On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.
Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.
But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.
Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.
Hello everyone! While I will not be sharing my full review of LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff, I am sharing a short excerpt that is sure to get you hooked into reading the story. Hopefully I could share my thoughts about this magnificent book soon.
The Three Laws of Robotics
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
YOUR BODY IS NOT YOUR OWN.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
YOUR MIND IS NOT YOUR OWN.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
YOUR LIFE IS NOT YOUR OWN.
A machine with no intelligence of its own, operating on preprogrammed lines.
A machine that requires a human operator to function.
A machine with its own onboard intelligence, capable of independent action.
By the time they reached Tire Valley, the sun was almost peaking, and Eve’s fauxhawk was drooping with sweat. She gulped down some water with Lemon, poured the last of it on Kaiser’s head. The air around Cricket’s heat sinks was shimmering, his mismatched eyes filmed with dust. They stuck to the shade as best they could, marching in Dunlop, Michelin and Toyomoto shadows. Black rubber cliffs reaching up into a burning sky.
Grandpa had told her there were automata who worked in Dregs a long time ago, back when what was left of the Yousay still blew smoke about rebuilding. The bots divided most of the island into zones and carted different scrap to designated areas. So Dregs had a Neon Street, Engine Road, Tire Valley, and so on. Lemon had told her there was a cul-de-sac somewhere near Toaster Beach lined with nothing but battery-powered “martial aids”, but if it existed, Eve had never found it. For every big stretch of turf in Dregs, there was a gang who ran it. And the Fridge Street Crew were among the dirtiest.
“Grandpa’s gonna be so dark on me,” Eve sighed.
“Toldja.” Cricket shrugged his lopsided shoulders. “We shoulda gone straight home. Now what’ve we got? Some broken red tech in a bag and Fridge street lining up behind the Brotherhood to put a knife in your tenders.”
“This body will be worth it, Crick.”
“It’s worth a life stretch in a Daedalus factoryfarm.”
“Pfft.” Lemon shook her head. “How many CorpCops you seen round here lately?”
“Are you familiar with the first law of robotics, Miss Fresh?”
Lemon sighed, spoke by rote. “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”
“Correct. That includes standing with my hands down my pants while my mistress does things liable to get herself perished.”
“You’re not wearing pants, Crick.”
“Just sayin’. They oulawed those things for a damn reason.”
“Your concern is noted in the minutes, Mister Cricket,” Eve said. “But we got zero creds, and meds don’t buy themselves. So don’t tell Grandpa about it yet, okay?”
“Is that an order or a request?”
“Order,” Eve and Lemon said in unison.
The bot gave a small, metallic sigh.
They trudged on in silence. Eve ran her fingers over Kaiser’s back, pulled her hand back with a yelp as she discovered the blitzhund was scalding hot. Dragging off her poncho, she slung it over him to cut the glare. Kaiser wagged his tail, sink lolling from his mouth.
She’d seen an old history virtch about the Nuclear Winter theory once. All these scientists messing their panties about what’d happen when the fallout blotted out the sun after mass detonation. Seemed to her they should’ve spent more time worrying about what’d happen after, when all the CO2 and nitrogen and methane released by the blasts ripped a hole in the sky, and the UV-B rays waltzed right through the ozone and started frying humanity’s DNA. Abnorms and deviates had been popping up ever since. “Manifesting” was the polite term for it, but polite didn’t have much place in Dregs.
Of course, everyone had heard talk about deviates who could move things just by thinking on it, or even read minds, but Eve figured that was just spit and brown. Because as fizzy as “mutation” might have sounded in old Holywood flicks, most folks didn’t get super powers or Godzilla smiles or even great suntans in Dregs. They just got cancer. Lots and lots of cancer.
And the few folks who did get “Special”?
Well, the Brotherhood got them dead.
Excerpt (c) Jay Kristoff. 2018
Thanks to Rafael of The Royal Polar Bear Reads for letting me join the LIFEL1K3 blog tour! Follow his blog for more updates and possible future tours. *winks*
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