Sam,Bondi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani and Makena are no ordinary apes. Capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships, they, unlike most bonobos, also know American Sign Language.
Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets, especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans….until she meets John Thigpen, a down-on-his-luck reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.
When an explosion tears apart the lab, severely injuring Isabel and ‘liberating’ the apes to an unknown destination, Johns’s human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime, one he’ll risk his career and his marriage to follow. Then a reality TV show featuring the missing apes debuts under mysterious circumstances, and it immediately becomes the biggest - and most unlikely - phenomenon in the history of modern media. Millions of fans are glued to their screens watching the apes order greasy take-away food, play with their toys, have generous amounts of sex, and sign for Isabel to come get them. Now, to save her family of apes from this parody of human life, Isabel must connect with her own kind, including John and a green-haired vegan, as well as a retired porn star with her own agenda.