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The Dragon Keeper

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  134 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A zookeeper fights to save the animal she loves, even as her own life crumbles around her... Meg Yancy knows she may be overly attached to Jata, the Komodo dragon that has been in her care since it arrived at the zoo from Indonesia. Jata brings the exotic to Meg's Minnesotan life: an ancient, predatory history and stories of escaping to freedom. A species that became ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Ashland Creek Press (first published August 23rd 2012)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  134 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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John Wood
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I finished this last night. One of the first and most remarkable charms of this remarkably readable book is the author managed to make me care deeply about a cold-blooded reptile (a komodo dragon) and a near-autistic zookeeper who cared about the reptile. This is a love story in the best sense of that word, one that convinces us to care about people and animals who are all too easy to ignore, even revile. This is not the sort of book I'd have picked up on my own (and I confess I did so initially ...more
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Having worked at a Zoo myself, I found Mindy accurately depicted a Zoo's "behind the scene" setting. The conflict between doing what is best for the animals vs keeping an organization funded and thriving is the core struggle at every Zoo. Mindy captured this struggle effortlessly, as well as captured an authentic view on a keeper's passion, commitment, and interpersonal relationships within an organization. I hope all my Zoo friends read this and recommend it to others! Bravo Mindy Mejia!
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012, kindle
Have you ever known someone who related to animals better than people? I’d bet most of us have. Meg Yancy, the protagonist of The Dragon Keeper, is one of those people. Meg has what for her is the perfect job, working as a Zoo Keeper at the fictional “Zoo of America,” (part of a complex the author has imagined in between the actual Mall of America and the Minnesota River, south of the Minneapolis airport). She works with animals, whom she understands and relates well to, and is able to minimize ...more
Audrey Ettinger
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
The strength of this book is the description and research into the care and history of the dragon. Unfortunately, the plot is highly predictable. The love scenes are a bit overdone and "school-girl" in my opinion. The main character is not at all likable to the extent that I just could not cheer for her. I'm really tired of these formulaic fiction novels - strong misunderstood woman fights the norm of what's expected of her, ditches old boyfriend, finds new boyfriend, ditches new boyfriend and ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers, for sure
I cried more reading this book than any book before ... tears for a Komodo Dragon! That's how good this author is - she made me care so very much about these reptiles! I loved the book, and the very beautiful ending. If you love animals as much as I do, you'll love this book. You just can't help it. It was wonderfully moving, and one that really made me think. Thank you, Mindy Mejia, for a truly inspiring story of animal love!
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-reads
I received this as an ARC.
Interesting story of a zoo keeper for a Komodo dragon that has become pregnant without having a male Komodo around. Of course the zoo keeper interacts better with the dragon than she does with humans.
The story was well researched and enjoyable. I did not like some of the choices the main character made but that's ok. You don't have to like everything about a character to enjoy a story.
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Meg is a zookeeper at the Zoo of America in Minnesota. She is the primary handler of a female Komodo Dragon that lays a clutch of eggs via parthenogenesis. This is her story.

I absolutely loved this book! I love the fact that it was set in home state. I could visualize exactly where the zoo was located. The interactions between the main character and her dragon were wonderful. Nicely written and full of information. I would highly encourage others to read this book.
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a heartwarming book. You can't help but to connect with Meg Yancy and fall in love with her. This book is a page turner that once you start reading you can't put down. I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was fantastic! Such a good plot and I really connected with the characters. The writing made me feel like a part of the zoo and a friend of the characters. It should have been longer!
Feb 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
The main character was static and unlikable. I enjoy characters that aren't the "good guys", but Meg's awful attitude about life and disregard for the people around her makes this a hard book to read. There are also a lot of plot points that don't seem to happen naturally and only exist to move the plot along. This book can't decide if it wants to be about animal conservation or a bad romance triangle. Overall wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had to read this book for class. However, I am extremely glad that my professor made me read this. This book is moving and is entertaining and emotional from the first page to the last. She is a great author!
Wow. This book is incredible. I feel like I need to read it another few times for me to really understand all that Meg thinks throughout the book about zoos, captivity, and cages.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 rounded up to 3.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story

What an engaging story. I loved the characters and the story about the komodo dragons an i loved that it was set in Minnesota
Alexis Clemons
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
A unique story. I enjoyed this book a lot, even if the main character was difficult to like!
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This was the authors first novel
Her next one is far superior
But it was a good read
Jane Pettitt
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story and I cried. , the author shows pure compassion of life, and our society. A very good read.
Genevieve Montcombroux
The female protagonist is hard to really like.
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Dragon Keeper
Book Review

Mindy Mejia’s debut novel, The Dragon Keeper, is a heartwarming tale sure to captivate animal lovers and book enthusiasts alike.
Meg Yancy is a hot-tempered woman much more likely to breathe fire than the Komodo Dragons in which she cares for. She works for the Zoo of America as the reptile keeper and has been given the daunting responsibility of caring for the zoo’s only Komodo Dragon, Jata. Meg and Jata form an uncommon bond, and when Jata lays a clutch of eggs
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I haven't owned an animal since I was 6 or 7 years old, I'm 30 now. And.....I haven't been to a zoo in about three or four years. Why does this matter? Because the latest book I read, The Dragon Keeper by Mindy Mejia, is all about a woman's attachment to an animal. Since I'm not around animals everyday, I personally don't understand the attachment people have to animals. But I was thoroughly engrossed in this character's determination to protect a Komodo dragon. Google these things, a Komodo ...more
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Anybody who cares for an animal as much as this protagonist does has to be good. She lacks good people skills but is single minded when it comes to caring for her charges at the Zoo of America.

I like that this character is complex and fallible. She makes human mistakes and has a brittle shell to protect her very fragile underbelly, but we come to know her and care for her, as well as the Komodo dragon she is in charge of.

It was a slow start with a wonderful ending. Stay with it. It will be worth
Mary Ann
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
As a fan of Zoo's most of my life, an our Zoo recently acquiring a pair of Komodo dragons, I found this story interesting. I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at how the zookeepers and staff deal with the many issues that arise. Not to excuse Meg's behavior towards humans, I can kind of understand her attitude based on the kind of childhood she had.
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
it was really good. I didn't like the end however, but that's just me
Evan Kingston
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A complicated protagonist drives this great novel. Lots of thought provoking thrills.
rated it really liked it
Nov 24, 2013
rated it did not like it
Jun 13, 2017
Chirrick family
rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2018
Bethany Hyde
rated it it was ok
Sep 21, 2017
Jesse L. Pratt
rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2018
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My name is Mindy Mejia and I’m a writer. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. My life doesn't have symmetry, theme, symbolism, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I love the perfect words; I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them. I ...more