Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review - The Great Zoo of China


The Great Zoo of China

By: Matthew Reilly
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: January 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4767-4955-6
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: March 14, 2015

Matthew Reilly resurrects medieval creatures and gives them the spotlight in his latest thriller, The Great Zoo of China.

The Chinese government has carefully guarded their secret for forty years, afterall, it takes time to perfect the re-evolution of dragons. Soon they will release the proof of their existence to the world. In the final stages of doing just that, the final step has arrived. With the arrival of New York Times reporters along with expert on reptiles, Dr. Cassandra Jane “CJ” Cameron (currently a writer for National Geographic), China is finally standing in the wings of recognition as the creator of the most incredible zoo in the world.

Gathered in the theatre for a brief presentation before the tour, CJ and the rest of the esteemed visitors are about to witness the protected forty year secret of the Chinese government. Assured by their Chinese hosts the shock and awe of the American visitors will barely be contained once they have the opportunity to witness the beasts, dragons, which they are assured are perfectly safe and nothing can possibly go wrong. Perhaps arrogance clouded the Chinese naiveté or maybe they hadn’t calculated precisely enough the power of the beasts they were about to unleash for the world to see...

Matthew Reilly is every kid’s dream come true when it comes to taking the impossible and putting it to reality in a book. Not since the emergence of Jurassic Park has there been a story that could top such a premise. This is to say until Reilly decides to replace those dinosaurs with the real “Knights of the Roundtable”: dragons! At no time does this story drag with too much scientific explanation or ad nauseum dialogue. Rather, Reilly grabs his audience, spends the first couple of chapters outlining the scientific credibility and the balance of the book rips through page upon page of high action adventure. Reilly portrays epic battle beast upon beast and the blood, gut and gore that is worthy of survival of the fittest only to draw the reader back to a “…meanwhile, on the other side of the park…” moment. There are no twenty minute long, scientific words which is brilliant! Rather, Reilly cuts to the chase with crisp sentences linked together one upon the next to blast a power shot of a paragraph into the reader’s face. Mr. Reilly has earned the title of “International Bestselling Author” and with books like The Great Zoo of China, there is no question his throne and title shall remain intact. Well done, Mr. Reilly! This was a roller coaster of a read and I look forward to the next ride.

Quill says: The next time you visit a zoo, take a moment to consider: “Are we observing the animal...or is the animal observing us?”