Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lucy by Laurence Gonzales

Deep in the jungles of the Congo, primatologist Jenny Lowe finds herself caught in the middle of a civil war. Amidst bursting bombs and gunfire, she flees to the camp of rival scientist Donald Stone. There she finds everyone dead except his fourteen-year-old daughter, Lucy. Jenny grabs his notebooks and the frightened girl and hurries back to civilization. While Lucy tries to adjust to life outside the jungle, the only home she has ever known, the babble of noise and such bewildering things as grocery stores, televisions, and shopping malls, and struggles to fit in with the other kids in high school, Jenny makes a startling discovery in Dr. Stone’s journals—Lucy is not entirely human, she is a hybrid, half human, half ape.

When Lucy becomes ill with a virus that only animals get, the truth comes out and the battle to protect Lucy and keep her safe from harm begins as all over the world religious fanatics  neo-Nazis, scientists, government officials, and just ordinary people debate whether she should be considered a human being, and treated like one, or caged and studied like an unusual animal specimen.

This was a swift, interesting, and enjoyable little thriller, filled with science, thought provoking issues, and adventure, and likable characters, especially Lucy herself and those who care about her, but not too ponderous for a bathtub or beach read. 

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