30 January 2012

The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson


Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries. Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead. Everyone except Jenna Fox.
This is a very interesting choice in a sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I like how it chose to follow Kara and Locke instead of Jenna again because I’m not sure I could handle more strife and conflict in Jenna’s life. I really felt at the end of The Adoration of Jenna Fox that she was getting the peace she deserved, and I like to go on thinking that. I like even more how Locke and Kara are such different people, both from each other and from the people they were before the accident and the download storage. Both of them have been stuck inside the data cubes for centuries, but it affected them in different ways. Locke comes out hungry for life, wanting to experience everything that he can now that he can feel and sense again. Kara, on the other hand, was changed by her cube experience by becoming angry and bitter, and she wants nothing more than revenge. The two characters are good as foils for each other and written in such a way that they are both believable; even when Kara has her most crazy moments you can understand and sympathize with her. The plot follows the world Pearson built in the previous book, and the plot twists and issues that Locke and Kara face are different from what Jenna experienced but still feel realistic and not contrived. Although Kara is the driving force in the book she’s not always present, which allows Locke to develop a voice all his own. In fact, this voice develops so far that it is hard to figure out some of the other characters because we see them through the lens of Locke and his perceptions, and this filter sometimes stilts the development of other characters in a way that Jenna didn’t have in the first book. Locke’s voice, however, is worth listening to, and you should stick it out for the surprise action-filled ending.

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