel emotions and genetically modify any living thing on the planet but cannot do anything about cleaning up and repairing the environment. Maybe it isn’t such a departure for him after all. ( )
  jmchshannon | Jul 13, 2020 |
Literary Merit: Great
Characterization: Fine
Recommend: Yes
Level: High school

A thrilling conclusion to this weird, speculative sci-fi trilogy. I had such high hopes for this trilogy, but while I love this author and the first book, I felt slightly let down by the second and this one. The cliffhanger ending of the previous book left me waiting on the edge of my seat, but that was too quickly resolved at the start of this final book. Our characters are back, but still more divided then the first where I enjoyed seeing their bonds and playing off each other. I didn't like the newer characters as much as the original group. However, this book still has plenty of surprises, twists, and shocking moments, along with the wry humor and fantastical sci-fi setting which make this trilogy still a stand out in the genre. If you like sci-fi, apocalyptic stories, robots, biotech, and exploring what ifs when it comes to advancing technology, the you'll enjoy this series. The characters are funny and the plot is constantly shifting to keep you reading to see what comes next. ( )
  SWONroyal | Jun 29, 2020 |
Thank you Netgalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for the ARC.

Now i can finally binge-reading the entire series.
  primordialnyx | Jun 24, 2020 |
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