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Book Review: J2 by Phoebe Wray

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In 2008 I had the pleasure of reviewing JEMMA7729, by Phoebe Wray. Now, four years later, the author has finally come out with the much-awaited sequel, J2

J2 begins with immediate action at the trial upon which Jemma, who was captured and arrested at the end of Book 1 after rebelling against the oppressive Administrative Government of North America (AGNA), now faces the gallows. In what people are calling “The Trial of the Century,” Jemma is pushed on stage in front of an audience to face the shock of her life: her own clone–a younger, smarter and just as gorgeous copy of herself. Needless to say, everybody is in shock, as no one ever expected Jemma to have a clone. 

The irony of it is, J2 was created solely for the reenactment of Jemma’s criminal exploits during the L.A. Terror of 2208 as a way to celebrate the trial. In other words, J2 was created for entertainment purposes only. But in a twist of fate the situation goes havoc when J2 refuses to reenact something she believes to be untrue. She also discovers why Jemma had become a rebel–or “Mover”–and a saboteur: Jemma had blown up chemical labs where they made ingredients to alter people; she’d been trying to stop the government from altering people’s brains.

AGNA’s policy was unequivocal: “People who are dangerous to themselves and to others, malcontents, idiots, women who refuse to take their proper place in society, and social misfits, are altered for the greater good.” 

In Wray’s fictional world, every respectful citizen has to stay trapped under the domes of the city because AGNA preaches that the countryside is toxic from the chemicals of endless wars and filled with mutants and deformed. Yet, this is a lie. The countryside, where the rebel Movers reside, is free and safe and beautiful. At the trial, Jemma urges J2 to follow in her footsteps, leave Chicago, escape to the countryside, and find the Movers.

Result? An insurrection. All hell breaks loose in the courtroom, Fedguards start shooting and arresting people…and J2 vows to finish what Jemma started. 

J2 is a great sequel to JEMMA7729. Jemma was such a strong yet sympathetic character in the first book, I was wondering how the author was going to top her in this the second one. J2 is just as likable yet in a different way. Even though J2 is strong and brilliant, at the same time she’s incredibly innocent and naive about certain things. This makes for a very cute combination. J2 is loyal and brave and will fight for justice no matter what, even if she has to risk her life in the process. There’s a lot of action and the pace moves fairly quickly in spite of the author’s attention to detail when creating her fictional world. A kick-ass heroine with a kind heart, high-speed adventure, and a sprinkle of romance make J2 a fun, entertaining read. 

I have a lot of good things to say about this book. 

 

Purchase J2 from Amazon and Dark Quest Books.

Check out the first book in the series, JEMMA7729

 

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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.