The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles #2)

The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles #2)

by Mary E. Pearson
The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles #2)

The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles #2)

by Mary E. Pearson


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Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.

In The Fox Inheritance, it is two-hundred-and-sixty years later, and they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead.

Everyone except Jenna Fox.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250010322
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 02/19/2013
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 521,287
Product dimensions: 5.55(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

About The Author
MARY E. PEARSON is the author of five previous novels for teens, including The Adoration of Jenna Fox and A Room on Lorelei Street. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
My hands close around the heavy drape, twisting it into a thick cord.
About the same thickness as a neck.
I drop my hands to my sides and wipe them on my trousers like someone might see my thoughts on my palms. Someone like Dr. Gatsbro. I wonder just how much he really knows about me.
I look out the window. From the second floor, Dr. Gatsbro is a speck on the lawn. The girl I’m supposed to know stands a few yards away from him. I watch him talking to her. She ignores him like he is nothing more than vapor. I don’t know if it’s deliberate, or if her mind is trapped, like mine often is, in another dark lifetime that won’t let me go. There’s a lot I don’t understand about her, at least the way she is now, and though I’m a head taller and at least fifty pounds heavier than she is, I’m afraid of her. What is it? Something in her eyes? But I’m not sure I can trust my own eyes yet. Even my hands frighten me. Does Dr. Gatsbro know this too? He seems to know everything.
I turn away, looking at a wall of ancient bound books, and another wall covered with artifacts that reach back to some primordial age. Dr. Gatsbro is a collector. Are we part of his collection? Like stolen paintings that can’t be shown to anyone? Only for private viewing? His estate is miles from anywhere, and we have never been beyond its gates.
He has spent the last year teaching us, helping us, explaining to us, testing us. But some things in this world are unexplainable. Maybe that’s where he made his mistake, especially with us. Three months ago, he stopped being teacher and became prey. At least for her. I fear for him. I fear for me.
I return to the window to see if they’re coming. It’s time for our morning appointment. They’re closer to the house now, but Dr. Gatsbro is still yards from her. I try to read his lips, a skill I never had before, but his hand cups his chin and blocks my view.
Her back is to me. Her head tilts in one direction, and then slowly in the other, like she’s weighing a thought. She suddenly whirls and looks straight up at the window. At me. She smiles, her eyes as cold as ice. Her lips purse together in a kiss, and I feel their frost on my cheek.
I cannot turn away, though I know that would be the safest thing to do. I cannot turn away because she has an advantage over me. I cannot turn away for a reason she knows too well.
Because I love her.
She is all I have left.
I force my legs to move. To step away from the window. One step. Another. The last thing I see is her head toss back as she laughs. I fall backward into Dr. Gatsbro’s chair, running my hands over the arms, listening to the quiet rasp of skin on leather, listening to his antique clock tick, listening to the squeak of the chair as I rock, and finally, listening to their footsteps on the stairs—his, heavy and shuffling; hers, like a cat, following stealthily behind.
“Locke, you’re here. Good.” Dr. Gatsbro crosses the room, and I relinquish his seat to him. He sits down, and I listen to the whoosh of air that leaves the chair under his weight, like the breath has been snuffed from it. “Sorry if we kept you waiting. We lost track of time out in the garden. Isn’t that right, Kara?”
She looks at me, her eyes narrowing to slits, her hair a shiny black curtain barely sweeping her shoulders. Her lips are perfect, red as they have always been, red as I remember, but the smile behind them is not the same.
“That’s right, Doc,” she answers. “Time got away from us.”
“Shall we begin, then?” Dr. Gatsbro asks.
I think she already has.

Text copyright © 2011 by Mary E. Pearson

Reading Group Guide

1. What is the significance of the title of the book? What might the inheritance of Jenna Fox be literally? Figuratively?

2. Locke refers to himself and Kara as being part of Dr. Gatsbro's "collection." What does he mean? How can Locke and Kara be objects within a collection? Have you ever felt as if you were "on display" as Locke and Kara do? Describe that situation.

3. The author does not provide many details about the world as it exists 260 years after the accident that took the physical lives of Locke and Kara. Hints about changes are given at various points in the novel. Based on clues from Locke's early observations, what conclusions can be drawn about life in this future society? How does the author flesh out the details as Locke and Kara travel to the "outside"?

4. Dr. Gatsbro collects orchids and doorknobs among other things. Think about the literal and figurative significance of each object. What might these two interests reveal about his character and why?

5. In this future world, humans can opt for a life span of more than 100 years because of advances in medicine and health. Discuss what problems might be associated with longer life spans (i.e., overpopulation).

6. In the opening chapters, what clues does Locke provide the reader about his and Kara's condition? How about the time they spent in the "black cubes"?

7. Why does Kara not want to see the cubes, while Locke feels he must? How does this one decision indicate the difference that divides the two despite their obvious connections?

8. Dr. Gatsbro has provided a narrative—a story—for Locke and Kara to explain their new existence. What elements are true? Which parts of the story serve to gloss over unpleasant aspects of their life and creation? Why has the doctor been so careful to give Locke and Kara these stories?

9. The first two sections of the novel, THE ESTATE and THE OUTSIDE, end with shattering events. How do these two events foreshadow what is to come?

10. Through Locke's narration, we see how technology has shaped the future world. How do these technological advances (Beebots, robots, transportation grids, etc.) help establish the setting more fully?

11. Locke has disturbing dreams. In one, he is choking Jenna over and over with his bare hands. What importance does this dream have? How does it foreshadow events to come once Locke and Kara are reunited with Jenna?

12. As Locke continues on his journey to find Jenna in California, he discovers that air transportation is severely restricted and that most people travel by other means. What could have occurred over the intervening 200+ years to create this type of transportation system?

13. ID cards are key. No one is free to travel from one place to another without a valid ID card. Of course, this poses some problems for Locke and Kara until they are able to obtain IDs that are not their own. In contemporary society, there has been a great deal of debate about ID and voting rights. How does this parallel with what is happening in the future world of Jenna, Locke, and Kara?

14. Locke, Kara, and Jenna go to a bazaar to do some shopping. Given the existence of V-ads and other technologies, why do bazaars still exist? What purpose do they serve?

15. On page 265, Locke observes that there is a line between miracle and monster. What does he mean by this? Are Locke, Kara, and Jenna miracles or monsters? Or a combination of both? Defend your response.

16. Pearson does not reveal the entire account of the car accident that killed Locke, Kara, and Jenna. Instead, she reveals some of the events a bit at a time. Why does the author elect to do this? What purpose does it serve?

17. Euphemisms abound in the story. Release and recycle are just two examples of words whose real meaning is much more sinister than the way in which the word is used. What do these words really mean? Why are euphemisms being used?

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