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The Great Zoo of China

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  12,267 ratings  ·  2,032 reviews
Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

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
Hardcover, 393 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Gallery Books (first published May 8th 2014)
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Phil Leader
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Michelle Watkins Agreed. The heroine's abilities were ridiculous. And I couldn't care less about the characters.
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  12,267 ratings  ·  2,032 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him. J.R.R. Tolkien

I'm sorry, but this book does read like Jurassic Park fanfiction. At the end of the book there is an author question session where the answer to the comparisons is answered.
I was very aware that my story of a dragon zoo would inevitably draw comparisons with the dinosaur theme park of Jurassic Park. So I endeavored from the outset to make The Great Zoo of China as different from Jurassic Park as
May 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
I had just picked this book up from the library and was driving home when a Police car flew through the air striking my car, and continued its journey into the car behind me where it proceeded to burst into flames!

In front of me was a large dragon, the size of a Greyhound bus, facing down a police officer with his service weapon drawn. The officer fired, and the dragon's obsidian eyes narrowed to slits. Suddenly the dragon lunged-

And the officer was torn in half, his weapon falling to the groun
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:


Dallas Commercial Photography

Seriously – first page:

“Here, there be dragons.”

but reviewers have been trolled for mentioning it??? That’s pure crazy right there. EDIT: I just noticed the new cover has a f*&^%$g DRAGON TAIL on it. Dear Trolls; Your argument is invalid. Alright. Now that that is out of the way, let’s g
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I love adventure books and movies. I have no problem with over the top storylines and I can even take some flat characters. But even I have a limit and this book, well its story went over that limit. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, partly, the beginning was fast paced and everything and CJ the main character was OK. I liked the fact that she had scars on her face because perfect good-looking characters are irritating to read about. Her brother Hamish was also OK. But you could fairly easily ...more
Will M.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2015, arc, netgalley
You can also find this on my blog:

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an arc

The Great Zoo of China tried its best to present something extraordinary, but ended up tackling a used plot and modifying it. I would be lying if I say that I don't see any comparison with Jurassic Park, because this was Jurassic Park with Dragons instead of dinosaurs. Nope, Mr. Reilly, simply changing the country, animal, and purpose doesn't make this something new.
Tim The Enchanter
Posted to The Literary

A Big, Bad and Bloody Good Time - 4 Stars

Most every Matthew Reilly novel has several things in common. Firstly, there are many characters but few are developed. Secondly, most of those characters will die in some bloody or spectacular manner. The first follows the second as there is too much dying to be done to overdevelop any one character. If this has your attention than you might be a Matthew Reilly fan. The Great Zoo of China is Reilly's second recent
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In "The Great Zoo of China" you can expect an exciting adventure like Jurassic Park with dragons! The only fantasy thing in this story are the dragons so don't expect any kind of magic. BUT it was great! (Take that "A Natural History of Dragons"!)

This book reads like a movie where no boredom can arise. Our protagonist Cassandra Jane (C.J.) is a veterinarian and has specialized her research on reptiles such as crocodiles. One day she gets a request to write an article for National Geographic abou
Just as I was hoping, a typical feverishly fast-paced nonstop action-packed Matthew Reilly-read that I was glued to the book from the first page to the last. After the first hundred pages where all the key players of the story were established as well as the astonishing settings of the Great Zoo, the action starts literally with a bang and from then on its one big OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!! action sequences after another. And Reilly cleverly continued all the story developments and turns of the plot ...more
Damian Dubois
Jan 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I found myself on New Year's Day with the same old conundrum that plagues a person who owns one too many books - what should I start the year off with? Christmas netted me even more books so faced with options such as Steven Erikson's Star Trek parody, Willful Child, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven or even Brom's Yuletide tale, Krampus I went and chose something different instead by an author I had heard about but never sampled before - Matthew Reilly's The Great Zoo of China.

In the mod
Sԋҽʅʅყ ƚԋҽ Wҽιɾԃ αɳԃ Wαɳԃҽɾιɳɠ Wαɾɾισɾ
First off, I've never read anything by this author before. Apparently, he's known for writing fast and furious action novels. This one is similiar to Jurassic Park, but of course with different animals. Several politicians, scientists, and journalists are invited to see a very unique Chinese zoo before it opens - and of course, chaos ensues. This isn't a bad book. It's just not a great one either, in my view.

The action is literally almost nonstop, if you like that sort of thing. However, there'
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, thriller
Matthew Reilly knows how to make BIG thrillers! I commented once that this novel was like Jurassic Park on steroids, but I have to take that back now. THE GREAT ZOO OF CHINA is an altogether different story, that, in my humble opinion, is just as good all on its own merits.

CJ Cameron and her brother, Hamish, are invited among a select group of influential media people to view China's deep-secreted new zoo. The Chinese hope to usurp America's Disneyland with this new attraction of theirs, and the
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
A little different than Reilly's other books in that this one takes a hundred or so pages to really get going. Most of his books start the crazy action within the first chapter. This book has a full on Michael Crichton vibe and is going to definitely draw comparisons to Jurassic Park. That being said, it's still a great book in its own right. I like how he ties dragons into real history and how the dragons have different clans.
Paul O'Neill
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
This sentence sums it up perfectly:

Holy shit, the dragons are throwing cars at me

I enjoy Reilly, he's a bit of a guilty pleasure. He went a bit too far with this one. Still an enjoyable romp though.
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Nov 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
“See we have a little problem with the people at McDonald’s..They are McDonalds, we are McDowell’s. They have the golden arch, we have the golden arc. They have the Big Mac, we have the big Mic. They both have two ground beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese but ours don't have sesame seeds” - Coming to America

I felt this running through my head when reading the interview at the back where Reilly explained how he tried to make this book as different to Jurassic Park as possible. Jurassic
Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
Cue in my super sonic love for all which is cheese.

Hell, yes. That super cheesy goopy Saturday syfy channel cheese. Top it off with a clonebutwithdragonsnotdinos lovely story about dragons wreaking havoc in a Chinese park and there ya go.

Is this extremely similar to JP? Fuck, yes. However, I'm always a softie for blood, heads getting ripped off, and all sorts of other types of dismemberments. The bunnies love it too.

As for me, this bitch is getting psyched up for Sharknado 3. Bring it!!

Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

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
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
First, I'd like to thank Netgalley for an advanced copy of this to read.

I'll start by saying that I love Matthew Reilly, and it makes me happy that he's moving forward with his life. He lost his wife, who had battled with eating disorders and depression for years, to suicide back a few years ago. It shattered him, and understandably so. The selfish part of me is really excited that he's writing again, that he's found a story to tell and the drive to write. She was a big part of his writing proc
Dr Cassandra Jane (CJ) Cameron, a veterinary surgeon with the San Francisco zoo and expert on reptiles, plus a writer for the National Geographic had been invited to China to view their newest creation – The Great Zoo of China. The zoo had been built over a period of many years under utmost secrecy – the world had no idea what the Chinese were hiding; what the Chinese government had kept close to their chests for so long. But the small group of VIPs and journalists from the US, along with Chines ...more
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I had high hopes for this book, and for the most part it was satisfying. Some of the elements in the plot line about the "secret animal's" origins were really intriguing and well thought out. Reilly really did his research on animals, reptiles in particular, and I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the animals in addition to the inner-workings of their species' abilities and intelligence. It was interesting to see how the story played out, and I was happy that it wasn't as predictable as I fir ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Matthew Reilly fans, fans of cinematic action movies and dragons!
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) by: Action-Adventure Aficionados June 2015 group read
Only Matthew Reilly would write a book about a zoo full of dragons. I will admit I am a huge fan of his books. I take each one as it is and I usually come out a happy camper. In this case, I have to give him a thumbs up. Let's face it, Reilly either works for you or he doesn't. He unashamedly writes escapist fiction that makes the reader feel as though they are immersed in a summer blockbuster movie. And he does it well.

I wasn't a big fan of the "Jurassic Park" book. I didn't finish it because i
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The newest book by Matthew Reilly and definitely different too. Since I'm a huge fan of "Jurassic Park" I was first afraid it would just be some sort of copy - especially since I know how much the author likes Michael Crichton's book as well! However, the idea of dragons being real was too tempting so I gave it a try.
I was astonished to see that there was no lab where the dragons had been created, but that there was a "scientific explanation" for all the myths. I kind of fell for it. However, t
Graeme Rodaughan
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hard-core Matthew Reilly fans
A by-the-numbers action packed romp.

An interesting concept, well executed with all the Matthew Reilly trademarks of super-action and massive derring-do, but nothing special, remarkable or memorable that stands out.

The characters are thinly drawn, which kinda irks me, but is also a Matthew Reilly trademark. The dragons are more interesting than the MCs.

Read it once, and it's enough.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
A nicely crafted tale that petered out near the end for me...

The prologue isn't long but sets up the danger quite well and had me wanting to at minimum kick the people in charge. As I said in a status update, I was hoping the whole time they would get eaten by the dragons.

I didn't feel sorry for them at all when the shit started to hit the fan (which it does in a spectacular kind of way). It drops you right into what's going on and doesn't take it's teeth out of you (several sequences w
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a thrilling ride!! CJ is on an assignment with Nat'l Geo. to report on a new Zoo in China. Dragons! But, dragons don't want to be caged. Its like Jurassic Park in its excitement, but more. CJ may be a little too much superhero sometimes (the human body can only take so much) but, like Bruce Wiilis in Die Hard, she keeps going. Want more from this author!
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
You can't help read this book and compare it to Jurassic Park. In fact, the author does acknowledge that Jurassic Park influenced this book. And for the first few chapters, all I could think was that this was a sort of fanfic of that book. Then, BAM! Things start happening and it's non-stop action throughout. I devoured this book - and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The thing that stood out for me in The Great Zoo of China was the research and the character development.
I think that I may have le
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4/13/20 - always great to be back with CJ & Lucky, and I realize I said that before. :) Wow, I last read this almost a year ago!

4/23/19 - After starting and DNFing two completely different books, I was sick of crap and fell back to a favorite. Always wonderful to read, even knowing it so well. Love it again and again!

8/8/17 ~ always good to be back with CJ & Lucky!

5/1/17 ~ Always a wonderful re-read. The over-the-top action is fun and engaging and keeps going through the whole book. I adore Reil
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it

'Jurassic Park in China' may sound like a bad trip, but it also sounds awesome. It conjures up anticipation. This book came at the right time, at a time when nobody is jumping on the dragon bandwagon. Everything that's exciting or fun can have its ridiculous side. The author embraced the ridiculous aspect of the premise and wrote a book which, I feel, took all of the author's limited talent to make happen. To make happen?

The fast pace of the book is like Formula one, minus the boredom. The c
David Staniforth
I’ve just read this action packed book from cover to cover in just over one day, something I rarely do of late. I simply struggled to put it down and literally zipped through the pages. I have never read a book that keeps the pace streaming along as consistently as this and I loved it.

Reilly takes a creature more prevalent in fantasy and gets damn close to presenting a case for it to exist in reality. He then implants this creature in a monumental zoo, in China. The action does stretch the bound
 Li'l Owl
Like Jurassic Park on speed. A fantastical adventure packed with non stop action. Take a deep breath. This one starts at a breakneck pace from page one, and never lets up until the last word.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Not an awful book, but for me, it somehow missed the mark. I was glad to have a female main character, but was disappointed that she was some kind of female Terminator or Jack Reacher, a biologist who not only knew how to make and use flame throwers, but could cling to speeding vehicles and McGyver her way out of every situation. It would appear that the author made her female just so she could be better at “bonding” with animals—you know the old story, women are closer to nature than men, blah, ...more
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Born in Sydney in 1974, Matthew Reilly was not always a big fan of reading. It was only after he read To Kill A Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies in Year 10 that he realised reading could transport you to another world. Following this revelation, Matthew soon began creating stories of his own and set about writing his first novel, Contest, at the age of 19 while still at university studying law.


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