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Book Review: Inheritance by Malinda Lo plus ARC Giveaway

The guard was still blocking the exit when Reese and David emerged from the back office and headed for the door. She was so caught up in thinking over what had just happened and how she and David were going to manage to lie to both the Imria and CASS that she barely noticed that the guard didn’t move as they approached. Then he reached out and grabbed her arm.

“Hey!” she cried. His grip was tight on her, and something cold and dark seeped through is fingers into her body. She froze. He was so strong- exactly like that soldier who had man-handled her at Blue Base right before she’d had the medical exam. 

This man wasn’t looking at her at all. His eyes were focused on the rear of the shop, and Reese heard Lovick call out, “They’re finished. You can let them go.”

The man released her and she fell back, bumping against David. He sensed her sudden disquiet and took her hand. What happened?

The guard opened the door and she plunged out into the cool evening air, her mind whirling as she plowed up the sidewalk, dragging David with her. That guy was like the soldiers at Blue Base.

She sensed that he wasn’t entirely surprised. I knew there was something off about them, he told her.

She barely noticed the chilly mist on the skin of her legs as they walked through Chinatown, hand in hand. She was consumed with the realization that Lovick had Blue Base-mad guards acting on his orders. She and David could try to manipulate Lovick and CASS, but the two of them were thoroughly outgunned. How the hell are we going to pull this off? she wondered.
“We’re here,” David said, pulling her to a halt in front of a restaurant. His face was pale, and he glanced behind her down the street. She didn’t have to turn around to know that he had seen the men in black’s sedan. We’ll figure it out, he told her. One thing at a time.

He opened the door to the restaurant, and she followed him inside. It smelled of chili peppers and garlic, and scrolls of Chinese characters hung on the walls. The hostess asked David something in Chinese, and after he responded, she showed them to a table midway down the rectangular room, dropping off two thick menus.

Reese glanced behind herself at the door. The restaurant was about half full of mostly Asian patrons, and the men in black had not followed them in. “I’ll be right back,” she said, and went to the rear of the restaurant where she saw the sign for the restroom. She had to go down a set of narrow stairs to the basement where she found two toilets. She went into the one marked for women and took off her jacket, hanging it on the half-broken hook screwed into the wall. She unbuttoned her shirt and slid out of it, draping it over her jacket, so that she could remove the wire that was taped onto her skin. It was attached to a slim recording device clipped to the inside of her skirt. She pulled the recorder out and flipped the switch to Off, then wound the wire around the device and tucked it into her jacket’s interior pocket. She put her shirt back on and buttoned it with shaking fingers before taking the cell phone out of her skirt pocket to text Julian: I got it. 

In this sequel to Adaption, Reese and David have been rescued from the hands of the government by the Imria- whose DNA have been bound within them and are causing them to have unique powers. Their identities known to the world by a press conference designed so that their own government cannot take off with them again, now the Imria ship hovers over their neighborhood, to show the world what happened to them during their time in Area 51 and what happened during the June Disaster. Yet everyone around them seems to have ulterior motives for wanting their cooperation: the government is hiding what their true dealings with the Imira were, the Imria have factions within themselves, people in general are both embracing and threatening the new “race” of humans, and a shadowy underground emerges that wants inside information on everyone by threatening Reese and David’s family. Through it all, Reese and David are still struggling with their new powers, who to trust, and their feelings for each other.

Lo delivers a different take on the sci-fi novel, a YA book that really makes you think about politics, identity, sexuality, and discovery of self. The triangle between Reese, David, and Amber is more present than ever, and causes Reese and David to examine what is really important between them. As Reese and David discover that they aren’t quite human but aren’t quite Imrian, they have to navigate the politics of relations between humans and the Imria while protecting themselves from the hatred and hidden agendas of others. Readers looking for a more straightforward science fiction story might be better served elsewhere. Absolutely a worthwhile read, and a thought-provoking one as well, that reflects on current issues. 4 out of 5 stars. For books pairing the sci-fi with issues, pair with books like False Memory by Dan Krokos, The Lunar Series by Marissa Meyer, or Beta by Rachel Cohn.

Enter to win our Inheritance ARC! Share why you loved Inheritance or any other of Malinda Lo’s books (Ash, Huntress, Adaption, or the short story in Diverse Energies ) in the comments along with your twitter handle or an email address and keep your fingers crossed!  Contest ends October 1, 2013. Open to U.S. residents.  Please leave an email or Twitter handle so we can contact you if you win.