cover image The Great Zoo of China

The Great Zoo of China

Matthew Reilly. S&S/Gallery, $26 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4767-4955-6

In this entertaining if derivative science thriller from bestseller Reilly (Scarecrow Returns), Chinese officials invite a group of Americans to the opening of a new, groundbreaking zoo in Guangdong Province. On arrival, the guests—who include the U.S. ambassador to China, a New York Times columnist, and the book’s plucky heroine, herpetologist CJ Cameron, who’s covering the event for National Geographic—are stunned to discover that the Chinese have somehow managed to populate the zoo with a “unique kind of dinosaur.” Cable car rides enable people to be right in the middle of flying dragons. Of course, electricity-based protective measures are supposed to insure their safety, but, inevitably, system failures send CJ and the others scrambling to survive. While some readers may consider this more of a rip-off than an homage to Jurassic Park, Reilly makes both the existence of the legendary beasts and the Chinese motivation to launch the project plausible. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME. (Jan.)