Synopsis: 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. (Amazon)
Jay Kristoff wastes no time in DEV1AT3: the reader hits the ground running and there's barely a break until the end of this trilogy's second installment.
Picking up right where we left off in LIFEL1K3, the band of friends has split up and they all find themselves along different parts of the Yusay. Some are stranded on their own and forced to become partners with unlikely new “friends,” others are attempting to come together again, and one of them is determined to make a new path for herself.
The swiftness with which Eve went to the dark side felt off to me in book one, and it still rubs me the wrong way in book two. I know that this is a “girl” who has had her life dictated for her from the moment of her duplicitous creation, and she is entitled to feel resentment at that—even outright anger. But Eve took no shortcuts, she went from surprise and rage to outright evil-doing and a entered a bond with a group that want to destroy some of those that she held dear. It doesn't help that we don't spend a lot of time in Eve's mind in DEV1AT3, so it's not easy for me to even attempt to see things from her perspective. She's in the background, causing mayhem, and I see her through the betrayed eyes of those who are as shocked as me to see her murdering who are, for the most part, innocent bystanders in her quest.
And hot on her heels was Ezekiel with Preacher. Preacher has grown on me. He is a dastardly character, but an example of how one can still win you over through action and personality, through involvement into his way of being. I knew what he would do once he and Ezekiel reached the finish line, and still, I can't help but admire the resourcefulness of this man, terrible as it may be at times. As far as Ezekiel goes, a lot of the shine has been wiped from his eyes and they are opening up, he's growing, and it's good to see. Now, rather than driving himself forward for the mere sake of the love he feels for Ana, there are much bigger stakes to fight for and he knows it. This special snowflake is maturing.
My two favorite little ones continue to be Cricket and Lemon... Both of them, it the thick of the Brotherhood's circle were some of the best and most exciting scenes in this book, and I lived for them. Not only is the Brotherhood a perfect example of what happens when religious fanaticism goes a step too far and three steps around the wrong corner, but the fight that Lemon and her new crew put up against them is purely badass. These kids are gutsy, funny, full of life and ready to spit in your face if you try to keep them down. I am still sad about the loss in this new band, even though I didn't know this character for long, but that just goes to show how easily you fall for this cast.
Building up throughout DEV1AT3, the final chapters were nail-biters. The anxiety went up a few high notches, and I am still completely in limbo over what happened to some of these guys after that wild explosion may or may not have wiped out an entire settlement. Whenever you think you know how this plot is going to continue, whenever you start to see everyone get even close to reuniting, whenever anything seems to begin to be solved... You know nothing, everyone is torn apart again, and there are still so many pieces to gather before the full puzzle is completed.
If LIFELIK3 was intriguing, DEV1AT3 just takes things several steps further. At this point, I am not sure there are limits to the things that anyone is willing to do to get what they want, but I know that I want to find out.