Zoo, James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge

zooI wanted to like the book. I truly believe that authors write to please their audience. Sadly, I am not in the audience for this book.
It feels like a combination of Jurassic Park, Mighty Joe Young and King Kong, gone wrong. What could have been a really exciting novel descends into a fantasy, not quite believable. The author has used the book to advance his political agenda with issues that range from environmental abuse, to governmental arrogance and incompetence, to almost all other social issues, even including a lesbian couple that is attacked in Africa, although their sexuality has nothing whatsoever to do with the story.
After more than a decade of unusual animal behavior, indicating an animal population behaving contrary to their natures, turning on humans, the powers that be, meaning government officials, finally wake up and turn to scientists for the answer which will solve what seems to be the possible arrival of the end of days. They turn to a man who originated the concept of a human/animal clash but was previously very unsuccessful in warning the public or getting the ear of the people in charge. Originally on the fast track at Columbia, working toward his PHD, Jackson Oz is undone by this theory. Unemployed and no longer at school working toward his degree, he can’t shake the thought that there is “a paradigm shift underway in the world of animal life, and that animals are behaving strangely” out of character, in a way that will be catastrophic for the world. Too soon, his theory becomes the nightmare of reality.
He rants about an ineffective, corrupt government, peopled by arrogant, spoiled Congressmen, etc., making decisions based on politics rather than common sense(sounds a bit familiar), and he even casts a female President in an important role, but not a thoughtful President in charge of the crisis, rather one that overreacts and makes poor decisions, making the crisis worse. It is not too far into the future since she is the 45th President. Jackson Oz is the name of the quasi hero of the novel. Many of his decisions are uninformed and immature, as well.
The book further declines, in my opinion, with the inclusion of irrelevant sex scenes and very often inane dialogue. In addition, the effort to add wit to the tale, failed for me. The subject matter was not funny, and if addressed with greater seriousness, the author might well have made this novel a warning about what might come if we continue to abuse our world, rather than engaging in an implausible flight of fancy.
Those that like books that combine fantasy, science fiction and horror, and those who eagerly await the next Patterson novel, will undoubtedly find more to like in this book than I did. It is a fast read, it is exciting, but it left me wanting. Perhaps it would best be read on an airplane or on a beach, somewhere on vacation, preferably where there are no wild animals.

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About omasvoice

Who am I? I am you. I am everyone out there who loves to read and discuss and voice an opinion!
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