Review: The Great Zoo of China by Mathew Reilly



Publisher: Gallery

Publishing Date: January 2015

ISBN: 9781476749556 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 1.0/5

Publisher Description: 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. Of course it can’t…

Review: I need to get this straight in my head first in hopes that it brings clarity to potential readers. CJ Cameron’s bio reads like this: PhD, VMD (Veterinarian), Jujitsu expert, Pilot, weapons expert, speaks fluent fucking Mandarin Chinese and has photographic memory. Of fukin course. Hate her yet? You will, as her know-it -all personality rakes its ugly talons across your bloated westernized belly, spilling the contents of your disgust. This novel was so stupid as to make Twilight half interesting.

The levels of anthropomorphic spittle reach dizzying heights in this latest failure by a once riveting author. Dragons with pitiless black eyes, crests that are sinister, dragons that are openly offended and hideous screeches that pierce the night. Fug. Mays well just call them humans wearing flying dragon suits. It is a marked failure of any biologist when they begin to ascribe humanistic traits and qualities to anything in the natural order i.e. wildlife. So we have Dr.photographic super hottie-jitsu-mandarin pants with a PhD in crocodile research behaving like a ten year old with a dinosaur fixation.

The levels of fail are too numerous to count what with the unbelievable fight scenes coupled with a Jurassic Park plot. For instance, the group are soon to be executed but PhD mandarin pants somehow grabs a bottle of hairspray out of her pack and with her brothers help lights it and immolates a guard while simultaneously getting the grenades on his person to go off, thereby blowing him up and avoiding shrapnel at the same time. All under the watchful eyes of 6-8 guards. How grenades can go off with hairspray fire is one of lifes little mysteries you’re going to have to swallow like bilgewater on a floating wreck. While she has this photographic memory she forgets just about everything she sees. At one point Li asks if she is a doctor and she responds “I’m better than that. I’m a vet. Vets do everything”. Of course you do. Hate her yet?

Reilly just keeps trying to up the impact of every scene by adding more and more to it. This diminishes character development while creating an emotional vacuum only to be filled with whuffling, purring good dragons and snarling, screeching bad dragons. I really think, and this is just my opinion, that Reilly should shift to Fantasy writing and stay there. In order to fix this installment all that was needed was to toss in a little magic and <poof> the scenes can be readily accepted.

Upping the ante with every scene does not an interesting novel make. It relegates characters into one dimensionality and overburdens the reader with useless dialogue. Ego reaches new heights when the author, true to form, conducts a self-interview at the end. WEEEEEEEEEE!!!!…oops, I mean GRRRRR-SCREEECH!!!!








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