Author: Eliot Schrefer
How Received: BookExpo America
The Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.
When one girl has to follow her mother to her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. It's her mother's passion, and she'd rather have nothing to do with it. But when revolution breaks out and their sanctuary is attacked, she must rescue the bonobos and hide in the jungle. Together, they will fight to keep safe, to eat, and to survive.
I knew I was going to like Endangered long before I read the first page; I'm a sucker for animal books. I've never read an animal book I didn't like. That didn't mean Endangered was going to be a good book.
Endangered was a good book.
I was sucked into it with the first paragraph; the writing was beautiful, and the bonobos won my heart over. I can remember each of their names in the stories, even if I can't tell you a name of a single human character. They were the stars of the show, their goofiness and animal ferocity making them more memorable than most characters I encounter on a daily basis.
There were still issues with it; as the revolution went on, there were a few scenes that seemed scattered and out of place - for instance, our main character has to rescue Otto from a young soldier, and that entire scene felt... odd and unnecessary, because the plot and characters didn't develop from the scene. (Of course, I have an ARC; that may have been cut out in the final version, but I doubt it.)
However, the lyrical writing and the bonobos - Otto! Songolia! I even liked Anastasia. - make the book more than worth the read, and by the end of the story, you may want to throw yourself into the Congo to go work with bonobos. I know I do.
Overall Rating & Final Comments: 8/10. Heartwrenching and lyrical, but not perfect, and not something I think I'd reread.
Do keep a look out for Eliot's photo at the back of the book, because bonobos are adorable.
What did you guys think of it?