The Fox Inheritance

( 21 )

Overview

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.

In The Fox Inheritance, it is two-hundred-and-sixty years later, and they have been released at...

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The Fox Inheritance

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Overview

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.

In The Fox Inheritance, it is two-hundred-and-sixty years later, and 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In this futuristic follow-up, Pearson pries open the most haunting element of Jenna Fox’s world: disembodied minds trapped in computers. Questions of human identity and nightmarish medical technology drive this riveting, thought-provoking sequel.” —Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games

“This is a mesmerizing story that will be greeted enthusiastically by Jenna Fox fans.” —VOYA

“The ethical debates around whether science should be limited by conscience and not just ability are well integrated into a story that is equally strong as an exploration of home, identity, and the meaning of survival.” —BCCB

“A gripping story that begs the question: Do you really know what lies at the genesis of your friend’s biology, psyche or even their heart?” —Shelf Awareness

“The story is gripping, urgent, and highly appealing.” —School Library Journal

“It is through his [Locke’s] viewpoint that we experience the confusing futuristic world, the thrilling suspense of the chase, the charged emotional reunion of the friends, and the admirably complex playing out of the issues of trust, ethics, and betrayal.” —Horn Book Magazine

* “A dazzling blend of science fiction, mystery, and teen friendship drama.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The book’s timely and haunting questions will leave thoughtful readers with much to ponder.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

From the Publisher
“In this futuristic follow-up, Pearson pries open the most haunting element of Jenna Fox’s world: disembodied minds trapped in computers. Questions of human identity and nightmarish medical technology drive this riveting, thought-provoking sequel.” —Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games

“This is a mesmerizing story that will be greeted enthusiastically by Jenna Fox fans.” —VOYA

“The ethical debates around whether science should be limited by conscience and not just ability are well integrated into a story that is equally strong as an exploration of home, identity, and the meaning of survival.” —BCCB

“A gripping story that begs the question: Do you really know what lies at the genesis of your friend’s biology, psyche or even their heart?” —Shelf Awareness

“The story is gripping, urgent, and highly appealing.” —School Library Journal

“It is through his [Locke’s] viewpoint that we experience the confusing futuristic world, the thrilling suspense of the chase, the charged emotional reunion of the friends, and the admirably complex playing out of the issues of trust, ethics, and betrayal.” —Horn Book Magazine

* “A dazzling blend of science fiction, mystery, and teen friendship drama.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The book’s timely and haunting questions will leave thoughtful readers with much to ponder.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

Publishers Weekly
Pearson delivers another spellbinding thriller with this sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox (2008), which takes place 260 years after the first. Medical advances have finally enabled the disembodied minds of Kara and Locke—who were critically injured in the same car accident as Jenna—to be restored in new, look-alike bodies. Locke narrates, as he and Kara wonder why they have been recreated, what the world holds for them, and if they really qualify as human. "What I think is all I have left," he admits. "My mind is the only thing that makes me different from a fancy toaster." When they learn Jenna has been alive for centuries while their minds existed only in some computer netherworld, they are angry but desperate to find her. The world they re-enter is unfamiliar: civil war has divided the United States, and Mars has been colonized for 150 years. A dazzling blend of science fiction, mystery, and teen friendship drama, Inheritance stands alone, but reading Adoration first will ground readers in the surreal and philosophically challenging terrain on which Pearson is working. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Mary Ann Darby
In this sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Square Fish, 2009/VOYA August 2008), 260 years have passed since Jenna thought she had destroyed the consciousness of her two best friends, Locke and Kara, to save them from the torment of being but not being. Somehow copies of their minds had been made and found by Dr. Gatsbro. He has created another generation of BioGel that he calls BioPerfect. Kara and Locke find themselves contained on Gatsbro's lavish estate. When they realize Gatsbro is using the two of them as "floor models" to sell BioPerfect, Kara and Locke escape. Once in Boston, they are stunned by the changes two and a half centuries have wrought, and change their course to find Jenna, whom they learn is in California. Locke and Kara's reasons for finding her, however, are very different. Kara and Locke split up, and with the help of a Bot named Dot Jefferson; Miesha, a woman from Gatsbro's estate; and others in the underground, Locke finds Jenna and awaits Kara who seems to be playing a deadly game. In this second of a planned trilogy, old and new well-defined characters combine in a mesmerizing tale of escape, revenge, and politics. As in the first installment, Pearson is clearly challenging her readers to think about what makes us human, where ethical boundaries need to be drawn in prolonging a life, and what true friendship means. For libraries in junior and senior high schools that already have the first book, this is a mesmerizing story that will be greeted enthusiastically by Jenna Fox fans. Reviewer: Mary Ann Darby
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Holt, 2008) is narrated by Locke, one of Jenna's best friends and fellow car accident victim. After Jenna was given a new body, her friends Kara and Locke's consciousnesses were left in a set of hard drives. Now, 260 years later, they have been given new bodies by the mysterious Dr. Gatsbro, a man who clearly has his own agenda. He has sheltered Kara and Locke from the changes in the world by keeping them on his isolated estate. Locke is haunted by his lost time and disturbed by suspicions that something isn't quite right with Kara. Escape leads to a fast-paced cross-country adventure and search for Jenna, all with the help of a subversive "BioBot" taxi driver. Overall the story is gripping, urgent, and highly appealing, though the political landscape of the future world is underdeveloped and there are some predictable action sequences in the end. Fans of the original novel will enjoy seeing Jenna and learning about her (long) life. New readers are advised to start with the first book.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews

In a thought-provoking, atmospheric follow-up to The Adoration of Jenna Fox (2008), Pearson again contemplates bioengineering and the nature of humanity.

Some 260 years after Jenna Fox's father used controversial technology to upload Jenna's mind into an imitation body, Jenna's friends Locke and Kara, presumed dead in the same car accident, are uploaded into new bodies of their own. Both traumatized and connected to each other by the years their minds spent locked in claustrophobic "environments," the pair live for a year with Gatsbro, the doctor who brought them back. Then Kara discovers the exploitative ends for which he is keeping them, and the two flee their captivity with the (perhaps too convenient) help of an unexpected ally. Their journey from Gatsbro's facility through a greatly changed America and ultimately toward Jenna Fox, still alive in her BioGel body, is harrowing and eye-opening, but the heart of the story is its meditation on what it means to be human. Is Locke human, his consciousness uploaded into a taller, more malleable body? Is Kara, who has lost her compassion? What about Dot, a legless robot engineered only to drive a cab, who is nonetheless strong-willed, brave and rebellious?

Though action scenes are occasionally predictable or over too soon, the book's timely and haunting questions will leave thoughtful readers with much to ponder. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250010322
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 2/19/2013
  • Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles Series , #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 229,207
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.33 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

MARY E. PEARSON is the author of five previous novels for teens, including The Adoration of Jenna Fox and A Room on Lorelei Street. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
 
My hands close around the heavy drape, twisting it into a thick cord.
About the same thickness as a neck.
I drop my hands to my sides and wipe them on my trousers like someone might see my thoughts on my palms. Someone like Dr. Gatsbro. I wonder just how much he really knows about me.
I look out the window. From the second floor, Dr. Gatsbro is a speck on the lawn. The girl I’m supposed to know stands a few yards away from him. I watch him talking to her. She ignores him like he is nothing more than vapor. I don’t know if it’s deliberate, or if her mind is trapped, like mine often is, in another dark lifetime that won’t let me go. There’s a lot I don’t understand about her, at least the way she is now, and though I’m a head taller and at least fifty pounds heavier than she is, I’m afraid of her. What is it? Something in her eyes? But I’m not sure I can trust my own eyes yet. Even my hands frighten me. Does Dr. Gatsbro know this too? He seems to know everything.
I turn away, looking at a wall of ancient bound books, and another wall covered with artifacts that reach back to some primordial age. Dr. Gatsbro is a collector. Are we part of his collection? Like stolen paintings that can’t be shown to anyone? Only for private viewing? His estate is miles from anywhere, and we have never been beyond its gates.
He has spent the last year teaching us, helping us, explaining to us, testing us. But some things in this world are unexplainable. Maybe that’s where he made his mistake, especially with us. Three months ago, he stopped being teacher and became prey. At least for her. I fear for him. I fear for me.
I return to the window to see if they’re coming. It’s time for our morning appointment. They’re closer to the house now, but Dr. Gatsbro is still yards from her. I try to read his lips, a skill I never had before, but his hand cups his chin and blocks my view.
Her back is to me. Her head tilts in one direction, and then slowly in the other, like she’s weighing a thought. She suddenly whirls and looks straight up at the window. At me. She smiles, her eyes as cold as ice. Her lips purse together in a kiss, and I feel their frost on my cheek.
I cannot turn away, though I know that would be the safest thing to do. I cannot turn away because she has an advantage over me. I cannot turn away for a reason she knows too well.
Because I love her.
She is all I have left.
I force my legs to move. To step away from the window. One step. Another. The last thing I see is her head toss back as she laughs. I fall backward into Dr. Gatsbro’s chair, running my hands over the arms, listening to the quiet rasp of skin on leather, listening to his antique clock tick, listening to the squeak of the chair as I rock, and finally, listening to their footsteps on the stairs—his, heavy and shuffling; hers, like a cat, following stealthily behind.
“Locke, you’re here. Good.” Dr. Gatsbro crosses the room, and I relinquish his seat to him. He sits down, and I listen to the whoosh of air that leaves the chair under his weight, like the breath has been snuffed from it. “Sorry if we kept you waiting. We lost track of time out in the garden. Isn’t that right, Kara?”
She looks at me, her eyes narrowing to slits, her hair a shiny black curtain barely sweeping her shoulders. Her lips are perfect, red as they have always been, red as I remember, but the smile behind them is not the same.
“That’s right, Doc,” she answers. “Time got away from us.”
“Shall we begin, then?” Dr. Gatsbro asks.
I think she already has.

 
Text copyright © 2011 by Mary E. Pearson

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Reading Group Guide

1. What is the significance of the title of the book? What might the inheritance of Jenna Fox be literally? Figuratively?

2. Locke refers to himself and Kara as being part of Dr. Gatsbro’s “collection.” What does he mean? How can Locke and Kara be objects within a collection? Have you ever felt as if you were “on display” as Locke and Kara do? Describe that situation.

3. The author does not provide many details about the world as it exists 260 years after the accident that took the physical lives of Locke and Kara. Hints about changes are given at various points in the novel. Based on clues from Locke’s early observations, what conclusions can be drawn about life in this future society? How does the author flesh out the details as Locke and Kara travel to the “outside”?

4. Dr. Gatsbro collects orchids and doorknobs among other things. Think about the literal and figurative significance of each object. What might these two interests reveal about his character and why?

5. In this future world, humans can opt for a life span of more than 100 years because of advances in medicine and health. Discuss what problems might be associated with longer life spans (i.e., overpopulation).

6. In the opening chapters, what clues does Locke provide the reader about his and Kara’s condition? How about the time they spent in the “black cubes”?

7. Why does Kara not want to see the cubes, while Locke feels he must? How does this one decision indicate the difference that divides the two despite their obvious connections?\

8. Dr. Gatsbro has provided a narrative—a story—for Locke and Kara to explain their new existence. What elements are true? Which parts of the story serve to gloss over unpleasant aspects of their life and creation? Why has the doctor been so careful to give Locke and Kara these stories?

9. The first two sections of the novel, THE ESTATE and THE OUTSIDE, end with shattering events. How do these two events foreshadow what is to come?  

10. Through Locke’s narration, we see how technology has shaped the future world. How do these technological advances (Beebots, robots, transportation grids, etc.) help establish the setting more fully?  

11. Locke has disturbing dreams. In one, he is choking Jenna over and over with his bare hands. What importance does this dream have? How does it foreshadow events to come once Locke and Kara are reunited with Jenna?

12. As Locke continues on his journey to find Jenna in California, he discovers that air transportation is severely restricted and that most people travel by other means. What could have occurred over the intervening 200+ years to create this type of transportation system?

13. ID cards are key. No one is free to travel from one place to another without a valid ID card. Of course, this poses some problems for Locke and Kara until they are able to obtain IDs that are not their own. In contemporary society, there has been a great deal of debate about ID and voting rights. How does this parallel with what is happening in the future world of Jenna, Locke, and Kara?

14. Locke, Kara, and Jenna go to a bazaar to do some shopping. Given the existence of V‐ads and other technologies, why do bazaars still exist? What purpose do they serve?

15. On page 265, Locke observes that there is a line between miracle and monster. What does he mean by this? Are Locke, Kara, and Jenna miracles or monsters? Or a combination of both? Defend your response.

16. Pearson does not reveal the entire account of the car accident that killed Locke, Kara, and Jenna. Instead, she reveals some of the events a bit at a time. Why does the author elect to do this? What purpose does it serve?

17. Euphemisms abound in the story. Release and recycle are just two examples of words whose real meaning is much more sinister than the way in which the word is used. What do these words really mean? Why are euphemisms being used?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(14)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 31, 2011

    One of my favorite books!

    Pearson is a beautiful writer. she expresses the character's in ways i have never read. i can't believe this isn't more popular. It's just as good as The Hunger games. I love it! Keep on writing, Pearson!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A series worth to check out

    I thought this book was fascinating! I liked it just because it's different than the other books out there.
    This book centers mainly on Locke but also Kara (Jenna's friends). They find themselves 260 years into the future. We see the struggles they had to overcome: escaping a mad man, dealing with the past, making unexpected allies, and plans for the future. Locke meets up with Jenna and we learn a little about what she did from the first book and this one. Now onto the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2013

    good book

    I liked the 1st book (The Adoration of Jenna Fox) a little better than this one. Not that this wasn't a good read but after reading the 1st book this story felt dragged out at times. Although I would still recommend reading it because I find that there are few series that I enjoy the entire thing. I think the only ones that really kept my attention recently were Hunger Games trilogy & the Divergent series (Divergent, Insurgent and 3rd book Allegiant that will be out next week). If I had to do it over again I still would read them both.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Read It!!!

    This book is great, just like the first! It's so well written & touching. I usually don't care for female authors or romance, but Mary E. Pearson did a great job! This is a book for people who like futuristic slash fantasy slash a little romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    A-ma-zing!

    Peterson can twist ordinary words into an extrodinary book. The Fox Inheritance had everything a good book needs... action, love, despair, and a peek into our future. This is a book that even the most critical critics with fall in love with!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    More

    Please i love it so much i would give t 50 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    So good i didnt want it to end

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Good

    Nice sequel to The Adoration of JennaFox! PHYSCHED FOR MORE!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    It was great

    Amazing i loved it very intresing mary e. Pearson can't wait for the next 1!!!

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Even better

    Really enjoyed this follow-up to The Adoration of Jenna Fox - I liked the pace of this book even better. Fascinating to see the progression of the world, what happens to Jenna's friends, and revisiting Jenna's home. Hoping there is a third!

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    Great Read - Wonderful sequel!

    Great sequel to the Adoration of Jenna Fox, explains how the world works in Jenna's future and what happened to Kara and Locke. It was a fast paced read but very detailed, I can't wait for the conclusion! Great work Mary Pearson!

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    Posted December 27, 2012

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    Posted December 29, 2011

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    Posted September 2, 2011

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    Posted January 5, 2012

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    Posted March 9, 2012

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