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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, but there is turmoil in the rainforest, civil war, environmental upheaval and murder.
Intelligent and highly compelling, author Peter Clenott creates a unique heroine in his action novel, Devolution. A heroine refreshingly devoid of the trite teenage angst that prevails in more common fiction, the character of Chiku Flynn is masterfully observed, combining intelligence and wisdom that belies her tender years. She is an inspired choice who doesn’t need social acceptance or peer prestige, with Clenott making the unbelievable seem tantalizingly plausible. It’s an enthralling plot that invokes the reader’s imagination on every page, its intricacies demanding a leisurely read to truly appreciate its thematic undertones. A theme which clearly contrasts the natural instincts of animals to kill in defence, with the arbitrary slaughter that mankind invariably justifies, with Devolution ultimately serving as a damning indictment on societal norms.
An undeniably sophisticated tale, there is a noble quality to Clenott's words as he ably manifests the world into which his young protagonist is thrust. A world where violence pervades, but insight and instinct prevails, as the reader is ultimately left to contemplate the real differences between man and the primates from which we might well be decended.
Original in its telling and an absolute pleasure to read, Devolution is a novel for our times and certainly deserving of a place on your book shelf. It is recommended with out reservation!
Author Peter Clenott - In The Spotlight
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