Title: The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #2)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (BYR), 2011
Genre: YA Dystopia, YA Science Fiction
After reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox, I was intrigued to see how the story continues. I knew from checking ahead that 260 years pass, and that the sequel involved Locke and Kara. I didn’t know how different it would be from the first book, though.
WARNING…THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, AS THIS IS SOMETHING UNAVOIDABLE. THERE IS A MYSTERY IN THE FIRSR BOOK, AND BY SECOND BOOK, IT HAS ALREADY BEEN DOSCOVERED. SO PLEASE, IF YOU PLAN ON READING THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, AND YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED, DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT, AND JUST GO AHEAD AND ASSUME MY REVIEW IS AWESOME AS USUAL. THANK YOU. 😉
Ok, now that that’s outta the way, let’s continue, shall we? (I always am able to avoid spoilers, but it’s kind of impossible when reviewing the second book in this particular series).
Jenna thought that she destroyed the files that held Kara and Locke captive in a virtual wasteland, but she did not count on Dr. Ash making copies. So Jenna Fox never knew that 260 years later, a scientist named Dr. Gatsbro would come across the copies and bring Kara and Locke back. But 260 years is a long time in the dark. Kara is different, and so is Locke. With BioPerfect, a much better version of BioGel from Fox Biosystems, Locke and Kara are better than ever. But Locke is troubled…did he spend too much time in the 6″ cube? Since he’s missing the vital “10%” that’s the standard, is he even really human? Or really even Locke?
When Dr. Gatsbro’s plans for the two of them become clear, Locke and Kara escape. But what’s left for them now? Their families have long ago past on, and there’s no one that they have a connection to. Except Jenna Fox. And after 260 years, Kara in particular wants answers…why did Jenna abandon them? Locke is hurt, too. Jenna was his best friend, so why would she leave the two of them behind? They don’t know that Jenna thought they were long gone. But Kara wants answers…and it seems like more. Perhaps Kara even wants revenge. All Locke wants is to see the face of the girl he’s loved for 260 years, and ask her why she forgot about him.
This book includes some really complex questions…is it ethical to mess with human biology? What makes us human in the first place anyway? As I read this book, through Locke’s sole perspective, it was troubling to think about. Though the suspense builds, you can kind of figure out what is going to happen eventually in this book, though I didn’t mind. The ending was definitely thrown together to lead to the final book, so it’s left very open. But I think this one lacked the spark that was in The Adoration of Jenna Fox. It’s definitely focused more on the world-building than it is on character, though we do get glimpses of Locke and his complex feelings for both girls. We learn a little about his background, but learn practically nothing about Kara. I wouldn’t have minded having a dual POV to see what went on in her mind, but I feel that move was deliberately made to distance us from her. I also wouldn’t have minded seeing more from Jenna’s perspective, as the first book is all told by Jenna, and I had become attached to her. It would be nice to see what is going on in her mind and with her feelings. But alas, it is all Locke. And sometimes I have trouble connecting to male protagonists, because I’m female. The emotions are completely foreign to me. And women seem a lot more callous from a mam’s perspective, and that makes me feel kind of bad being a woman.
Is It Classroom-Appropriate?
Yes, but I wouldn’t use it because The Adoration of Jenna Fox is the book that really is the meatier novel. Also, this novel cannot stand alone, though the dystopic world vision of 260 years later is quite the world for students to experience. It’s a shame that it’s not a stand alone, because then I could pose that the ethical implications of Locke and Kara’s situation would make for great lesson plans. However, as it is, I say leave it out and recommend it more for fans of the first book to read outside the classroom.
Lexile.com suggests 12 to Young Adult, and I tend to agree. If has a score of 660L, (no HL or “high-low” score attached) so it does NOT have the implication that though young readers can handle it, it is meant for an older audience. It is strictly suggested to be age-appropriate, which is a nice change from seeing a HL660L, which would imply that though younger readers could follow, the subject matter is too mature. So I say let middle grade readers access this if they are good readers. It is 304 pages, so that might discourage anyone younger than 12 from reading it.
★★★★☆. It’s not as good as the first book, as I’ve stated, so I dropped a star from the rating. It’s not forgettable either, though. I did enjoy the book, and will be continuing with Fox Forever just to see what becomes of Jenna and Locke. I want them to get together so bad, but this series seems to be devoid of romance, unlike Pearson’s Kiss of Deception novels. I love the science-fiction aspect of it: it definitely is more science fiction than the first book, and I love that part of it. I want to know more about the world of 260 years into the future.
I would recommend this to those who’ve read The Adoration of Jenna Fox and are curious to what happens next. I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to read after the first book (the first book is good enough to stand alone), but it is a nice continuation of the Fox chronicles.
Happy reading, everyone! If you read this despite my warning against spoilers, and you haven’t read the first book, then that’s on you. I warned you. Lol.