Thursday, May 8, 2014

James Patterson: Zoo

James Patterson is known for his murder mysteries and thrillers but he takes a new path where the killers are no longer human:

Jackson Oz, a former undergrad in biology has seen the signs for years and has been sharing his theory of increased animal attacks on humans with whomever will listen, but everyone thinks he is crazy, and it is part of the reason he is a former undergrad. However, everyone who thought he was crazy is about to get a wake up call. It starts with lion attacks in the zoo, with brutality and smarts that the keepers do not see coming to a planned ambush by lions in the wilds of Africa. The human race is no longer at the top of the food chain, all types of animals are striving to eliminate the human race and it is up to Oz and his scientist friends to discover what has caused this massive shift in animal behaviour before it is too late.

I do not normally read Patterson's books. I do not think that I have read a book by him since Kiss the Girls or Along Came the Spider and that was a long long time ago maybe early 2000s. Therefore, I think my review will be different from die hard Patterson's fans. I enjoyed this book, it was an interesting concept about the animals to be the ones who are going to override the human race, not some sort of bomb, alien, or zombies but animals. What I liked most about this concept is that you  realize that do not want to piss mother nature off as she will pay you back 100 fold. Although some people may comment that the concept seemed far fetched (more far fetched than an Alien invasion though??) there is still something to the theory that Patterson has brought forward, is there is just a hint of probability in this concept.

I feel like I never got to know the main character Jackson Oz very well. Your main interactions with him in the book are really about promoting his theory about the increase of animal attacks on humans. You do get to see his protective side with his friends and family and the tenacity with trying to get his point across at all costs, but you do not really get to know him.

I liked that Patterson did have some of the book from the point of view of the animals that were "turning", as their thought process or what Patterson believes that their thought process would be is interesting. However, by having this point of view, you as the reader can somewhat figure out what has caused the change in animal behaviour and you are waiting for the scientific community to catch up to what you already know. This also made me not understand the four year gap which I talk about below.

I think my one main complaint is the time gap within the book. Four years is a long time for things to "stew" and you would think that things would have gotten a lot worse a lot faster as that is what the timing spread was suggested within the first part of the novel. I think the novel would have flowed better if the animal aggression would have increased rapidly, as well, when the "cure" is discovered it seems to take immediate affect and I think this would be counter to the four years it took the world to be in this state, you think it would take another four year.

Overall I found Zoo to be an interesting read with a different type of apocalyptic concept. I'm not sure if Patterson's die hard fans will like is as it is a drastic difference from his Alex Cross or Women's Murder Club series, but sometimes authors just need to write something different.

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