Review: Lifesphere INC: Acquisition by Talitha Kalago

    Hello, Germs! I have a love of science-fiction and fantasy, so when I pick out books, I tend to gravitate toward them.

    So today’s review is all about Lifesphere INC: Acquisition by Talitha Kalago.  The slightly anime-esque cover pulled me in while the genre and description (along with the price) convinced me to buy it.lifesphere1

    Lifesphere INC: Acquisition follows the story of Eli – an orphaned scavenger living in the Rim.  The story opens with a newscast about a meka, a creature that develops only after it gets a spark of human DNA, which makes every meka different.  The news story states that a meka is attacking an area of town, and they’re considering making the meka restricted to the orange citizenship class and above.  Eli doesn’t take the news well – a meka would be the only way he can get out of the Rim.  One of the people he works with mentions that they heard about someone selling meka.  Eli goes and looks through the Blueline (a step up from the Rim) and meets a young woman named Squall.  She advises him to stop looking, saying that it would be dangerous.  Once he finishes speaking with her, a man approaches him…tells him he can get Eli a meka.  For a deal.  That once the meka has hatched, it will have to fight. To the death.

    Stopping there before I spoil anything!

    What I Liked

    I think it’s more what I didn’t like for this book.  I really liked that the characters had actions that were basically age appropriate.  They made mistakes – which I think is really important for characters who are only thirteen.  Characters aren’t perfect, and younger characters would be more prone to making mistakes.

    I enjoyed that they behaved like teenagers as well.  Squall had a silly teenage crush on the pretty-boy antagonist.  Eli automatically didn’t like the pretty-boy antagonist because he screams topside.  Even after helping each other, they still weren’t friends.  The behavior was spot on for young teenagers.

    I absolutely love the concept for this story.  I really enjoy the idea of having a creature that is different because it has your DNA.  I like that humans and meka are linked in a psychic way.  It made me want to know how these creatures were created; it made me want to know their backstory.

    Also, I really liked the caste system.  The undercity, the Rim, the Blueline, topside…and up on top there are even more levels to the caste.  It adds another layer of complexity into the story.  Very nicely done.

    What I Didn’t Like as Much

    So, there’s a lot that I liked in this novel, but I found myself disliking how easy some things were resolved.  Eli needed to get an orange level citizenship.  No problem.  They got a backer, and it was resolved.  I wanted there to be more conflict there!  A lot of the main conflicts seemed to get tied up neatly with convenient solutions.

    My other main complaint is that the novel ended rather abruptly; there wasn’t much denouement or falling action.  The final fight scene ended, and then after a very small amount of falling action, the novel itself ended.  A little more resolution would have been nice. It’s something I have trouble with when writing as well, so I probably shouldn’t complain too loudly.  

    All in All…

    This is an excellent YA dystopian sci-fi novel.  I gave it 4 out of 5 on Amazon.com, and I would read it again. I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel to this book to come out.  It’s a quick read and has an engaging narrative.  I think that it would be good for those who are ages 12 and up.  If you like Pokemon and other anime series like Gurren Lagann, I think Lifesphere INC: Acquisition is for you!  It’s free on Amazon Kindle, so why not take a chance?

    If you have any questions, or if you’ve read the book and want to chat about it, comment below or shoot me an email at laura@germmagazine.com!

    image (c) Talitha Kalago

    crossposted on my personal blog.

    LL Lemke is from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. She loves writing science fiction and fantasy— or anything that is character driven. She still kind of wants to be a superhero or a ninja. She has a soft spot for villains in fiction.  She also loves reading (which is one reason she's Germ's indie book reviewer). Some favorites are Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, George RR Martin, JK Rowling... If she met any of them, she’s pretty sure she'd be completely unable to form coherent sentences. She is also a martial artist, with a 2nd degree black belt in taekwondo and currently training for her 3rd degree. She loves the martial arts almost as much as she loves writing. She enjoys incorporating the martial arts into her writing as well!  You can find her on tumblr and twitter, as well as visit her author page and blog.  Want to recommend an indie book for her to review?  Contact her at laura@germmagazine.com.

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