Monday, September 23, 2013

INHERITANCE


Review of INHERITANCE by MALINDA LO
(second in the ADAPTATION duology, review based on an advance reading copy)

I enjoyed Lo's first book in this series, ADAPTATION, far more than I expected I would. This time I anticipated liking INHERITANCE, but again Lo outdid herself and I positively adored this book. Its only major flaw is that it ended. I mean that both as a joke and quite seriously, because I really could have spent books more with these characters.

Along those lines, it took me no time at all to reinvest in the characters and their problems. In my review of ADAPTATION, I said the story's definitely character-focused more than premise-focused and that fact shines through with how strongly and immediately I reconnected with Reese and her entire surrounding cast, not to mention how reluctant I felt seeing the novel reach its conclusion.
I should also mention that Lo addressed and satisfied all my nitpicky concerns from ADAPTATION. I mentioned that a few scientific points didn't make much sense to me in the first book and, while INHERITANCE still isn't what I would call hard science fiction, Lo acknowledges and explains all those potential logic lapses.

When reviewing ADAPTATION, I also wrote about how Lo explores sexuality with an openness I wish could be found in more books. She's best known for writing gay characters, but the exploration I'm referring to encompasses far more than that. In the last book, Reese knows she has the option not to date anyone, something of which many fictional and nonfictional people alike don't seem to be aware as they struggle choosing from potential suitors. I don't want to be too specific with INHERITANCE for spoiler reasons, but Lo also lays out romantic options for Reese that many books and people wouldn't even consider. It made me love these characters all the more for how maturely they handled their love lives, too. Complicated doesn’t have to equal melodramatic. Again, my only criticism is that Lo opened doors so rarely seen in fiction, especially YA, that I wished we could spend more time seeing how everything plays out with these characters rather than shutting those doors and simply crossing our fingers for them.
INHERITANCE wraps up the ADAPTATION duology, but if Lo ever returns to these characters, or even this world, again in the future, I for one will snatch that book right up! (Well, I’ll snatch up any Malinda Lo book for that matter!)

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