I absolutely loved my introduction to Matthew Reilly last year with ‘The Tournament’. I also enjoyed ‘The Great Zoo of China’ even though it is completely different. This book is apparently much more his style. It is an action book on a massive scale with just enough realism to pull you into the story and let you imagine that it could actually take place.
China wants to be recognised as a major player in the world rather than just a producer of products designed by other countries. The Chinese have been working on a project in total secrecy for 40 years (their answer to Disneyland) and it is now time for them to tell the rest of the world.
They invite a number of high profile journalists to a preview of their new zoo. Included among the journalists are Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron, an expert on reptiles who is representing National Geographic and her photographer brother Hamish. The zoo is massive and extremely well designed and set up and they very soon find out what creature is being exhibited at the zoo.
They are suitably impressed and have been assured that nothing can go wrong. But, right from the start, CJ suspects that not everything is as it seems.
Soon the first cracks begin to appear in the organisation with the entire zoo quickly descending into total chaos. CJ and Hamish, along with the other guests, are soon fighting for their lives on multiple fronts.
What made this book so appealing was the incredibly realistic rationale for the totally fantastic zoo. There was enough science to make you believe that the story could be possible, and enough realistic background about China to make the reasons for the zoo logical.
Nobody does Chaos quite like Matthew Reilly and when things went wrong in this story, they did so in a very big way.
The book was very fast paced and easy to read and despite the size of the book I got through it in less than two days.
CJ was an excellent character, as was Greg Johnson, and I hope that we get to see both of them again in future books.
Book Published 2014