Monday, September 30, 2013

Inheritance ~ Malinda Lo (earc) review

Inheritance (Adaptation #2)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
September 24, 2013
480 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

The triangular spaceship hovered motionless in the sky above Reese Holloway’s house, as inscrutable as a black hole. It had seemed like a good idea when they were inside: to tell the truth about what happened to them at Area 51. It didn’t seem like such a good idea now.

Reese and David are not normal teens—not since they were adapted with alien DNA by the Imria, an extraterrestrial race that has been secretly visiting Earth for decades. Now everyone is trying to get to them: the government, the Imria, and a mysterious corporation that would do anything for the upper hand against the aliens.

Beyond the web of conspiracies, Reese can’t reconcile her love for David with her feelings for her ex-girlfriend Amber, an Imrian. But her choice between two worlds will play a critical role in determining the future of humanity, the Imria’s place in it, and the inheritance she and David will bring to the universe.

In this gripping sequel to Adaptation, Malinda Lo brings a thoughtful exploration of adolescence, sexuality, and “the other” to a science fiction thriller that is impossible to put down.

The beginning scene of Inheritance is a continuation of the scene at the end of Adaptation. The first book Adaptation introduced us to the characters -- to Reese and David and to Amber and the Imrians -- and how Reese and David were adapted to save their lives. In Adaptation, they learned what had happened to them, how they were given Imrian DNA and became something not quite human, but at the end of the novel everyone else was finding out as well.

Now we get to see how the general public is going to react when Reese and David come out to tell what happened to them. It's not just people's feelings about the aliens they have to deal with, either. Soon, besides the government, Imria, conspiracy nuts, and people fearing invasion, there are also racists, homophobes and generally absurd people making the teens life harder. None of it helping Reese with what be an already difficult problem: figuring out her feelings.

I liked the way other's comments on race (David is Chinese, Reese is white) and sexuality - both through reactions when Reese and David took their story public and more locally through friends, school played a role in Inheritance. It was something that was very honest, both that it would happen, sadly, and that it would impact the characters. It also allowed the characters to have to think through, say or perhaps even do things that they perhaps might not have without that outside motivation or influence.

It brought an interesting layer to the story. At times, when the Imrians were explaining their society or ways in contrast, it was as if they aliens were going to show the humans how to really be human.

Where I did run in to a problem with Inheritance was the pacing. It's not short at 480 pages, but it's not epically long, either. It does, though, take a long time to read. The story is one that's easy to want to stay with, but it's easy to get weighed down in all the detail about Imria or whatever is happening. It doesn't move forward or read easily at a good speed.

Rating :6/10

 thank you to LBYR and NetGalley for my digital galley for review

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