The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson

Source: Shelf Awareness
Paperback, 320 pages
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The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson is the sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox (my review), a book you should read before you read this review because it could contain spoilers.

It is 260 years into the future and Locke and Kara are awakened in new bodies, but with all of their memories from their 17 years as teens.  Their time in the black boxes was tortuous with only their memories of the good and bad to comfort them, but Locke and Kara managed to create a bond that surpasses human understanding — whether it is telepathy or just super-intuition.  Mostly told from Locke’s point of view, readers get a sense of his ease at the Gatsbro estate and the unease that Kara feels when asked to act as a trained monkey.  Gatsbro claims to be a savior, but because he is so cloying, readers will sense there is more to the story.  A final realization sets Kara and Locke out into a world they do not understand, and seeking the one person they know to be alive from their time as humans — Jenna Fox.

“I watched her change.  Right then.  Like veined marble was traveling up her legs, across her lap, up to her shoulders, stiffening her neck and finally covering her face, leaving a cracked version of who she once was.” (page 16 ARC)

Once again Pearson explores the ethical questions of biotechnology, but also the questions about what makes us human and how much of our flesh and minds is necessary for us to remain human.  And can we be human just by saving human flesh and the memories in our minds?  Or is there more — something less tangible that cannot be preserved beyond death?  Locke is a sympathetic character who struggles with trust and guilt, while Kara seems to be a shadow of her former self — one that struggles to remain who she was, but also adapt to the new world she finds herself in.  Pearson carefully demonstrates how Kara is the same and how she is different through expressions, looks, and other cues, and in the same way, she illustrates the differences Locke finds in himself and how he is still human.

The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson is a strong second book in a trilogy and while exciting and deeper than most young adult novels with its ethical questions, it lacked some of the mystery in the first book.  With that said, the novel does continue to raise questions about what it means to be human and at what point machines can become seemingly human — having dreams and goals outside of their programming.  Highly enjoyable if readers are looking for some down-to-earth science fiction, with high tech effects explained in layman’s terms.

About the Author:

Mary E. Pearson is an American author of young-adult fiction. Her book A Room on Lorelei Street won the 2006 Golden Kite Award for fiction.

Mailbox Monday #143 & BBAW Welcome

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch.  This month our host is Amused by Books.  Kristi of The Story Siren continues to sponsor her In My Mailbox meme.  Both of these memes allow bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received this week:

1. Little Black Dress by Susan McBride, which I won from The Girl in the Ghetto.

2. The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove by Susan Gregg Gilmore, which I won from Booking Mama

3. The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson from Shelf Awareness.

What did you receive this week?

Today is also the first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, so be aware that there will be multiple posts from me this week, which we all know is not the norm. Please click on the button to find out this week’s daily topics.

I’d like to talk a little bit about community. Online communities like that of the book blogging community inevitably grow, but in our case, we’ve grown exponentially. There are so many great people from real life friends who blog together, people who became friends and work together on a variety of projects, to those of us who have never met in person.

While Dewey of The Hidden Side of a Leaf encouraged me to keep with my blog and spread the poetry love, the rest of you have kept me going through the years. While I haven’t met everyone in the community, not have I seen your blog before, just knowing you are there is a comfort to me.

I encourage people to leave your blog link in the comments, and I will try to visit and comment if I haven’t done either before. Thanks again to everyone.

Today’s giveaway is for Operation Blue Light by Philip Chabot and Laurie Anne Blanchard.

You must be a blogger to enter and you must leave a link to your blog. Open Internationally and deadline is Sept. 16, 2011, at 11:59PM EST.