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Karsyn's Kickass Jocoserious, Kooky, Jannock book blog: Book Review ~ The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review ~ The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

Finished ~ The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
Completed 11/11
5 of 5 stars
544 pages

I received this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

If I used gifs (I don't, because I hate them) mine now would be an exuberant person yelling or screaming, some kind of fangirling, because I FINALLY got to read The Great Zoo of China, and I'm only sad that it's over.

I'm a pretty big Matt Reilly fan. My husband introduced me to him years ago when he suggested I read one of his favorite books by Reilly ~ Ice Station. Ice Station was really my first book into the action adventure type book. Before that, I had been mainly a romance or sci-fi reader (Star Trek), so I tried the Reilly and loved it. It's basically an over the top GI Joe meets Indiana Jones type thing and I loved it. My husband hasn't kept up with the Reilly books (though he wants to get back to them) but I have. I've read all the books in the Scarecrow & Jack West series, as well as Contest and now The Great Zoo of China. Only The Tournament and Troll Mountain aren't my cup of tea, but since it's Reilly, perhaps I'll give it a try at some point.

On to The Great Zoo of China, which was FANTASTIC. When I saw it available, I requested it right away. TGZoC was released in Australia but not here in the States, and isn't slated for release here til Jan which STINKS but since I got my hands on this ARC, I'm contented. :)

The Great Zoo of China is, as the title describes, the greatest zoo ever constructed, with animals never before seen ~ Dragons. I don't consider telling you it's dragons a spoiler because 1 ~ there's a tail of one on the cover of the book, and 2 ~ you really find out right away. This massive Zoo was built in the wilds of China, under complete secrecy. With the beginning of the book, the Zoo is soon to open to the public but first they want to share the zoo with some of the top VIPs of the world and the best journalists. Enter CJ Cameron, an expert on reptiles and a writer for National Geographic. She, and her photographer brother Hamish, are whisked away to China to see this zoo that they know nothing about, and nothing they could have imagined could have prepared them for what they find there.

But as with all great action adventure books, it can't be as easy and good as it seems and soon after entering the zoo, though being assured they are completely safe, all hell breaks loose. The zoo is in chaos and it takes all of CJ's wit and skill to keep her group safe and alive while both man and beast want her dead.

Reilly's books are over the top in action. They aren't realistic, if the dragons didn't give that away. They defy so much, but they make the world you are reading SEEM completely believable. As I sped my way through this book, I was right there in the middle of the action. I wanted to jump in and experience it all myself, even if it was a ton of destruction and death. The Great Zoo of China is pure Reilly but definitely makes you think of Jurassic Park and the 1998 Godzilla. Even while it's similar to Jurassic Park, it's completely unique and stands on it's own as a fantastic story, great characters and fantastic beasts!

I devoured this book in a day, and was only sad when it was over, because I wanted to read it all again for the first time. Few books grab me so much and don't let go, but this one did from the beginning. While the first part is learning about the zoo, it's still interesting and then once the action starts, it doesn't stop until the end!!

If you haven't tried Reilly before and like action even a tiny bit, I HIGHLY recommend his books and I definitely recommend starting with The Great Zoo of China. I think it's his best, and I've loved all his books, though Contest wasn't a favorite but I read that back when I was still pretty picky about books and it was out there for me, at the time. But TGZoC is definitely a fantastic start. It's Reilly on a grand scale and it's just a fantastic and enjoyable, completely unrealistic read. It's fabulous. I definitely recommend The Great Zoo of China to fans of action adventure. Any men who love their books with gun blazing and things blowing up will definitely become a fan of this book and of Reilly himself. While us ladies who like those kinds of books are fewer, I know there are others of you out there who would love this. If Jurassic Park is one of your favorite movies, or books, definitely pick The Great Zoo of China up. It'll only be better if they make a movie of it, and I REALLY hope that they do!!

The Great Zoo of China is FANTASTIC!! Read it now!!

Setting = A+
Plot = A+
Conflict = A+
Characters = A+
Theme = A+

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