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An exhilarating futuristic dystopian with captivating worldbuilding, great characters, and a well-structured plot

Lifecast is a futuristic dystopian with such captivating and immersive worldbuilding I would often forget I was reading. Yeah, you heard that right.

This book did an incredible job painting a vivid, opulent, high-tech future world with well-placed details that made sense within its internal logic. Also, the naming schemes and futuristic slang weren't obnoxious. (If you read a lot of dystopian and sci-fi, you'll know this is a huge compliment.)

But what really made this book's execution shine was the author's writing style: Clear, crisp, and short of a few technical errors, astoundingly professional. It also had one of the most well-paced plots I've read in a long time. It moved quickly without disorienting you and incorporated relevant information without exposition-dumping. If this is the author's debut, he had me fooled! Opsal is one to watch, and I mean that whole-heartedly.

As for characters, Bear's dry wit and level-headed problem-solving were refreshing and believable. He was very to the point and observational, but honestly, I haven't read a book written in a first-person male perspective in forever, so I forgot how different it could be. Good different. As in, a welcome change of pace.

Aleks was also a well-rounded, three-dimensional character and for that reason, I think I would've liked even more dialogue with her, though she is very central to the story's plot. Her and Bear's relationship is so sweet and sincere and you root for them from the beginning to the end. I also really appreciated that it starts with them getting together and then builds from there, versus them coming to terms with their feelings throughout the story. Do you have any idea how rare that is in YA?

This book didn't just build a cool futuristic world; it grounded it in real people and relationships, which is how you truly succeed in worldbuilding. The dialogue always felt natural and each character had their own distinct way of talking and interacting with the world. The conflict got intense and kept me on the edge of my seat, but never felt hopeless or meanspirited. The parallels between this society and ours were poignant without being too on the nose. There's definitely a commentary there and it definitely makes you think, but it doesn't sacrifice good storytelling to prove a point.

And, of course... it ended on a cliffhanger and now I have to know what happens next.

Reviewed by

Freelance writer and content developer by day, blogger and aspiring author by night. However, my only professional goal has always been to make a living doing what I love most: reading and writing! At my core, I'm just a goof who loves a good story.


About the author

Marc Opsal is a native of Spokane, WA and graduated from Western Washington University. He currently lives in Pasadena, CA with his family. view profile

Published on February 02, 2022

Published by Goldshif Publishing

110000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Dystopian

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