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 Profecus. 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.
I absolutely adored this book. If you ever loved the sarcastic and funny one-liners delivered by Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, then you will love Jinx. The futuristic world built by Amy McCulloch is full of robots, intrigue and school competitions.
In this world, the must-have technologic companion is a baku (pronounced ‘Back-you‘ and not ‘Bar-que‘ as I mistakenly kept calling it). Lacey, our protagonist comes across a damaged baku and decides to fix it in time to start her first day at her new school. Along the way we meet an interesting cast of characters and are given a preview of what life in the future holds for us if companies like Apple and Google are left to play unchecked.
Jinxed is an easy read and kept me entertained all the way to the end. I’m not sure if there will be a sequel, though, given the cliffhanger ending, I sure hope there is one. If you enjoy science fiction, robots, and suspense than you will enjoy Jinxed.