Recommended: DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff

Publisher’s Description of DEV1AT3

In the wake of a climactic battle in the ruined city of Babel, two former best friends suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of the same quest. Eve is torn between the memories of the girl she was, and the synthetic she’s discovered herself to be. Together with her lifelike “siblings,” Eve sets out to find the real Ana Monrova, whose DNA is the key to building an army of lifelikes.

Meanwhile, Eve’s best friend, Lemon, is coming to terms with a power that she has long denied– and that others want to harness as a weapon. When she meets a strange boy named Grimm, he offers to lead her out of the horror-ridden landscape and to an enclave of other abnorms like herself. There, Lemon quickly finds a sense of belonging–and perhaps even love–among the other genetic deviates. But all is not what it seems, and with enemies and friends, heroes and villains wearing interchangeable faces, Lemon, too, will join the race to locate Ana Monrova before her former best friend can get to her.

Rebecca’s Thoughts

I’m picky about the sequels I read but thought the 1st book in the LIFEL1K3 series was as imaginative as it was action-packed. (You can read that review here.) It pulled me in for another 448-page romp through post-apocalyptic cities and barren desert with Jay Kristoff and his characters. I wasn’t disappointed.

Image via Goodreads.

Science fiction fans will appreciate Kristoff’s reinterpretation of Asimov’s 3 Law’s of Robotics, which he uses to underpin the conflict in this series. His characters include machines made to serve humans, humans—all sorts, including deviates with special abilities, and machines made to be better than humans. While LIFEL1K3 was primarily told from a human point-of-view, DEV1AT3 gives more time to the viewpoints of the machines. This allows Kristoff to explore more deeply their thoughts and choices, and the prejudice each faces at the hands of others. The correlation between this prejudice against the “other” in Kristoff’s dystopia and that in the world around us boils under the story’s surface.

At the surface level, I love Kristoff’s characters. Whether human or machine, they come alive with voice and personality. The world he builds is larger-than-life and the story’s action is out-sized enough to fill that world. Growing conflict and quick pacing make the story a page-turner.

What did I not like about this book? That because I read an advanced reader copy, the wait for book 3 will be really, really long.

Highly recommended!

I received an advanced reader copy of DEV1AT3 in exchange for an honest review.

DEV1AT3 will be released on June 25th. You can check it out on Goodreads, or pre-order via Indiebound, Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

If DEV1AT3 sounds like a book you’d like, you might be interested in other young adult spec fic books we’ve reviewed recently on the Winged Pen:

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The 2018 CYBILS Book Award Short List – a Wrap Up
Enchantée by Gita Trelease
Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton
Salt by Hannah Moscowitz

The review was originally posted on

Recommended: LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

Lifelike, Jay Kristoff, YA science fictionPublisher’s Description

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.

Rebecca’s Thoughts

Full of awesome future tech and kick-butt characters fighting their way out of one tight-corner after another, this book will keep your heart thumping fast and the pages turning! Each of the characters is grappling with their own secrets, ones that at times unite them to fight common enemies and later force them to question who they can trust. The slow reveal of the secrets makes the story a sci fi-adventure-mystery mash-up.  Kristoff writes secondary characters who you’ll want to befriend with voices that will keep you smiling.

Fun read! Highly recommended!

LIFEL1K3 will be released on May 29th. You can check it out on Goodreads or pre-order from Amazon Barnes & Noble or IndieBound.

I requested an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Need more book suggestions? If LIFEL1K3 sounds good, you might also like other young adult books discussed on The Winged Pen:

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
The Takedown by Corrie Wang

REBECCA J. ALLEN writes young adult science fiction with heroines much braver than she is and middle grade stories that blend mystery and adventure. She reviews young adult books, is a judge for the CYBILS YA Speculative Fiction book award and fangirls all things bookish. Find her on Twitter and Instagram, or on