The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson (2011)

It was always Kara, Jenna, and me. Or at least it seemed that way. We were only friends for a year and a half before the accident, but for me it was a lifetime. We were instantly bonded. Maybe it was because it came at a turning point in our lives-just the right window where our worlds were all aligned, all needing something, maybe just the same thing, maybe one another. We lifted one another up. Strengthened one another. We held hands. We crossed a line. We made one another braver (p 15).

Two hundred and sixty years in the future, Kara and Locke are given new, illegal bodies by Dr. Gatsbro who is exploiting them for profit. In bodies that will last over four hundred years and in a United States divided along ideological lines and not geographic boundaries, Kara and Locke escape to California in search of their only living acquaintance, Jenna Fox.

But two hundred sixty years inside a digital world has changed Kara. She is unstable and disconnected. When the two are separated on their journey, Locke becomes anxious, certain Kara is seeking revenge. Hunted by Dr. Gatsbro and desperate to reach Jenna before Kara, Locke finds allies in a taxi driver robot with a soul and a windowed revolutionary.

The Fox Inheritance explores several themes: the meaning of humanity, friendship, the role of memory in creating reality, and technology’s role in defining our world but fails to match its predecessor’s readability. Locke’s first person narration is overly explanatory, the pacing uneven, and the world building incomplete. More fascinating aspects of the story, like Dr. Gatsbro’s alterations to Locke’s body, were neglected.

I am grateful Jenna didn’t act like a teenager while Locke was clearly still a teen, mentally. Pearson also successfully captured and projected the despair of isolation and imprisonment. I felt positively claustrophobic at some points.

Read other reviews:
A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy
Karin’s Book Nook
Tales of the Ravenous Reader

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