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EVA by Peter Dickinson Kirkus Star

EVA

By Peter Dickinson

ISBN: 440-50129-6
Publisher: Delacorte

A gifted fantasy-writer combines a dystopian future with an imaginative exercise: describing what it would be like to be the hybrid that results when the brain-patterns and memory of a dying girl are transferred into the brain of a chimpanzee. Even for 13-year-old Eva, who has always played with the chimps in the reserve managed by her scientist father, waking from a long coma to find herself in a chimp's body is a harrowing experience; both she and her parents are forced to reexamine their concepts of self and love and how they are related to body as well as mind. Her mother would like to treat her like the old Eva; ironically, it is her less sympathetic, more analytical father who becomes a reluctant ally when Eva (who has kept her sanity by understanding that she must make peace with her chimp body as well as her human mind) leads her chimp companions in an escape back to a natural habitat--a rarity in a world with crippling overpopulation and few surviving creatures other than man. Dedicating his book to Jane Goodall, Dickinson incorporates a lot of fascinating lore on chimp behavior into his carefully reasoned narrative; his depiction of a terminally overcrowded society centered on "shapers" (3D TV)--and where mass suicide is a symptom of the boredom that leads to despair--is chilling. Sure to entertain, but thought-provoking as well.