Eva

Peter Dickinson, Author
Peter Dickinson, Author Delacorte Press $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-440-50129-9
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Following a terrible car crash, Eva, 14, awakens from a strange dream and finds herself in a hospital bed. Medical science, in this book's future setting, has allowed doctors to pull her functioning brain from her crushed body and put it into the able body of a chimpanzee. With the aid of a voice synthesizer, she communicates with others and adjusts to her new body; because her father is a scientist who has always worked among the chimps (who have been crowded by the massive human population out of any semblance of a natural world, and into iron and steel jungles), Eva is comfortable with her new self. She takes on the issue of animal rights, setting up (with the help of others, of course) an elaborate scheme to release chimps back into the last of the wild. Years later, that is where she dies. The story is riveting from the outset, especially as Dickinson details the ways in which Eva's life is saved, and the progress of her recovery. As the story becomes more political, the author loses sight of some compelling questions he has sewn into the opening pages: Who owns her--the chimp's owner, her parents, herself? Eva's human aspect becomes a device that allows her to help other chimps survive, but is otherwise unquestioned. The drama is no less suspenseful for that, but it is less satisfying. Ages 12-16. (Apr.)
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