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Dark Inheritance

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  336 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
After being asked to raise Umber, a bonobo chimpanzee, in his home as part of an experiment to discover the differences in learning patterns between humans and chimps, Dr Jim Dutton, an anthropology professor, begins to suspect that his primate pupil has been genetically altered.
Hardcover, 519 pages
Published March 6th 2001 by Warner Books (NY) (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 15, 2011 Punk rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
SF. Oh boy, when you can buy a used hardback for $0.95 it is not a good sign. Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks this book stinks. It's basically Congo crossed with Jurassic Park, except neither of the Gears has Crichton's talent for getting across difficult information with user-friendly efficiency, and the writing is awful. Rape is used as a threat against women (and/or the men who love them) at least four times, from two different sources. The plot has a major hole in it, but I gue ...more
Alex Telander
Jan 25, 2011 Alex Telander rated it liked it
The latest novel from husband-and-wife authors, W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear, features essentially man’s creation of the missing link between apes and humans. Dark Inheritance transcends the realms of the current genome project and genetic engineering to bring the first ape of the endangered Bonobo species, to contain the larger and more intelligent human brain.

Some of you may remember Lucy, the ape who could communicate through sign language. Dark Inheritance’s main character, Umber
Aug 02, 2008 Tracy rated it liked it
An entertaining science fiction type of thriller that is skillfully written with well-developed characters.

I especially liked the skill in which the ape character of Umber was gradually revealed. She was an important character and one that made me think.

About my only criticism of the book is that it really checked off all the requirements for a Hollywood script. It has the broken family reunited during crisis thing going on. It's forgiveable. Overall I found myself thinking about the book when
May 12, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it
Can you tell I am on a kick? Trade paperback, oh sweet pulp fiction. This book was a more educated thriller than most and well-written to boot!

I am not a fan of the Cricton-like writers, mainly because techno-thrillers do very little for me; however, throw a bit of genetics, ethics, horror and the occult in there and I'll read till my hears content. Now add a killer and I am hooked.

What's best about this style of book though is that they are often decently researched and have some educational v
J.M. Northup
Jan 19, 2016 J.M. Northup rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smart and riveting!
This book was smart and riveting. The relationships show incredible complexity and again, the story challenges you to define what it means to be human or "superior." There wasn't anything about this book that was predictable. I was deeply engrossed in reading it and absorbed in the characters and story alike. I loved Umber and her family and lived the drama she faced with every turn of the page, rooting for her all the while!
Natalie Barkhouse-bishop
Mar 30, 2014 Natalie Barkhouse-bishop rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
A quick and easy read. I thought the characters had great depth and I got hooked on the storyline right off. I enjoyed the science and it was explained well with just enough and not too many scientific terminology. All in all, a great read!
Mar 25, 2016 Linden rated it liked it

Interested in animal intelligence, I bought this book for 50¢ at the A.R.F. Thrift Store a month ago. True, the plot is based upon secret gene combining between human DNA and that of the bonobo in order to develop the primate brain. Smyth-Archer Chemists, a fictional multi-billion dollar company, has been quietly exploring this questionable field, giving out promising results--the resulting young--to be raised by primatologists all across the country.

From her earliest years, Dr. Jim Dutton has r
Nov 28, 2011 Caitlin rated it liked it
I read this book while my husband was in the hospital and it was perfect for the frame of mind I was in. I needed something that could distract me, wouldn't require to much brain power to comprehend, and could easily be put down and picked up again as nurses and doctors were coming in and out of the room. This fit the bill perfectly. It was an easy read, entertaining, and interesting. It was good enough to keep me reading, but I wouldn't necessarily seek out another novel from these authors agai ...more
Dec 02, 2014 Leonca rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
There was a lot of potential here, but I think the authors missed out on a chance to focus on the most interesting elements of their story. I was drawn in by what I thought would be an exploration of identity and intelligence seen through non-human eyes. We get some of that with Umber and the other bonobos, and those were the best parts. What the summery leaves out is the enormous chunk dedicated to a romantic plot between characters with awkward dialogue who feel like they have little chemistry ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I thought this book was very Crichton-esque, in that it used lots of actual science to set up a believable fictional premise. A pharmaceutical company is secretly genetically engineering apes to be more human. Obviously, things are not going to work out as the company planned and events spiral horribly out of control. Death and mayhem ensue. Can anthropologist Jim Dutton, his teenage daughter Brett, and their genetically enhanced bonobo, Umber, figure out what is going on and manage to escape fr ...more
David Donaghe
Apr 06, 2011 David Donaghe rated it really liked it
When scientist alter the genes of bonobo chimps and add human genes to their gene code, they develop super smart chimps, but when poachers in Africa kill one of these super smart ape's mate, the ape becomes psychotic and turns on its human handlers. I found this to be an entertaining read.

David H. Donaghe
author of Monroe's Paranormal
Investigations and The Tale
Jim Stennett
Oct 30, 2014 Jim Stennett rated it really liked it
Good, not great. Fun story, but the last 200 pages are better than the first 300 so stick with it. Comparable to Michael Crichton but not his quality nor does it reach that point you can't put it down like his always reached. Still, overall worth checking out. If you remember Congo, it's something like that.
Jul 03, 2011 Miriam rated it really liked it
Interesting concept, good character development, nice pace. But the authors seemed to be writing the book in hopes of making a movie out of it. It had that movie feel to it. It is hard to explain what that includes, but being too tidy in the end is one aspect. In some books, I just get a sense I am reading a movie, not a book. At least this one had more substance than many with that feel.
Jun 26, 2008 Allison rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Hard Sci Fi Fans
Excellent book that deftly combines hard sci-fi with actual characters beyond the typical cutouts employed to move forward most H/S/F plotlines. It raises frightening questions without neatly answering them, allowing readers to draw conclusions of their own. Reminiscent of Chromosome 6 and Congo (Cook and Crichton,) but better than either.
Jun 18, 2012 Theresa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
a theoretical approaches to the other human races a very dark story, about Cain and Able being more then just brothers a genetic series showing the abilities and potential disaster that genetic manipulation may culminate.
Marjorie Elwood
The topic (genetic manipulation) was interesting and it was fast-paced and gripping, but the ploys used were sometimes predictable and everybody kept arriving just in time to save others.
Jan 01, 2015 KeAnne rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2015
Bless its heart. It tried hard, but it wasn't successful. It did have some interesting moments, and it did drive me to look up the difference between bonobos and chimps.
Melissa Kesead
Jun 30, 2010 Melissa Kesead rated it it was amazing
Very interesting take on genetics. When human genes are combined with those of bonobo's, the line between animal and human are crossed with interesting and scary results.
Oct 22, 2012 Annette rated it really liked it
I've enjoyed other books by these authors, so I knew I'd like this one. This thought-provoking suspense involves genetics, "augmented apes", big corporations, and families.
Edward Schneider
Mar 15, 2013 Edward Schneider rated it really liked it
The book was one of the best that I have read by Kathleen and Michael Gear. Good medical background
Dec 14, 2015 Brandi rated it really liked it
I thought this was a good book, I liked the charterers. I would recommend this book. Fast read too.
Brenda rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2011
Don rated it really liked it
Jan 25, 2011
Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler rated it did not like it
Mar 12, 2009
Carla rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2013
Ann rated it it was ok
Jun 30, 2011
Lisa Hyatt
Lisa Hyatt rated it really liked it
Dec 16, 2011
Heather rated it liked it
Jan 04, 2010
Darin rated it it was amazing
May 17, 2014
Sten Coppin
Sten Coppin rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2012
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W. Michael Gear was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on the twentieth of May, 1955. A fourth generation Colorado native, his family had been involved in hard-rock mining, cattle ranching, and journalism. After his father's death in 1959, Michael's mother received her Master's degree in journalism and began teaching. In 1962 she married Joseph J. Cook, who taught tool and die making, and the fam ...more
More about W. Michael Gear...

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