Posts Tagged ‘zoo’

Welcome to Freakin Fridays, where I share my reviews of books that scare you, thrill you, and get those endorphins pumping.

I’ve got some thrillers to share today. Final Girls and ZOO.

Both of these were more like 3 1/2 stars but, since I don’t do half stars, I bumped them up.


Final Girls

by Riley Sager




Genre: Mystery / Thriller

My Review

I’m always on the lookout for a new thriller and this has been making the rounds. I won a copy and dove right in.

I was pulled in by the beginning. Not so much by any action, as by the idea of this book. There’s three girls who’ve all lived through different homicidal massacres, each years apart. They are all lone survivors. All three are Final Girls.

From here, it’s predictable but still interesting. The first Final Girl dies a suspicious death and the other two girls band together for safety in numbers. Seems like a good idea. Or maybe not. One girl can’t remember her experience and the other seems to know more about it than she does. Okay, that sets up the suspense.

I’ve read a lot of thrillers. Seen a bunch of movies in the genre. So I kind of knew the formula. Even with some gruesome scenes and a twsit or two, I just wasn’t all that thrilled. Maybe it was my mood. Or perhaps I’ve been reading too many books in this genre.

I did like this book. Just never found that extra oomph to make me love it. I’d still recommend it.

   4  Stars



Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.




by James Patterson

with Michael Ledwidge




Genre: Thriller

My Review

I read this back when it was first released. Actually, I won an ARC copy with three alternative covers. Pretty cool.

After reading so many books by this author I was really psyched to read Zoo. Something is affecting the animals. All of them. They rise up and turn their deadly attention on mankind. Sounds like fun to me.

And it was. I devoured it in a couple of hours.The only thing that slowed me down was pausing to savor each attack as it occurred. The character’s were okay. Liked some more than others.

I have to admit, the main reason I wanted to read this was for the horror aspect. My imagination ran wild. How and why would it happen? How many ways could humans die and from what kinds of critters. I got my answers and had some fun. What kept it from being a killer story, I’m not sure. Perhaps it bogged down in some areas. Too much character information in others.  Still well worth the read.

  4  Stars



Once in a lifetime, a writer puts it all together. This is James Patterson’s best book ever.


For 36 years, James Patterson has written unputdownable, pulse-racing novels. Now, he has written a book that surpasses all of them. ZOO is the thriller he was born to write.


All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come becomes terrifyingly clear.


With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it’s too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide. With wildly inventive imagination and white-knuckle suspense that rivals Stephen King at his very best, James Patterson’s ZOO is an epic, non-stop thrill-ride from “One of the best of the best.” (TIME)



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Animal Kingdom:

by Iain Rob Wright

Animal Kingdom

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I just recently finished reading ZOO by James Patterson, so when I spotted this book I was curious. Zoo was a fun read. I’ll be reviewing it soon.

With Animal Kingdom I got everything I was expecting and more!

It was supposed to be a special day. Since the divorce, Danny really missed his dad and had ants in his pants when he found out Joe was taking him to the zoo. Joe was just glad to have his son with him. It didn’t matter what they did but he knew Danny would love the animals.

Everything is great until the reptile show starts. The handler has a giant boa constrictor wrapped around his body. While he tells the gathering crowd about the snake it suddenly begins to wrap its thick coils around his neck, constricting and crushing the man. Joe does his best to help him,  but the snake is too strong and time runs out for the handler.

The crowd panics and runs in all directions, horrified by the grotesque killing. As Joe grabs Danny and rushes to get help, he notices people are screaming and running from all directions. They couldn’t all have been at the exhibit.  Then all of the animals start making a racket. Something bad is happening elsewhere in the zoo.

Deciding to get inside, away from whatever is occurring, Joe ducks into the new visitor’s center. Most people were running for the exits, but Joe had to get Danny to safety quickly. There were several people inside, along with the zoo’s curator. The curators protestations that an animal attack couldn’t be happening are cut short. When Joe turns to see what he’s looking at, he can’t believe what he’s seeing. There in the doorway are four massive lions, snarling and revealing their thick fangs,  dripping with blood.

This is where the story really cranks up. The animals, for some unknown reason, have gained intelligence and have turned on mankind. From the lowly spiders to the gigantic elephants, they all want everyone dead.

The diverse group of people trapped in the visitor’s center are safe for the moment, or so they think. The animals won’t be denied, and find ways to get in. How the individual characters react to this is very interesting. As you’d expect, there are the one or two bad apples that think their way is the only way, you have an older woman spouting prophecy, a young girl without her medication, Joe, whose main concern is his son Danny, the curator, not much help there, and an older man with some fight in him. It’s up to them to work together. Otherwise, no one will get out of this alive.

Except that the story takes place in a zoo with animals from all over the world, it reminded of a book I read years ago. I also watched the movie and really enjoyed both. It was Day of the Animals.

The author gave me the same sense of dread and gut-wrenching fear with Animal Kingdom. You just knew people were going to die and die horribly. The animals are too many to fight off.

Reading scenes about the group dynamics was very real. People react differently when their lives are at stake. Some step up, some cower, and some act like blustering buffoons. I can’t figure out why some people can’t see past their own arrogance, or should I say ignorance.

This is a book about a war we may not be able to win. About surviving minute by minute and always looking for the way out.

   An exciting read!

At the end of the book there are some short Bonus stories. They all tie into the Animal Kingdom book and the one by Eric. S. Brown, Night of the Squirrels, is very interesting!

I just read another book by Eric, can’t mention the title or I’ll give away his story, and plan on reviewing it soon. It was very scary good!

Special Bonus Content

Six short stories by Ian Rob Wright set in the Animal Kingdom universe:

Clocking Off

Howard’s Wood

The Hunt


Behold, The Beasts of War



 Night of the Squirrels by Eric S. Brown

About the author

Published genre author, Iain Rob Wright, was born in 1984 and lives in Redditch, a small town in the West Midlands, UK, with his loopy cocker spaniel, Oscar, his fat old cat, Jess, his many tropical fish, and the love of his life, Sally. Writing is the passion that fills his life during the small periods of time when he isn’t cleaning up after his pets.

He is the author of several novels, including the critically acclaimed, The Final Winter, and the deeply disturbing thriller, ASBO.

Check out his official website for freebies, news, and updates at:

He can also be found here:



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