Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you all well.
Well…for me, this week was the last full week of summer before school starts back. (And a related heads-up – I’m starting school next week, so for the next few months, I probably won’t be posting as much, depending on my workload.) But it was a good week, I’d say. I’m back from Florida now, and on Tuesday night, I went to my first live concert since before the pandemic! It was Wilco and Sleater-Kinney – we came for Wilco, and they were INCREDIBLE! Gah, hearing them play “Ashes of American Flags” was so beautiful…
Reading-wise, it was a bit of a hit-or-miss week – I had some great read, but some that were just decent or meh. I got to go to the comics shop this week too, and I picked up some good stuff from there too! And what are the chances…I SAW SOMEBODY IN THE PARKING LOT WITH AN AURORA RISING BUMPER STICKER
Also, moment of silence for the fact that the Runawayscomic ended…
Other than that, I’ve been slowly working my way through my sci-fi WIP, drawing, and getting everything ready for the start of school. It’ll be so good to actually see everybody in-person again…
Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles, and happy Autumn Equinox! 🍁
Two reviews of trilogy finales in one week? I’m in rare form…
Anyway, this is the last of my birthday book haul that I’ll be reviewing. TRUEL1F3 was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and with this novel, I can clearly say that Jay Kristoff has never once disappointed me (though I’ve yet to read The Nevernight Chronicle…) The Lifelike trilogy was a sci-fi series to be reckoned with, and it all came together for a third book that surpassed both books 1 and 2–and made me feel ALL the feels, trust me.
WARNING: This review likely contains spoilers for LIFEL1K3 and DEV1AT3, so if you haven’t read them and intend to, tread lightly!
Once, Eve and Lemon Fresh were the best of friends. But war and love, family and fate have torn them apart. Now, the destiny of the entire Yousay is in their hands.
Lemon has been captured by the BioMaas swarm, who are convinced that her Deviate genes hold the key to turning the tides of war in their favor. A rift has come between Eve and her Lifelike siblings, who are bent on unleashing a computer virus–one that will free every android and robot in the Yousay from the programming given to them by the humans. And despite everything that has come between them, joining forces once more may be what tips the balance between salvation and annihilation.
The simplest way for a book to get me choked up? Separate some of the main cast over the course of a book or two, and let them have a happy, tearful reunion after both parties thought the other was dead. (See The Battle for WondLa, “Frankenweenie,” etc.) It’s the little things, man, it’s the little things.
I was itching to find out what happens to my beloved gang of misfits ever since finishing DEV1AT3about a year back, but I truly didn’t expect the absolute masterpiece that book 3 would bring. TRUEL1F3 brings back every stellar aspect about the previous two novels, and brings them all together in a blazing fireworks display of a trilogy ender. I laughed, I cried, my eyes bugged out of my head…this novel made me run the emotional gamut, but in the best way possible.
In this end to the trilogy, Kristoff introduces a whole plethora of catastrophic twists and new aspects, especially to the post-apocalyptic android mythos, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The various family ties–be it true family or found family–are explored even more in depth. Even though it’s been nearly a year since finishing book 2, I was fully invested in everybody within the first few pages. (Also, the little recap/glossary/whatever you’d like to call it helped.) All of the varied, multifaceted cast had their time to shine, and shine they did, until the very last page.
Lemon and Cricket are still my favorites, and they were as wonderful as ever in this final book. Solomon and Abe are up there too, but…I’m thinking that Kristoff had a bit *too* much fun playing with our feelings in their department. (No spoilers, but…yikes, can anybody in this book get a rest? Jeez…) There’s no shortage of fascinating themes, from the morally gray to the role of AI in our lives. I loved the plotline with the virus–not only did it make for some great action, there’s some seriously tense psychological business that results from it as well. (Remember what I said about Kristoff having a bit too much fun?)
TRUL1F3 took me a little longer to read because I was still adjusting to online school, but that doesn’t mean that every page was positively action-packed. The tension is higher than ever, and Kristoff’s lush and fast-paced writing never fails to throw you right smack in the middle of the action, making you feel as if you’ve fallen into the Yousay yourself. The worldbuilding was as detailed and immersive as ever, making for a final book that I won’t forget anytime soon.
All of these elements made for a trilogy ender that I ate up every last page. It chokes me up to say goodbye to Eve, Lem, Cricket, and all the rest, but the Lifelike trilogy is one that I’ll never forget. 5 stars!
TRUEL1F3 is the final book in the Lifelike trilogy, preceded by LIFEL1K3 and DEV1AT3. Jay Kristoff is also the author of The Nevernight Chronicle, the Lotus Wars trilogy, and the forthcoming Empire of the Vampire (all of which are on my TBR). He has also co-authored The Illuminae Files and The Aurora Cycle with Amie Kaufman.
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
Happy Friday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you all well.
I received several eARCs from Edelweiss last week, and now that I’m finished with my library haul, I’ve steadily been working my way through them. (Expect a few reviews in the future!) This was the first of the three that I read, and though it certainly wasn’t a perfect book, it was a lot of fun–and there’s great representation, too!
Dani and Eden are your typical sisters. Sometimes they’re close, sometimes they fight, but they can always count on each other to keep each other’s secrets.
Secrets like the family job: dragon slaying.
Dani, recently graduated from high school, looks to begin her training in dragon slaying, already displaying prodigal talents. But when she discovers a dragon in the woods, she realizes that the beliefs that she and her family have held for generations may be turned on their heads. Nox–and the rest of the dragon species–is in danger, and his bond with Dani may be the saving grace of his kind.
Meanwhile, Eden is determined to get her sister back on the side of the Sorcerers and their dragon-slayer allies, and she’ll do anything to track Dani down…
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and HMH Books for Young Readers for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Fire With Fire was certainly a solid fantasy! Though there were several elements that left a little to be desired, this one boasts great representation, realistic characters, and a variety of complex character arcs!
Let’s start off with the representation, because frankly, IT GOT ME SO EXCITED. Dani is mixed-race (half white, half Latinx) and bisexual; having a protagonist like her, blazing trails and allying with dragons, just filled me with immeasurable joy. So a heartfelt thank you to Soria for that! 💗
Going off of that, Soria’s cast of characters was one of my favorite aspects of Fire With Fire. Dani was such a strong, independent protagonist, and I loved all the banter between her and Nox. There’s a wide cast of side characters, and though a good portion of the dialogue felt stilted at times, they all have great chemistry. Eden was the perfect character that you love to hate, and her negative character arc was a bright spot in the novel for me. Personally, I would’ve liked to see her go *completely* to the dark side, but it’s nice that she and Dani had a happy ending and mended their broken relationship.
The worldbuilding department could have used a bit of polishing up, however. There’s some established enmity/history between the sorcerers, dragon slayers, and the dragons themselves, but I feel like there wasn’t enough information to make it feel immersive. It was a good start, but there were places where it could have been fleshed out. But I loved the design of the dragons! All of the lore behind them was fascinating, and they certainly had a creative role in the story. Gotta love Nox.
Like the worldbuilding, the romantic subplot definitely felt rushed. Her and Kieran’s relationship also needed some fleshing out…or some rehashing all together, personally. Mostly due to the fact that Kieran’s…well, he’s a 200 year old sorcerer who still looks 20 (because magic), and Dani’s barely out of high school. So that’s definitely…questionable. Kind of uncomfy. Not ideal.
It was a little bit tricky to keep track of the POV breaks between Eden and Dani (they sometimes occurred in the middle of the chapter), but for all I know, it might change when the finalized novel is released. The plot–particularly the roles of Calla and the other sorcerers–was very predictable, but it was a fun, magical thrill ride all the way through. And with the open way in which it ended, it could be a standalone or the start to a series. I’m suspecting the former, but I wouldn’t say no to more of Dani and Nox kicking butt and setting things on fire.
All in all, a fantasy that was lacking in authentic dialogue and worldbuilding, but (mostly) made up for it with action, characters, and representation. 3.5 stars!
Expected release date: June 8, 2021
I can’t listen to the chorus without immediately wanting to dance, or at least nod my head…
That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I’m finally back on my semi-regular schedule after finals week, and now it’s finally summer! REJOICE!
Other than that, my week’s been alright. Besides my return to blogging, I’ve been doing a lot of drawing, I got to re-read a good book that I haven’t picked up in a few years, I listened to a lot of good music, and I also watched Pan’s Labyrinth. [gross sobbing] The weather’s been warming up, and even though we’re still inside, it’s shaping up to be a good summer, I think. Plus, not one, but TWO of my library holds came in yesterday, so I think next week should be a productive reading week as well! (And, I got two people to read Aurora Rising, so that’s always a success.)