Monday, September 3, 2012

'Zoo' by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge


Well now… this was a fun book.  Did you ever wonder what would happen if animals developed a conscience?  What would happen if they decided that they were sick and tired of being locked inside that house?  Sick of being locked inside a cage?  Sick of eating nasty pet food?  In ‘Zoo’ we find out.  In scary, bloody, and horrific fashion.  The basic plot; the animals have lost their damn mind and the roles between man and beast have been reversed.  The delicate balance that is between predator and prey, pet and owner… isn’t so delicate anymore.  We’ve become the #4 value meal and the animals are DAMN hungry!  I know what you’re thinking, “Is this like ‘Planet of the Apes’”?  No.  Not unless I missed the part where the apes went Paula Deen on Detroit. 

Aside from this story forcing me to skip lunch and ignore my bedtime in order to read it (I can blame the Olympics for part of that though), the other driving force in this story is Jackson Oz.  He is a total and complete smartass.  I loved him instantly.  Oz is a brilliant scientist.  Oz is a brilliant scientist who has a smokin’ hot sex-buddy.  Oz is a brilliant scientist who has a smokin’ hot sex-buddy who is with him despite Oz being a joke in the scientific community.  Despite his evidence to the contrary, nobody believes that the animals are going coo-coo.  Correction: the ones that are alive don’t believe him.  The ones that have had their face chewed off, entrails spayed across the sidewalk, and eyes turned into meatballs have no doubt. 

Probably the most shocking thing (other than the ending) is the reason for the animals’ murderous coo-coo behavior.  It was a good mix of real science and fantasy science.  Heck, it could be a good mix of real science and real science, but some of that stuff was above my pay grade.  This is a fantastic science fiction tale so please save me your false "this can't happen in the real world" indignation. It's fiction Einstein, and it's very entertaining fiction.  Your innocent pet might not look so innocent anymore after a reading few pages of this book.

One other surprising aspect of this book was the time fame. (No spoilers) I didn't see this book taking that route at all. Not time warps, but time jumps. Interesting concept that plays well within the story and only made the decisions and actions taken, even more ridiculous.  Patterson is known for his blazing fast stories and this one is birthed from that same womb.  ‘Zoo’.  This ‘aint the San Diego variety.

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