Friday, October 29, 2010

Ape House by Sara Gruen

Isabel Duncan is a scientist who works with bonobo apes at the Great Ape Language Lab. Bonzi, Sam, Jelani, Lola, and Mbongo, the bonobos, are no ordinary apes. They have learned American Sign Language, and use it to communicate with humans and with each other. The bonobos are a very intelligent species, and use reasoning, as well as build strong relationships.

John Thigpen is a reporter who comes to visit the apes and interview Isabel, and finds that his life is forever changed. When protesters bomb the facility and "free" the apes, Isabel is injured and unable to protect them. The apes fall into unscrupulous hands and land on a reality TV show. Now, John and Isabel must work together, with a little help from an unusual cast of characters, to save the bonobos.

I really liked this book. The plot was well paced and kept you drawn in, and it was well researched. The bonobos were real characters in this story, each with their own personality, and I found myself getting attached to them. Another thing I liked was that the book was unpredictable. I didn't finish it and say "Well, that was another Sara Gruen book", because it's so different, and I really like that about Ms. Gruen's books - they're all different from each other. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

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