Ab's Reviews > Eva

Eva by Peter Dickinson
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May 02, 10

bookshelves: realms-of-the-psychological, fantastically-fantastical, sci-fi-ness, pleasantly-strange
Read from April 27 to 28, 2010

This book was very strange, in an interesting-strange kind of way. Eva is injured in a car accident, which leaves her body broken and comatose, she is somehow transplanted, as a mind, into the body of a chimpanzee (her father runs "The Pool" which is the last place chimps exist, none in the wild since the expansion of human population, and destruction of natural land areas; they exist as chimps, but also as bodies for science, so it can get some funding). Anyway, Eva wakes up in a chimp body, and she's grown up with chimps, so comes to terms with the idea much more quickly than later attempts, which simply kill the mind and chimp.

When I was reading this, and the whole "mind-into-chimp-body" is revealed right away, I was left wondering where the story was going to go ... you'd think that'd be the shocker ending or something. But it ultimately tells an interesting story about animal rights, advocating for animals that can't speak for themselves, and sends a message about using animals as bodies for experimentation to further human lives -- selfish, no matter what the reason. Eva spends time with the chimps in the center, and gets to know their language, feel their fears, smell changes in the emotional tension of a room, and ultimately makes a decision with help of an animal-rights advocate, to truly help these animals, not to further a human agenda.

This book was moving, though-provoking, philosophical in its exploration of morality, and more than I expected it to be. It saddened me a bit thinking about our world in comparison, and how futile being an animal rights advocate seems to be in this day and age, but I'm really glad I read it.
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