The Fox Inheritance, by Mary E. Pearson (book review) – memories stored, bodies rebuilt, the future is fine?

book cover of The Fox Inheritance by Mary E Pearson published by Henry Holt

Human memory bound into computer memory,
Forgotten for decades and centuries,
Merged into a new human body – for what?

In the hospital, after the accident, Locke’s and Kara’s families did not agree to have their dying teens’ memories copied into computer data cubes… but someone did anyway. Now, 260 years after three best friends were crushed together in a car crash, two of them have been revived from their digital mausoleums, put into new, self-healing bodies. Why?

Imagine waking up to a world you cannot understand, venturing into a landscape of bioengineered insects and robot-driven cars, realizing that no one you knew then is alive now, except perhaps the third person in that car crash…

The story begun in The Adoration of Jenna Fox follows best friends Locke and Kara after their long sleep, those endless decades of only being able to speak with their minds to one another.

Look for Mary E. Pearson’s short story from another character’s perspective on the Tor website after you’ve read The Fox Inheritance at your local library or independent bookstore – and wonder what will happen next in The Jenna Fox Chronicles.

Book info: The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles, vol. 2) / Mary E. Pearson. Henry Holt, 2011. [author’s website] [series Facebook page] [publisher site] [book trailer]

My Recommendation: Locke isn’t sure he likes having a body again. His mind often goes back to the darkness, when he and Jenna and Kara were the only things in the whole universe, wholly memory and thought and emotion. Then Jenna disappeared. Being able to communicate with Kara kept him sane, gave him the strength to keep on existing.

Capturing the mind in a computer memory cube when the flesh could no longer survive – that was indeed possible when the three friends were in that auto crash. But the ability to return the whole mind and memory to a living body had to wait for scientific breakthroughs, had to wait 260 years.

When Kara and Locke realize that Dr. Gatsbro has only rescued their minds to show off their replacement 80% human bodies as a demonstration for wealthy buyers who want to live forever, they decide to escape. But this new technological world of robotic firefighters and autofit shoes holds even more surprises than they could have imagined during their year of learning centuries’ worth of information by vgrams.

With the help of a robot cabdriver who dreams beyond her city streets, they find their old neighborhood – all changed, of course – and Jenna’s house, now a museum honoring their friend. Since she had 10% of her brain intact after the crash, her scientist father was able to reinsert her mind and memories into a new body quite soon. Why had he left their minds in the memory blocks all that time?

Discovering that Jenna is still alive turns their escape into a cross-country quest to find her, to close old hurts, to find a way to live now in this future where none of their own blood relatives have survived.

Past and present collide over and over in Locke’s mind as they race across this strange new America, trying to stay away from the authorities and ahead of Dr. Gatsbro’s hired thugs.

Could Jenna truly be alive so many, many decades after their accident? Will she want to see Locke and Kara in the here and now? What do Locke’s increasingly frequent lapses into his cold-storage memories mean?

The long-awaited sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox answers vital questions about the three friends while it raises others about self, society, destiny, and love. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

5 thoughts on “The Fox Inheritance, by Mary E. Pearson (book review) – memories stored, bodies rebuilt, the future is fine?

  1. Pingback: Fox Forever, by Mary E. Pearson (book review) – a favor repaid, lives in danger | BooksYALove

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