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Cathy Camper (The Five Owls, May/June 1989 (Vol. 3, No. 5))
Eva is a tale of backwards evolution, a story of man's regression back to apes. Dickinson breathes fresh life into this potential Planet of the Apes rerun by questioning mankind's insatiable curiosity and desire to control nature. The story is set in an overpopulated, futuristic world, where TV hologram jungles and advertisements featuring chimps in jumpsuits have all but taken the place of real wildlife. When scientists begin to transplant human minds into chimps' bodies, it raises many ethical questions about animal rights and the rights of science. Through Eva's adolescent mind and her compassionate understanding of chimpanzees, the reader comes to appreciate and even envy the chimps' way of life, which seems often less crazy than the human world. Dickinson wisely maintains a scientific objectivity toward his animal characters, "personifying" them only within the parameters of realistic chimp behavior. Although set in a science fiction world, this book will raise many contemporary questions concerning the ethics of experimentation and human infringement of animal rights, provocative questions that will stick in the reader's mind long after the story is done. 1989, Delacorte, $14.95. Ages 12 up.
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