Review - The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
Narrated by Rich Orlow
Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books / Recorded Books
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Date Read: May 10, 2019
Length: 464 pages / 10 hours
Source: NetGalley / Library
In the blockbuster and bestselling tradition of Jurassic Park comes the breakneck new adventure from the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Matthew Reilly whose imaginative, cinematic thrillers “make you feel like a kid again; [they’re] a blast” (Booklist).

It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have proven the existence of dragons—a landmark discovery no one could ever believe is real, and a scientific revelation that will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing findings within the greatest zoo ever constructed.

A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see these 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 the dragons are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can’t…
My Review

I thought that this book was a lot of fun!  This was actually my first experience with Matthew Reilly's work despite the fact that his books have been on my radar for quite some time.  I have had a copy of this book for years but it somehow slipped through the cracks of my review schedule.  I am glad that I finally got around to reading this one because it was incredibly entertaining.

I haven't read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton but I have seen the movie several times.  I don't usually like to make a lot of comparisons but this book had a lot of similarities to that story.  It was different enough that I didn't feel like it was the same story but they had the same feel.

China has built a new zoo.  It is a different kind of zoo that will end up changing the world.  CJ, her brother, and a group of others are brought to the zoo to see just how different it really is.  This zoo doesn't have your average zoo animals.  This zoo is filled with all kinds of different dragons.  Yes, dragons.  During their visit to the zoo, things go very, very wrong.

This was a pretty exciting book that was filled with action which made it really entertaining.  There were some real surprises along the way and I enjoyed piecing together exactly what was going on.  I liked CJ and liked how her skills as a veterinarian helped her to navigate the situation she found herself in.  I also found that I had a lot of respect and couldn't blame them for their actions.

Rich Orlow did a great job with this story.  This was a really exciting and often intense book which I think he was able to take up another notch.  I thought he handled all of the characters voices very well.  I thought he had a very nice reading voice which I found easy to listen to for hours at a time.  I think that I enjoyed the story just a bit more largely because of his narration.

I would recommend this book to others.  I found this to be a highly entertaining tale that read like an action movie.  I think those action readers that don't mind some similarities to well-known stories will enjoy this one.  I definitely plan to read more of Matthew Reilly's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
About the Author

Matthew Reilly is the New York Times and #1 international bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Four Legendary Kingdoms, The Tournament, The Great Zoo of China, The Five Greatest Warriors, The Six Sacred Stones, Seven Deadly Wonders, Ice Station, Temple, Contest, Area 7, Scarecrow, and Scarecrow Returns, as well as the children’s book Hover Car Racer and the novella Hell Island. His books have been published in more than twenty languages in twenty countries, and he has sold more than 7.5 million copies worldwide.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter


  1. I've heard such good things about this one. I know Chuckles really liked it too. I hope to pick it up someday and really enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  2. oh man. i want to go to the zoo. this sounds like one i would love
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. Oh it's interesting, I agree and this one is completely new to me but I'm intrigued by the setting mainly to see how I can compare with other stories

  4. This sounds really good. Wonderful review! It makes me think of Mighty Joe Young. :)

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  5. This was a fun one and would be a great movie. I've been reading his books for years. You might like the Contest too. It's even more fun.

  6. i read it a long time ago, totally loved it! Actually like it more than his Jack West Jr series

  7. This should be fun. A story about dragons. Love it.

  8. This is one of those books that has been sitting on my shelf forever. One of my blogging friends really liked it, and she and I have similar tastes. Now you say it's good too! I really need to bump this up and read it soon.

  9. I really enjoyed this book! It was very intense with all the dragon attacks! I've enjoyed everything I've read by the author so far and I'm looking forward to reading more by him.

  10. It's always nice when you have let a book slip through the cracks and then you were able to finally get around to it and then you enjoy it! I don't like too many similarities but it sounds like it has just enough to Jurassic Park that I will love it :D


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