The narrator, Lovelock, is a genetically enhanced capuchin monkey trained to function as a "witness," recording the life and thoughts of the person to whom he is attached. Lovelock's master is Carol Jeanne Cocciolone, the world's leading "gaiologist" and now part of an interstellar colonization effort. As Carol Jeanne's family (including her overbearing mother-in-law and browbeaten father-in-law) settle into the strange, self-contained world of the interstellar Ark (whose population is divided into small agricultural communities as practice for their future lives on a new world), Lovelock begins to chafe under the bonds of his psychological conditioning. Increasingly unhappy with the injustice of his servitude and the indifference of his master, he plots to break free.
This is a fun quick read.
Reminded me a lot of Card's later Ender books. Although the action takes place in an exotic setting (on a colony ship, just about to set off in search of a suitable planet) the action really has to do with small-town dramas. (leaving one's old life behind irrevocably is very traumatic to relationships, Card theorizes). Against this background, our protagonist, an "enhanced" monkey, gradually comes to a sense of self-awareness - and a desire for respect and equality.
First hundred pages of book are slow.....and then it becomes
fascinating and it's difficult to put down. Exceptional character portrayal here.......less science fiction.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure the second and third books in this so called "trillogy" exist. It's a good read, though.