Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Fox Inheritance Audio

The Fox Inheritance Audio

Mary E. Pearson
For ages 14 and up
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Matthew Brown
Macmillan Audio, 2011   ISBN: 978-1427213792

Two hundred and sixty years ago, three teenagers died after they were in a car crash, but contents of their brains were downloaded into three little black boxes. One of the boxes, Jenna’s, had its contents uploaded into a new body soon after, but the other two boxes, those containing the essence of Locke and Kara, were forgotten for many years until Dr. Gatsboro found them, and uploaded their contents into new bodies.

For the past year, Locke and Kara have been getting used to their situation. They have learned something about what has happened in the world over the last two hundred and sixty years, and they have lived in relative comfort on an estate where the doctor lives and works. Then one day Dr. Gatsboro bring a visitor to meet the two extraordinary teens, and Locke and Kara truly come to appreciate that to Dr. Gatsboro, they are not people with feelings and needs. They are a ‘product’ that he can show off and even sell off as he chooses.

Desperate to be free, Kara and Locke escape from Dr. Gatsboro’s clutches. They go to Boston, the city where they used to live, to try to find something or someone from their past, but everything they knew is gone. The world is an alien and terrifying place, and Locke and Kara are technically illegal. They have no ids, no money, and no home.

After trying to find their homes, which are now gone, the friends go to Jenna’s house and discover that it has been turned into a museum. Jenna is something of a celebrity and she is still alive, living in San Diego. Locke, and Kara in particular, are furious. Why was Jenna freed from her box all those years ago and they weren’t? Why didn’t Jenna do anything to save her two best friends from the horror of being trapped inside a tiny box?

Split up after they are almost recaptured by Dr. Gatsboro, Locke and Kara independently make their way across the country to get to California. Locke is helped on his way by a taxi robot called Dot, and by one of the people who used to work for Dr. Gatsboro. He learns that there is an underground movement, whose members help individuals who are “escapees” and who are on the run.

Though Locke loves Kara, he is also afraid of what she will do if she finds Jenna. Kara is so angry, so full of hate and a desire for vengeance. Somehow, he has to do what he can to make sure that she doesn’t do something that will destroy them all.

In this sequel to the book, “The adoration of Jenna Fox,” listeners will find out what happened to Jenna’s two best friends. The story is told from Locke’s point of view, and listeners will see how much this teenager struggles to come to terms with what he has lost, and who he is. The story is alternately thrilling, exciting, fascinating, and heartbreaking.

Matthew Brown’s narrative beautifully captures the intense emotions that Locke experiences as he tries to understand who he is in his new world.