Review: The Fox Inheritance

The Fox Inheritance
The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second volume in the Fox set, it has little relationship to the first book, until the end. This takes two of the teens who died in the car crash that the first book revolved around, who’s brains were scanned as Jenna Fox’s was in the first book, but because there was no one thought to save their bodies, since the procedure that saved Jenna was highly experimental, and the technology didn’t really exist to bring them back, they were shelved and forgotten. They later heard after they were ‘revived” that the project was abandoned, but one researcher, who had worked for Jenna’s father, made copies of their minds, and kept them. But when he died, they sort of got passed around with his effects until a wealthy scientist bought them, and cloned them from tiny samples of their DNA, a nail clipping a strand of hair, that the original researcher had thought to save. He designed them too, making them a bit better, taller, stronger, better looking perhaps. But it took 260 years for all this to happen, and in the meantime, their minds were locked up in small black digital cubes. But they were awake the whole time. And somehow they managed to communicate telepathically with each other, keep each other going. and for Locke, the memory of his other friend, Jenna, also kept him going. The story starts out slow, in a rather normal sf vein – two individuals waking up in new bodies after a long sleep, and learning of the changes around them, etc. But the changes are greater than they have been led to believe. Kara is the one who seems the most determined to find out what is beyond this estate that they can’t leave. One day a wealthy client comes and they learn why they are there. So they escape. What follows is an adventure, some wonderful characters along the way, but also an insightful journey into what it means to be human, to be alive – where is the dividing line that make you a person? Laws were established long after their “deaths,” but it doesn’t fit them, or some of the people they come to know. Who? is the central theme of this book. It reads easily, allowing you to ponder these questions without bogging you down too much in esoteric philosophical questions. You can ask them, they ask them, but you are allowed to decide on your own. Questions posed, but not answered. I hope a final volume will finish off the story arc, since there is more to tell. My main complaint is that you really never see the story from Kara’s POV – it is entirely Locke’s. And Kara’s motivations and actions are central to the story. And I wish more attention had been paid to the world-building. You only get a few glimpses of what life is like now, before you are taken off the main city grid again.

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