Anatomy of a Book: The Great Zoo of China, by Matthew Reilly

The_Great_Zoo_of_China_first_editionBreathless, bleeding and covered in sweat, Bill Lynch dropped into the mouth of the cave and crab-crawled further into it as quickly as he could. (p.7)

Here we go.

Lynch’s blood went cold. They’d deactivated his sonic shield. (p.9)

You know what’s happening.

Bill Lynch had no time of another thought for just then the massive thing roared and rushed at him, and within seconds Lynch was lying on the floor of the cavern, screaming desperately and spitting blood as he was foully eaten alive. (p.11)

The prose aren’t perfect, there’s a dump of information early, and the story has holes, but it will rollock along, is easy to read, and delivers on the action. It is a Matthew Reilly novel.

Changing Status:

The lead character is CJ Cameron. She is mocked on the trip to the Zoo, and soon becomes the only person who can save everyone’s life.

High Stakes:

These build from the life of individual characters to the destruction of landmasses to the invasion of the planet.

Page Turner:

Very few scenes end. They often role into one another. Events are also rapid, there is more telling of what is unfolding than descriptive showing. This makes the story easy to read and thus contributes to allowing the reader to keep reading.

Believable Characters:

Real biology and locations give authority to the story. There is a feeling of research having been made into the plausibility of the story.


Story telling is about educating. Here the reader can learn some elements of Chinese culture, their ambition, and how a dragon could be real, and how to deal with the onslaught of an attack.


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