Honestly, it was an OK book. I did not feel that it was anything spectacular. Nothing new was brought to the table, but as a summary of the lives of three impressive women, it was moderately successful. I say moderately, since each individual was given roughly 40 pages of a graphic novel to tell who they were, how they got there, how they first adapted in the jungle, one or two of their revelations, and an aftermath of sorts. Frankly, 40 pages of a graphic novel to cram all that information is not enough and does not do their stories justice. And a good portion of that 40 page summary was used for transitions to connect the stories and talk about how they got the job; Which I approve of since there is nothing worse than a choppy story, but therefore meant that there was even less content in the book itself. It was a good simple summary and I liked how the stories were connected, but I just can not help but wish it was longer so that I could learn more about the primates, their work with the primates and what they pioneered! Sadly, the majority of this book was set outside of the jungle.
I believe that this book is meant to be directed for a younger audience because this book is very short (I read it in roughly an hour), the reading level was low, and I found the book to not be as descriptive/informative as I thought it should be. They had to cut out many scenes to squeeze each biography in 40 pages, and did not have the opportunity to go into much detail as to what these brilliant women actually pioneered.
My biggest quirk was probably how often they alluded to their boss's unfaithfulness with his wife. The author is extremely limited in space for the novel, and each page and panel is crucial. So I thought it was odd when they had enough time to mention that their boss, Louis Leakey, cheated on his wife with his former secretary. After which, throughout all three of the protagonists biographies, he would consistently hit on each of the female protagonists and then it would show his wife disapproving of the situation. The story uses Leakey's constant flirtations and his wife's jealousy for comedic effect, but I personally did not find it very amusing. What is this doing in a children's book? More importantly, why is this a constant theme in a children's book? I would have preferred it if they instead added more actual content to the story. But that is just me.
Other scenes that bugged me was that in addition to the constant allusion to Leakey's unfaithfulness, they showed Biruté losing her husband after a couple of years in the jungle (whom we don't really get to appreciate, despite the fact that he helped, supported and encouraged her throughout the entire process), and Dian growing up to be a bitter old woman who is killed by the locals. A small part of me thought that this book was meant to inspire younger audiences, not scare them. It seems to me that the authors attempted to put too much information into the book, and basically crammed the entirety of someone's life into 40 comic book pages each, which just leaves the reader with a bland aftertaste afterwards.
One thing I did enjoy tremendously was the art. The line work is very clean, the colors well chosen, and the images are fun to look upon. The artwork is not in any way distracting from the actual plot and compliments the writing very well. It is a simple style that works! If anything, a young child will enjoy the book just to turn the pages and see the different images.
Overall, I found that this story is too terse and not very informative to be taken seriously by older audiences, and too mature and depressing for younger audiences. I am not quite certain who the targeted readers are.