The Great Zoo of China (2014) by Matthew Reilly
What a great thriller! One of my favourite thriller novel so far after James Rollins’s The Blood Gospel. I read novels, but not as much as commentaries, biographies and self-help books. I picked this book for three reasons: #1 Great title, hardcover and synopsis (about dragons, come on!); #2 Recommended by two legendary thriller-authors, Brad Thor (praise for Zoo, “The king of hardcore action”) and James Rollins (“Adventure with a capital A”); and #3 BookXcess Bookstore PJ sell it very cheap for large hardcover book, only RM17.90.
This book is about the Great Zoo of China which secretly build by the Chinese government. They have proven the existence of dragons – a landmark discovery no one could ever believe is real, and scientific revelation that will amaze the world. After 40 years, now they are ready to unveil their astonishing findings within the greatest zoo ever constructed (Adam Fisher writes in ‘China vs. the World’, “China desperately want to be Number One, the pre-eminent nation on Earth. In the Communist Party this passionate desire even has a name: ‘the China Dream.’”). Matthew’s story begin when 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. This novel is very much about Dr. Cassandra Jane “CJ” Cameron, a writer of ‘National Geographic’ and an expert on reptiles. “CJ,” writes Reilly about the main character, “is as tough as mother in my humble opinion.”
Deputy Director of the Great Zoo of China, Mr. Zhang explained this to his VIPs and other guesses, “Let me ask you this: What precisely is a dragon? Myths of gigantic winged serpents have existed for thousands of years. As with many other things, they originally appeared in China. The first Chinese dragon myth dates back to the year 4700 BC, to a statue of a dragon attributed to the Yangshao culture of that time… The Babylonian king, Gilgamesh, fought a fierce dragon named Humbaba in the epic tale that bears his name. He lived around 2700 BC… The ancient Greeks spoke of Hercules fighting a dragon in order to steal the apples of the Hesperides, the eleventh of his twelve labours. Hercules is generally thought to have loved around the year 1250 BC…
From about 100 BC and for the next 1500 years, several Meso-American cultures, including the Aztecs and the Mayans, venerated a flying serpent named Quetzalcoatl. And, of course, the United Kingdom has long lauded the bravery of St George, who slayed a dragon no in England but in Libya around the year 300 AD. In the eighth century, the Scandinavians wrote of Beowulf fighting a fire-breathing dragon and in the thirteenth century, the Vikings sang of Fafnir.” Zhang continued, “There is something very curious, however, about all of these mythologies. In every single one of these myths found across the ancient world, the dragons are the same. Their features are consistent around the globe…” (Page 47-48)
With this short-but-actually-long quote I leave you, my readers of this book summary… if you want to know more, go get this book or steal it from me
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.