Jinxed (Jinxed #1)
by Amy McCulloch
What is it about:
Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the "baku" - a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn't been accepted into Profectus - the elite academy for cutting edge tech - it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one.
Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profectus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems ... real.
What did I think of it:
This is a very entertaining read.
In the future everyone has a robotic pet called a baku that acts like a smartphone, companion, planner, and what not. It even might decide what options you have for your future, the better the baku, the better it can help you and the more awesome your options are. Lacey gets her hands on a special baku and while she thinks it might give her a better future, it seems this baku has a mind of its own.
I really liked the worldbuilding. McCulloch manages to draw you in and see the world through Lacey's eyes. I also immediately liked Lacey and rooted for her to succeed and to see her dreams come true. Her new baku Jinx was really cool as well.
As Lacey finds out more about Jinx, Profectus, and the bakus, the story gets more suspenseful. I read this book in practically one sitting to find out what was going on. The ending is a total cliffhanger and you bet I'll get my trotters on book two in this duology.
Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining read for middle grade/younger teens.
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