Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: LIFEL1K3, #3
Page Count: 450
Publisher: Knopf Books
Original Publication Date: 2020
Genre(s): Young adult, Science fiction, Dystopia
War is coming — and there are too many sides to this war to count. After saving the citizens of New Bethlehem from nuclear destruction, the gang returns to Miss O’s to find Lemon Fresh gone. Diesel and Grimm, the “freaks” of the group, head to CityHive to rescue her. Cricket and Abe stay with the missiles. And Zeke, Solomon, and Faith head to rescue Eve and Gabe, who were taken by Deadalus, along with Ana. With everyone split up, loyalties in question, and War 5.0 on the horizon, nothing is certain — except capital T.
I am so biased when it comes to Jay Kristoff’s work. I just want to start this review off by admitting that I really don’t care about plot holes or the book being too slow/too fast or character arcs — I genuinely just read the books for pure enjoyment. Maybe that negates a review, but I’m going to write one anyway.
TRUEL1F3 is the finale to Kristoff’s LIFEL1K3 series, so if you haven’t read the first two books, get off this review and get reading! It picks up immediately after the events of DEV1AT3 — some of the gang is back together, while others have been abducted for not-so-pleasant torture. But then they all split up, and everything is in chaos, and they have to risk their lives to save the world. So, yeah, typical Kristoff finale. Though it took me a while to read, it wasn’t because the book was slow or uninteresting — I was just in a video game mood rather than a reading mood. The book is actually fairly fast paced and remains interesting throughout because there are so many separate storylines going on. Though I do love when the gang is together instead of apart…
There were some really good moments in this finale — the hero shit, the double-crosses, and even the character deaths. (C’mon, you know someone is going to die! It’s Jay Kristoff!) I even teared up a bit towards the end. And speaking of the end… I’ve seen some people call it a cop-out. I was a bit disappointed. I didn’t think it was a bad ending — in fact, I was fairy happy with it. But Evie’s character arc… I don’t know. A bit unbelievable, I guess. I like that Kristoff made it seem like Evie was the main character in book 1, but she never really felt like the main character in books 2 and 3. In my mine, Lemon is the main character. And I love Lemon’s arc and overall story. I wanted to like Eve so badly, but I really couldn’t stand her. And the way her story ends just seemed very convenient and uncharacteristic.
Other than that, no complaints. I’m sure there are aspects other people will dislike, but like I said in the beginning: pure enjoyment on my end. Love the story, love the characters (for the most part), love the world. It’s not my favorite Kristoff series, but I went into it thinking I would absolutely hate it, so coming out of it with so much enjoyment and love for the story makes me happy. Hopefully if you’re reading this review, you’ve read the entire series. But if by some chance you’re trying to decide whether or not to start it, I do recommend it, even though it’s not his best. It is a great sci-fi dystopian full of robots and wastelands and death, so if you’re into that, check it out.