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.)
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
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
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)
“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