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It’s My Brain In A Box (It’s In A Box)

A book review of Mary E. Pearson's The Fox Inheritance, the unnecessary sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox.

It’s My Brain In A Box (It’s In A Box)

BOOK REPORT for The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles Book 2) by Mary E. Pearson

Cover Story: Puzzle Me Not
BFF Charm: Ehh?
Swoonworthy Scale: 1ish?
Talky Talk: Strong Point
Bonus Factor: Cyborgs
Relationship Status: Underwhelming Second Date

Cover Story: Puzzle Me Not

Ummmm, no. Look, puzzles are great! Most people love puzzles. I love puzzles! But the puzzle pieces aren't enough of a distraction from the fact that this is a dreaded shadowed half-face of some stock image model. You can trick me! Momma didn't raise no fool. And what more is there is be said about half-faces that hasn't already been said? They embarrass me to no end.

The Deal:

This book is a sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox, so there will be MAJOR SPOILERS for the first book. You've been warned!

Jenna, Kara and Locke were best friends. At least until a tragic car accident cut their young lives short. At least, that's what everyone thought happened. Jenna's dad was the owner of a innovation bio-tech company and he found a way to use new technology to ensure Jenna's brain and memories were downloaded and stored on a computer. A new body was created for her out of a product called bio-gel. Jenna's entire existence was both revolutionary and highly illegal. Jenna discovers that her father kept copies of Kara and Locke's minds, just in case something could be done to help them. Jenny destroyed the hard drives they were stored on. Or so she thought.

But someone made copies. And after 260 years of disembodied thoughts, someone has given Kara and Lock new bodies and a second chance to live. But the world is radically different and everyone they've ever known is dead. Everyone except Jenna Fox.

BFF Charm: Ehh?

Look, I understand that 260 years as a collection of thoughts in a hard drive is not going to be easy on anyone. But Locke had me wanted to smack him on an all too regular basis. He somehow managed to accomplish being alternatively naive AND paranoid at the same time. Which is quite the feat! Everyone who was blatantly up to no good, Locke managed to other brush off the obvious or rationalize it. And those who were quite obviously good, somehow managed to raise Locke's suspicions with hardly any reason. Several people went wildly out of their way to help Locke and he was hardly ever grateful until much too late.

All that said, Locke isn't a bad person. It's just that nothing he did really endeared me to him enough to make up for everything else.

Swoonworthy Scale: 1ish?

There are moments between Locke and Kara where you think something might be bound to happen. Some kisses here, cuddles there. But everything is just so bizarre, because Kara creates a bit of a power dynamic. It's clear that Locke loves her and would do anything to be with her. So the fact that she strings him a long while know that is...less than fun. However, I did not feel like the author was trying to romanticize their situation at all. It was quite clear that the weirdness in their relationship was intentional.

Talky Talk: Strong Point

Compared to the characters and plotting, I thought this book's writing/language was its strongest point. Descriptions of Locke and Kara's time in their boxes are particularly poignant. And when Locke reminisces about his friendship with Jenna and Kara, it feels truthful and really gets to the heart of how important friendships can be at that age. For example:

It was always Kara, Jenna and me. Or at least it seemed that way. We were friends for only a year and a half before the accident, but for me it was a lifetime. We were instantly bonded. Maybe it was because it came at a turning point in our live - just the right window where our worlds were all aligned, all needing something, maybe the same thing, maybe on another. We lifted one another up. Strengthened one another. We held hands. We crossed a line. We made one another braver.

Bonus Factor: Cyborgs

I loves me some cyborgs. I especially enjoy any story that touches on what it means to be human. Though that was certainly explored with Locke, Kara and Jenna, I did feel there was a missed opportunity to be a bit more thought provoking. The "bots" in the story (humanoid looking robots) seemed to posses unique personalities and freewill, all the while being treated as slaves. And we are supposed to believe 99% of them do as their told, while the occasional bot (like the ones our protagonists fall in with) will completely buck the system without good cause.

Casting Call:

Since Locke frustrated me at times, I figure why not go with an actor who frustrates me?

Liam Hemsworth as Locke

Beautiful? Check. Crazy? Check.

Phoebe Tonkin as Kara

Relationship Status: Underwhelming Second Date

I really enjoyed this books predecessor, The Adoration of Jenna Fox. While the plot of TAOJF didn't surprise me, I found it thought provoking and interesting. So when I went out with The Fox Inheritance, I was hoping I would feel more of the same and get that old spark going again. But instead I found a less sympathetic narrator. Some of the same neat ideas where there, but weren't explored as well as I would have liked. On its own, TFI could have been a decently fun date. But I just kept thinking about how much I enjoyed things last time, so it was hard for TFI to compete.

Megan Crane's photo About the Author: Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.