Zoo Book Review

zooI haven’t read many James Patterson novels but whenever I do, I learn something new. His books are intelligent and thought-provoking. Zoo is no exception. Its filled with facts about animal behavior and zoology and it will force you to take a second look at how the actions of humans are effecting our environment.

Plot and Timeline

Animals all over the world start attacking human beings, literally turning the world into a zoo. This James Patterson novel, which has recently been adapted into a TV series on CBS, is a short but thrilling novel.

The novel begins in a very detailed, day-by-day structure. Fast-paced and action packed. Animals escape from a zoo in LA, lions attack and kill entire villages in Africa, loving pets turn into vicious monsters, attacking the same people they have lived with for years.

Then halfway through the novel the plot suddenly jumps ahead 5 years. Patterson explains that not much development of the animal epidemic happens during those 5 years, but a lot has happened with our main character. He has fallen in love, got married, and had a son.

Although this 5-year jump makes a lot of sense for the plot, I don’t like it from a character perspective. Falling in love and becoming a father can completely change a person and I didn’t feel like those changes got the attention they deserved. Zoo is definitely a plot-based action novel but a novel will never feel complete without a solid, realistic character in my eyes.



Smooth, descriptive writing makes Zoo an easy read. Here is an example of a memorable character description.

“The big boisterous fool is squatting against the truck of a tree, wheezing like a concertina from the exertion of the morning’s uphill march. Kahlil is fat as a swine and smokes like a broken truck. And as slow moving as sap in January.”

TV Show

I have watched the first few episodes of Zoo on CBS and think the show is interesting but I don’t expect it to get renewed for a second season.

I would recommend the TV show over the book, but neither are at the top of my list.


2.5 stars. A good action-based thriller. The exact kind of novel that makes a best-seller list, as this surely did, but it lacked character development.


About Sarah JS

Aspiring writer, lover of words, book nerd, working editor, and permanent student of the world

Posted on September 24, 2015, in Book Review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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