Saturday, January 10, 2015

Review of The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

Title: The Great Zoo of China
Author: Matthew Reilly
Source:  NetGalley (for an honest review)
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: January 27 2015
Rating: 2/5

Goodreads Summary:

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.

This is the last book I read in 2014 and I was not overly impressed unfortunately. This book intrigued me and so I requested it.

 The Chinese government found dragons and kept it a secret from the rest of the world so they could create The Great Zoo of China that would rival all other zoo and amusement parks in the world. In order to promote the zoo they invite VIP journalist to take a view of the zoo. The tour starts out good then things go downhill quickly.

The characters were mediocre. CJ is a reptile expert and insist her brother comes along with her as her photographer. We also have a few government officials who have their own secrets. The book started out a mystery. The first few pages mention CJ, but we do not know how the other character knows CJ or why he has been murdered but the novel started to lose my interest after things at the zoo started going down the tubes.

The plot was very Jurassic Park which in a way is inevitable with the storyline, however I felt like this novel had nothing new to add to the plot. The idea of discovering dragon eggs and deciding to make a zoo including these dragons is a unique and interesting idea, but the characters were one sided with not a lot of depth. We get a small flashback into CJ's past which I think either should have been explored more or taken out completely. This is the same for the other characters also. We get some flashes of the characters past that could be intriguing if they were explored further or should have simply been cut out of the novel since it did not add anything to the story. The science of how the dragon eggs survived and how the dragons were able to survive was not explained at all. I hoped this would be explored further.

Overall I was disappointed with this novel. I know my view of this novel is not the popular opinion so I am curious to hear what other people think of this novel.  Please leave a comment below.

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