50 in 2012: Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

I will never look at any animal the same after reading Zoo by James Patterson and Micheal Ledwidge. I’m waiting for all the household pets and neighborhood wildlife to start changing…

Jackson Oz is a young biologist who dropped out of graduate school to start tracking strange animal attacks around the world. No one wants to hear his theories about the increases and even argue that they don’t exist. When a zoo keeper is attacked and killed by the lions in his care, Oz knows something is happening. When he travels to Africa to document animal attacks there, he barely escapes with his own life. His friend is dead at the hands of attacking lions, but Oz has video evidence of something seriously wrong with the behavior of the animals. Not only are they attacking humans; their normal hunting habits have radically changed.

Oz returns to the United States with a young woman he rescues from a certain attack and death at the hand of crocodiles. She is an ecologist whose entire research group was killed by African wildlife. Together they start spreading the word about the changes happening in the animal world. Still, no one wants to take them seriously until the entire human race is being threatened.

Once a solution is identified and safeguards are put into place, the animals begin returning to normal. But can man maintain the changes necessary? Or will the privileged among us insist on ignoring them?

Patterson and Ledwidge bring us a thought-provoking read during an election year and to a society commited to its creature comforts and conveniences. What if you had to change your way of life to save the human race? Could you? Would you?

Zoo has affected me much like Stephen King’s Pet Sematary did back in the day. I’m waiting…watching…

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