Today, I’m happy to invite Mary Pearson, author of the Jenna Fox Chronicles. It’s an incredibly good series filled with mysteries and dark dimensions, with a bittersweet ending to the trilogy. Here’s a little bit about the books. Below, you’ll find an excerpt from FOX FOREVER (Book 3) and Mary’s thoughts on her own writing. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win all THREE books at the end!
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma – so she’s been told – and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions.
What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?
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.
Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, 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.
Locke Jenkins has some catching up to do. After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, he has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life, he’ll have to return the Favor he accepted from the shadowy resistance group known as the Network.
Locke must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, seventeen-year-old Raine, and he soon finds himself pulled deep into the world of the resistance—and into Raine’s life.
**Warning: The following passage is a bit
spoilerish if you haven’t read the first book**
“Lots of things aren’t explainable. Yet. That doesn’t make them unscientific. I remember before I destroyed the copies of you and Kara, I heard you both calling out to me, begging me to hurry. I didn’t understand it, and my father said it was impossible, but it didn’t make it any less real.”
I remember Gatsbro telling Kara and me the same thing, that it was impossible for our voices to reach through our digital netherworlds to each other. But somehow they did and his denial didn’t make it any less true for us. Jenna leans forward, taking both my hands in hers. “Look what’s happened to us, Locke. Our entire brains scanned. Everything. Even the farthest corners. Who knows what skills and senses left over from our Neanderthal days have become like a useless appendix because we haven’t used them? Maybe some hidden dormant abilities—like a sixth sense—don’t know they’ve been retired and now our Bio Gel has given them a second life.” She smiles. “I believe you. Even if it isn’t something you can totally understand or rely on, it still isn’t something to ignore.”
And that’s the thing about Jenna. In all the world she’s the only one who understands what I’m going through. She’s like me.
Mary: This is one of my favorite passages for a couple of reasons. We always think of science as “exact” but it is part art, part mystery, and part chance too. Some of our greatest discoveries came about my accident, like penicillin, xrays, and smartdust!
Leading up to this passage Locke has experienced something about his new body he doesn’t understand and thinks it doesn’t fit with the science of his body as he knows it. Jenna points out that just because no one can explain how he “heard voices” it doesn’t make it unscientific, only unexplainable. Even science experiments can have hidden surprises. A scientist might be focusing in on one thing she is trying to accomplish, but other unforeseen side effects or results surface.
I also find this passage, the last three lines anyway, bittersweet. It’s true, only Jenna knows what Locke is going through. She’s the only one in the entire world who has known him from the beginning and the only one who is made like him.
I think we all like having peers—people who get us, like the same music as us, get the same jokes, have at least some of the same history. It might be siblings, friends, colleagues or a combination of these but for Locke, there is only Jenna. Everyone else he ever knew is long dead. In many ways, Jenna is the proof that his old life ever existed. Sometimes I wonder what it is like for these centenarians who you sometimes see on the news celebrating their 100th or more birthday, and everyone they ever knew is gone—they’ve even outlived their children. Getting old is great. I hope to make it to a hundred! But the bittersweet factor can’t be ignored. For Locke, who is seventeen but technically 277 years old, it is very bittersweet indeed.
And just as an added teaser, part of the above passage actually helped spawn my new series. After I finished Fox Forever a little nugget from the passage intrigued me and wove itself into the idea for a new story!
Thanks for having me at your blog, Hafsah! I hope your readers enjoy Fox Forever and the rest of The Jenna Fox Chronicles.
And now, thanks to Macmillan, one lucky US/Canada reader of IceyBooks will win the entire trilogy! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!