Heartfelt story about an ape raised to human intelligence. The Gears are best-known for their earlier archeological novels, usually about the First North Americans (The Visitant, 1999), though this time out they choose a subject that would appeal to the Steven Spielberg, who not only made E.T. but adapted Michael Crichton’s dino novels. SAC, a British pharmaceuticals firm, searching for an HIV antivirus, has given apes human antibodies to make them good test subjects. Later developments lead to an amazing leap in intelligence, raising some test anthropoids to hominid status. Umber, a bonobo ape, is raised from birth with anthropology professor Dr. Jim Sutton's daughter Brett, a girl Umber’s age. Umber speaks with a Stephen Hawking–like mechanical voice, wonders about God, etc. Then the chimp must be introduced to the wilds of Africa, where the Duttons find SAC far outstripping Umber as a test subject.
Once again, first-rate storytelling from this immensely prolific team.