|Henry Holt & Co.|
by Mary E. Pearson
Kara and Locke are alive and living on a billionaire’s estate in the middle of nowhere, owned by a Dr. Gastbro, who is counseling and preparing them for life in the world 260 years after they died in a terrible car accident. But as more and more time passes, Locke begins to wonder when and if they will ever be ready to go out into the world on their own. Kara, on the other hand, knows that something is horribly wrong, that some gifts aren’t really free. The doctor has an agenda—an agenda that doesn’t include the two teenagers ever leaving the estate, and worse, an agenda that may include profiting on the mysterious technology that brought them both back. How will they get free, and if they do, who do they know that still survives and can lend them aid?Book two in the Jenna Fox Chronicles picks up where the phenomenal first novel left off back in 2008. Instead of being alone in the world, Jenna Fox is soon to find out that her long-lost best friends are still alive—this despite the fact that she mercifully destroyed their cubes hundreds of years before. But did she? In fact, new technology has allowed scientists to reconstruct the two teens, unbeknownst to their long-dead parents or Jenna, but at what cost? Pearson continues the examination of soul in this second installment, but extends the exploration to constructed organisms. What makes a soul, and how much of the physical body can be absent before the soul is incomplete? Does an incomplete soul make for an incomplete conscious? And, can a soul evolve from a constructed entity? While these questions seem very complex, the novel presents them in a fairly straightforward manner; however, the reader is left to make her own determination. Despite the heavy themes, Kara and Locke’s escape and life on the run make for plenty of nail-biting action to keep the reader engaged, and the addition of the new character Dot the Robot, who rivals Iko in Cinder (by Marissa Meyer) for lovability factor is fantastic! Perhaps the most satisfying element in the novel is the discovery of how Jenna has weathered the last 260 years, and how wise she has become. Readers who lost track of the series will be pleased to know that this second book was published in 2011, and the third book, Fox Forever, which I will read and review in the next few weeks, is already on the shelves.