Monday, March 30, 2015

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

Rating 4 out of 5
Publisher: Macmillan Australia (10 November 2014)
Sold by: Macmillan (AU)
Language: English

'Now, I know what you are thinking,' Hu Tang paused. 'You are thinking that there are hundreds of zoos, why does the world need another one? Indeed, what can China do with a zoo that has not already been done before? Ladies and gentleman...this is what we can do.' At that moment, the speeding bullet train burst out into brilliant sunshine and CJ found herself staring at an awesome sight. 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... GET READY FOR ACTION ON A GIGANTIC SCALE.

After reading "Sophia's Secret" I needed a break. A light fluffy but mostly fun mental break. I had heard Reilly had released a new book and thought it would be the prefect change of pace. It did not disappoint. I had lots of fun reading this book.

Really is really good at writing fast paced big action adventures. This book does have a slowish start compared to some of his other books, but it doesn't take long for action, mayhem and big explosions to start.

I don't think I can write a review with out touching on the obvious comparisons to the book and movies "Jurassic Park". I can see where the comparisons come from. A top secret park full of giant reptile type creatures and it all goes belly up. Same same right?. But this book is only on the surface similar to Jurassic Park. It would be a mistake to dismiss this book as a Jurassic Park rip off. I also appreciated that the author makes two Jurassic park jokes which to me showed he was more then aware of the potential comparison. I really think the author managed to separate his book in the end from Jurassic Park's shadow. By the end I wasn't even thinking about the comparison at all.

I must give the author credit for writing a strong, smart and capable female lead character. CJ gets stuff done and doesn't stand screaming waiting for her knight in shining armour to save her. Yes she does seem to have the best luck in the world but all action heroes do.

One last point the book has some pretty graphic violence. I mean it's dragons attacking and eating people. Just be prepared if you are perhaps more sensitive to these things. It really is violent when it happens (which is pretty regular).

If you are a fan of Matthew Reilly then you will like this book. If you are not then pass. This book is a fun read and all about the action, certainly goes by the mantra of "go big or go home".

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