Review: Jinxed by Amy McCulloch

Lacey Chu has big dreams of working for the company behind the ‘baku’ – a customizable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion for its user. The only problem is, she’s just been rejected from Profectus Academy – the elite academy for cutting-edge tech

Then Lacey meets Jinx… Jinx is an incredibly advanced cat baku who opens up a world that Lacey never new existed, including entry into the hallowed halls of Profectus. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his coded. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet.

He seems … real.

The blurb for this book caught my attention immediately, robotic pets as a perfect companion. Count me in. Talking or companion animals are one of the fantasy/sci-fi tropes I’m a sucker for (even if they are robotic).

I’m so glad I stumbled across this book. Once I’d picked it up I found it hard to put down. It pulled me in right from it’s first page and I couldn’t wait to pick it up and carry on reading.

Lacey was a likeable and relatable main character. Even her ‘chosen one’ type of skills in engineering didn’t seem out of place. Instead she just came across as driven. Her relationship with her friends old and new were very believable especially when Lacey and her best friend Zora were figuring out how they still fitted into each others lives.

The baku’s (smart pets) were amazing. They were described in loving but not over the top detail and the relationship between person and baku was amazing. They reminded me of part dæmon , part familiar while being all tech. They were brilliant and I’d so have one.

This book was also great for showing girls and women in STEM. Engineering, coding, you name it and there were women and girls not only doing it but doing it well. The founder of the company that makes baku’s is a woman, Lacey is a brilliant engineer and her best friend Zora is into coding.

If you’ve not read this brilliant gem of a book yet I thoroughly recommend it – it was so good I’ve immediately downloaded book 2. Not something I often do.

With thanks to Simon and Schuster UK Childrens and Netgalley for a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Jinxed and it’s sequel Unleashed are available now.

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