by Peter Clenott
Publisher: Imajin Books
Released: August 3, 2013
Genre: Fiction- YA: Thriller
How I got it: Received an ARC from the author
What does it truly mean to be ‘Human’?
Chiku Flynn wasn’t raised to be human. Born in the Congolese rainforest, she spends her first eleven years as part of an experiment. For her, the aboriginal—the primitive—is ‘normal.’
Just after her eleventh birthday, Chiku witnesses the horrifying death of her mother, and her father sends her ‘home’ to the United States, to a normal teenager’s life. But she can’t adapt. She is the proverbial wild child—obstinate and defiant.
When her father disappears, sixteen-year-old Chiku heads back to the primordial jungle, where she uncovers her own dark past and puts to use her greatest skill: she can communicate via sign language with the wild chimpanzees of Chimp Island.
But there is turmoil in the rainforest—civil war, environmental upheaval…and murder. The lives of the chimps and the safety of the people she loves depend upon one teenaged girl who refuses to be messed with—Chiku Flynn.
Review: Wow! This was a riveting read. Chiku is a wonder.
Six-teen year old Chiku is naive about a lot of things. She lived with her mother, father, and a group of chimps for most of her life. After seeing her mother become a crocodile snack, she is sent to live with her grandmother. Where she becomes a troubled youth, ok more of a wild child. When her dad goes missing, Chiku returns to Africa to take care of the chimps, picking up where she left off and to find her dad.
Chiku is a brilliant young woman in her own right, teaching the chimps. She's also loyal, loving, fearless, and reckless. A great female lead. Tim is a wonderful love interest, and old friend, some one she grew up with. He's an artist type, gentle unless he needs to defend those he cares about similar to Chiku. Mark is just creepy older guy, in my opinion.
The turbulent setting of the book adds to the tension and gripping plot of the book. I liked the added awareness of the chimps, showing their point of view and giving them a voice in this human world.
Mr Clenott does a wonderful job showing the horrid conditions of the refugees, the hardness of poachers, and the tension living in such a world can bring. Over all an awesome,emotion filled read with some excellent twists and turns that kept me reading late into the night.