Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

First Line: Breathless, bleeding and covered in sweat, Bill Lynch dropped into the mouth of the cave and crab-crawled further into it as quickly as he could.

The Chinese government has been working on a secret project for forty years, and they're just about ready to unveil it. The secret? They have proven that dragons do exist, and they have built a one-of-a-kind zoo to showcase them to the world. However, before the grand opening, they bring a small group of VIPs and journalists to tour the zoo. Among this group is Dr. Cassandra Jane ("CJ") Cameron, an expert on reptiles who also writes for National Geographic. Their Chinese hosts have told everyone in the group that they will be awestruck at seeing these dragons, and that the beasts are perfectly safe. Absolutely nothing can go wrong.... (Hmm. Where have we heard this before?)

Sometimes I want to pick up a book and be taken along on a roller coaster ride of a story. I just want to have fun creating my own mental movie. That is exactly what I did with Matthew Reilly's The Great Zoo of China. From first page to last, I willing suspended disbelief and had a blast. 

CJ Cameron is the type of intelligent, determined woman who can fight a hungry crocodile and win. When everything starts to go pear-shaped, I knew CJ was the person to glue myself to. From the plausible why's and how's of how the Chinese government could create such a zoo to the beautiful yet deadly dragons to the all-out, on-the-fly escape plans Cameron has to come up with, I was on board and enjoying every syllable and punctuation mark. 

Is the plot predictable? Not always. Are the bad guys really bad and the good guys the best they can be? You bet! Will you really believe in the existence of dragons? That I don't know. All I know is that, for 416 pages, I certainly did.

If you enjoyed the Jurassic Park movies (at least one or two of them), and if you're in the mood for action-packed derring-do and just plain fun, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Great Zoo of China. What a ride!

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
ISBN: 9781476749556
Gallery Books © 2015
Hardcover, 416 pages

Thriller, Standalone
Rating: A+
Source: Paperback Swap   


  1. This does sound like the kind of book that could just take you on a ride, Cathy. And the location (China) is interesting to me. I can see why you thought it was such a good read.

    1. I was surprised by just how much I did enjoy it, Margot.

  2. When I first saw something about this book, I immediately remembered reading JURASSIC PARK for the first time. I was so fascinated. I recall telling my husband that this was going to be big - the book I mean. And then of course there were movies and rides at theme parks and whatever. Anyway, I've been wondering about this book. Think I'll take the plunge at some point. I sure did like the dinosaurs. Why not dragons.

    1. I've always had a thing for dinosaurs and dragons. Crichton and Reilly certainly tapped into that!


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