Jinxed

Jinxed
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
January 07, 2020
ISBN
978-1492683742
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The Golden Compass meets the digital age! When a coding star enters an elite technology academy, she discovers a world of competition, intrigue, and family secrets―plus a robotic companion that isn't what it seems.

Lacey Chu is a girl who codes. She has always dreamed of working as an engineer for MONCHA, the biggest tech firm in the world and the company behind the "baku"―a customizable "pet" with all the capabilities of a smartphone. But when Lacey is rejected by the elite academy that promises that future, she's crushed.

One night, Lacey comes across the broken form of a highly advanced baku. After she repairs it, the cat-shaped baku she calls Jinx opens its eyes and somehow gets her into her dream school. But Jinx is different than any other baku she's ever seen...He seems real.

As Lacey settles into life at school, competing with the best students in a battle of the bakus that tests her abilities, she learns that Jinx is part of a dangerous secret. Can Lacey hold on to Jinx and her dreams for the future?

Editor review

1 review
Love your smart phone?
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Lacey has always dreamed of attending Profectus school, which is geared to students who want to be Companioneers for Moncha Corporation. She has always tinkered with machinery and computers, and is excited about getting a baku of her own-- the android animals that are the digital communication devices of choice in her society. When she doesn't get in, she is crushed, but after rescuing her best friend Zora's baku, she ends up with a cat that has characteristics unusual for a baku. Suddenly, Lacey has gained entrance to the academy and her life is back on track. She fixes Jinx up, and is soon on a baku battle team at her school. She is better at repairs than anyone, fixing a completely crushed dog baku so that her team can continue. She even has a light romance going with the team captain. Still, there are problems-- Monica Chan, the founder of the baku movement, hasn't been heard from in a long tie, and Eric Smith is taking over. His evil son is trying to get Lacey kicked out of school. Lacey's father, who worked for Moncha Corp but left under suspicious circumstances, may be affecting her scientific progress. Lacey is even having problems with Zora, and she begins to suspect that Jinx's origin may be even more secret than she has suspected. A sequel, Unleashed, came out in the UK
August 22nd 2019 (Simon & Schuster Children's UK ), so hopefully we will see it here next year.
Good Points
The premise that since people always had cell phones with them, but the cells phones were making them anxious, so lets make faux pets that function like smart phones is brilliant. I always love books where the children have a passion in an interest, and Lacey has worked really hard to start on the path to making baku with Moncha Corp. The light romance is fun and doesn't take over the story, and there's a good balance between supportive and antagonistic characters. The baku battles will add another level of interest for students who want more action in the book; I was just enthralled with Lacey's ability to fix things!

This is a fun adventure, and the sequel, Unleashed, is coming out in January 2021. This will be popular with readers who enjoyed Brown's Wild Robot, Patterson's Robot series, and van Eekhout's Cog. I would like a baku poodle WAY more than my idiotic new smart phone. Slider phones rule!
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