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Monday, July 14, 2014

Devolution by Peter Clenott

Hi there!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please the reader in you with something different, something unexpected, most days of the week….Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we’re focusing on a Young Adult ebook I recently read and considering the length (PDF page wise at least) as well as my lackluster affection for this particular reading format (to each their own, but as for me…PAPER PLEASE!), it was a pretty big feat.  How so?  Well, while traditional page counts bring it in at just under 300 pages, my particular format set it at about 412.  *-*  Before you go all judgey pants on me, let me say this…BIG BOOKS DON’T SCARE ME…however big ebooks, I tend to shy away from simply for my previously discussed pleasure deficit in that area.  HOWEVER, when I was approached about this one, it intrigued me as I think it will you…and rest as they say is WELL READ history.  Ready to meet today’s featured title?  Start the count down at three and be sure to use your hands as well because some in this story communicate better that way.  Today’s book of choice is….

Peter Clenott
Book Details:
978-1-927792-13-1 (Kindle ebook)
978-1-927792-14-8 (Trade paperback)
Imagin Books

About the book….
What does it truly mean to be ‘Human’?

... Chiku Flynn wasn’t raised to be human. Born in the Congolese rainforest, she spends her first eleven years as part of an experiment. For her, the aboriginal—the primitive—is ‘normal.’

Just after her eleventh birthday, Chiku witnesses the horrifying death of her mother, and her father sends her ‘home’ to the United States, to a normal teenager’s life. But she can’t adapt. She is the proverbial wild child—obstinate and defiant.

When her father disappears, sixteen-year-old Chiku heads back to the primordial jungle, where she uncovers her own dark past and puts to use her greatest skill: she can communicate via sign language with the wild chimpanzees of Chimp Island.

But there is turmoil in the rainforest—civil war, environmental upheaval…and murder. The lives of the chimps and the safety of the people she loves depend upon one teenaged girl who refuses to be messed with—Chiku Flynn


There is SO MUCH going on here, it’s easy to see things through the often times chaotic mind of our leading lady, Chiku.  If I had to sum it up quickly, it’s a little bit Planet of the Apes (without the actual taking-over-the-world), with a dash of Laura Croft Tomb Raider (because let’s face it Chiku IS indeed a badda**), and a smidge of Tarzan (but only just).  It’s fascinating and wild (again, much like our lead) and there’s so much drama playing out you almost don’t know where to look at what time.  Luckily, the author reins in your attention and refocuses the game because otherwise, you could become quite lost with no human or chimpanzee companion to help you find your way home.

So, you’ve read the synopsis above I’m sure, now let me break it down again.  Anthropological doctors Mr. and Mrs. Flynn lived in Africa studying the forest chimpanzees, had a daughter whom they entrusted to be raised mostly by same said chimps (shocked?  Oh it gets better…or worse..) as well as themselves (to some degree), experienced their ups and downs like any family until one day a river dwelling creature with a BIG set of chompers ended the mother’s life…right before the eyes of her beloved daughter and her best friend.  Events then become a bit fuzzy but they end in Seth Flynn sending his daughter to the states to acclimate to a human populated civilization quoting that the dangers of Africa were too great for her.  Yeah…question is danger from what and or whom?  *dun dun dunnnn*

Flash forward five years and Chiku is back against the better judgment of her half-sister Carey, on a mission to find the man who send her away, her father…Seth Flynn.  HOWEVER, upon touching down, much has changed in the time she’s been gone and the world she felt so safe and secure in is going through it’s own upheaval affecting both man and beast in ways seen and yet-to-be-determined.  The shady parts of her memory begin to fill in as time progresses and those synapses long sleeping are fired back into life.  She also reconnects with the land, her troop, and several males putting on very nice displays for her attention. *smirk*  Let’s just say that although she may not be the “classic beauty” she casts her own spell and her in-your-face, tells-it-like-it-is  attitude, though annoying on some, works for her….and draws the fellas like a bee to honey (or rather to pollen seeing as that’s actually what they collect to make the honey, but you get the picture). 

Anyway, the story uncovered, the troubles in the land previously of (mostly) content are huge, making this about something MUCH bigger than a lost father, or even the refugees flocking to the borders of the forest…and with high tension comes danger, scheming, and death.  There are friends among the masses and those merely posing as such but determining just who is whom will take some massive determination.  One thing is certain though, someone is behind everything that’s going down and Chiku, teenage daredevil with a will of steel and a heart of tarnished gold, makes it her mission to uncover it all….even if it means the end of her life.

If I haven’t captured your attention with my longwinded spiel up there, then I’m not certain what will.  Chiku is an amazing, frustrating, smart mouth, free spirit if there ever was one with a troubled past unknown even to her (for now).  She has friends in both furry and non form that would do anything for her just as she would do anything for them….something that comes in handy several dozen times as this story progresses.  While she might not be the best role model in every area, she is fantastic nonetheless.  Carey, her half sister, starts as a snob to the max but blossoms into…okay, well not exactly a new person but a much better one than we first met.  Mark, Tim, and Darius are three VERY different fellows with one thing in common….Chiku.  Yeppers, they are all vying for attention in one way or another (mostly in the “other”) but while all that is playing out, we also get to know these guys pretty well…for better and worse.   Who’d be my pick for her?  Ooh…tough question; Mark’s got the experience and similar interest, but Tim’s a solid catch through and through…I’ll let her make the decisions as it IS her life after all. 

We haven’t even begun to touch on all those that make appearances in her life and impact the story overall from Dr. Kessel and Dr. Fisher to the Hayfields and Rebecca; there’s oh so many to meet and only so much attention span of yours that I’m willing to dominate.  I must however make an exception and make mention of the chimpanzees in Chiku’s life.  From Pan to Scopes, Milk Mama to Scals, they comfort, defend, challenge and learn to the extent evolution has allowed them, yes, but with a hand up from Chiku and her parents, some have stepped outside the box of “normal limits”.  It’s scarily curious to read while also lending it an intellectual intrigue you weren’t at first expecting…something else to let your mind consider the implications of and whether you think it right or playing God.  (Nice blend!)

So, in conclusion, if you couldn’t tell, I was reeled in hook, line, and sinker…ebook for not.  I’d highly recommend it to older teens through adults due to some content, concepts, and mild drug use; no need to introduce those things too early into every day life…time takes care of that soon enough.  Grab your copy today and meet the girl who wouldn’t be tamed…nor should she be.


Special thanks to author Peter Clenott for the ebook edition for review.  (THANKS!)  This title is available now in both ebook and paperback editions via Imagin Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore or virtual shelf near you.  To discover more about the publisher, be sure to stop by their official site, follow them on Twitter, or friend them on Facebook

Until next time…happy reading!

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