Title: The Fox Inheritance
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Genre: YA dystopian fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook won in a giveaway at At Home With Books
Audiobook reader: Matthew Brown
First line: My hands close around the heavy drape, twisting it into a thick cord.
Two hundred sixty years after a devastating car accident, Locke and Kara are given new bodies, bodies that are just like their old ones – almost. Their minds were contained for all those decades in square boxes called environments, until technology and an unscrupulous scientist came along to reunite their minds with their newly created bodies. Locke and Kara have lost everything – the world has changed irrevocably, and their families and friends are all dead. All but the friend who meant the most to them – Jenna Fox.
I was surprised when I learned that Mary Pearson had written a sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox, as the book didn’t seem to need one. In fact, I found it refreshing to read a YA book that didn’t leave me hanging, waiting for the next book in the series. When I heard that she had written a sequel, I was a bit confused, at least until I read the blurb and realized that this is Locke’s and Kara’s story. Then I was intrigued.
This is dystopian fiction at its finest. The world that Locke and Kara have arrived in is very different than the one which they left. The United States has split into two countries. Mundane chores are done by bots. And there are more people out there like them – people made from Bio-Perfect, the material that was used to create their new bodies. Unfortunately, Locke and Kara don’t meet the standard set to determine who is an actual person, a standard named after their old friend, Jenna Fox.
Codes of medical ethics and the idea of human-ness – this novel lives at the place where these two themes intersect. The world-building is amazing, and Pearson does a fantastic job of making the reader question what it means to be a person. Dot, the bot that helps Locke and Kara on their quest to find Jenna, is a wonderful character – fully believable as a robot, but definitely more than machine.
While this is definitely a book about the world that exists in the future, it is still a character-driven novel. Locke and Kara embark on a quest to find Jenna – to find out why she didn’t rescue them 260 years ago when she was reanimated. Locke is hurt and confused – but more than that, he misses her. Kara, on the other hand, is angry. And Locke isn’t quite sure she is the same Kara that existed before the accident.
This is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction. I don’t think you absolutely have to have read The Adoration of Jenna Fox to understand it, but it will certainly enhance your enjoyment.
Audio notes: This is Locke’s story, and he is perfectly narrated by Matthew Brown. My only complaint is about the way he pronounced the name “Allys.” When reading the first book, I read the name as pronounced like “Alice,” but in this book, he pronounced it “alleys,” which seemed awkward.