Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: The Great Zoo of China

Title - The Great Zoo of China
Author - Matthew Reilly 
Genre - Fantasy Thriller
Published - January 27th 2015
Publisher - Gallery Books
Format - Kindle


It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years.

They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world.

Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed.

A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time.

Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles.

The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can’t…


Dragon teaser 
CJ stared at it in awe.
She had actually wondered if the dragons she had seen from afar might have been somehow fake—perhaps sophisticated animatronic robots—but now that she saw this one up close, she was under no illusions. This was a living breathing beast.
It was the size of a large horse, like a Clydesdale, about nine feet tall, but it was skinnier than a horse, more skeletal. That said, it probably still weighed close to a ton.
The animal’s head—at the end of a long slender neck—stood a few feet above Hu Tang’s right shoulder. It was brightly coloured. Vivid yellow-and-black stripes ran down its body, from the shoulders to the tip of its tail.
As it had landed beside Hu, the creature’s wings had folded quickly and efficiently to its sides, all but disappearing from view. The wings were bat-like, huge spans of translucent hide stretched taut between elongated vestigial fingerbones. Where they met the dragon’s body, the joints and fascia were thick and strong, as one would expect of musculature that had to lift such a substantial weight.
The skin on its back and legs was armoured with what appeared to be thick plating. That plating was shot through with striated patterns and osteoderms like those found on a crocodile’s back and tail. Its underbelly appeared softer and CJ could see its ribcage pressing against its dark leathery skin as it breathed powerfully in and out.
It had four legs on which it walked. They were thin and bony yet well muscled, and the forelimbs had long finger-like claws that looked capable of gripping things.
The whole animal seemed built for light and fast movement. It had not an ounce of excess weight on it. It stood like a jungle cat, low and coiled, with perfect balance.

CJ has been recruited by her old boss at National Geographic to check out a new zoo in China with the help of her brother and camera guy in tow. It should be an easy trip take some pictures write an article but CJ is about to get more than she bargained. They suspect something it up when the flight to the zoo is on a blacked out plane keeping the location and what it looks like a secret. It becomes apparent after arriving at the zoo that it’s not your typical zoo but instead it houses Dragons and not just a few but over 200 of the creatures. The Chinese have figured out that dragons aren’t stuff of myth but really exist in a hibernation state and have been waking randomly to check the climate as the planet warmed up.

Things start off at the zoo as to be expected the trained dragons perform and they are led on a tour of the zoo but things quickly turn bad when the black red bellies have ripped off their ears which keep the dragons from attacking. Suddenly everyone is under attack the dragons are determined to escape showing advanced intelligence. With the attacking dragons CJ her brother and the rest of the visitors are forced to protect themselves even taking out a few of the dragons. Soon the dome field that kept the dragons in is taken down. Will the dragons be able to escape? Will CJ and her brother make it out alive or fall to the same fate as Lynch?

I really liked CJ she’s a level headed character that doesn't panic in the eyes of danger even risking her own life to save others. I really liked that she survived a large crocodile attack in the past it made her more real for me. She’s not the pretty perfect blonde character who freaked out in the mass mayhem by the dragons but held her own saving lives and taking out the dragons. I just really enjoyed CJ as a character she’s great and I spent the whole story cheering her on. We did get a little bit of the other supporting characters which I enjoyed.

I picked this one up after reading a few reviews I honestly had no idea it existed before that. The Great Zoo of China is Jurassic Park meets dragons in a whole new spin on the dragon concept. I found the whole idea of finding the dragons and creating a zoo intriguing, I expected nothing less than for them to escape and attack. I was a little nervous because while I liked the concept I wasn’t sure if it would meet all my expectations and it blew them away. I loved the characters Lucky stole my heart she was just special and CJ I connected with her which is a big must. The author did a fantastic job creating a captivating story that captures the heart as well as the imagination. The Great Zoo of China is loaded with action, suspense, mystery and even a touch of romance it was hard to put down because I just had to know how it would all play out.  I felt like I was with CJ facing the dragons with her.  I won’t lie I was nervous how it would all play out in the end and the author did a great job closing out the story. This is my first book by the author but he quickly has become someone I look forward to exploring his other books. I just loved every moment of the book and can see myself reading it again in the future. A must read for all dragon fans.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good one I am for sure putting it on my list. :)