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 impending violence 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.
I’d seen this book a ton of times while shopping at Wal-Mart and other stores around town, so I figured I’d see if library had it. They did, so I reserved it and waited a month or two until a copy became available. Having never read a Patterson book, I didn’t know what to expect, but given his long list of bestsellers, I guessed it would entertaining.
The story moves along nicely, although I didn’t understand how the protagonist innately understood that a seismic shift in global ecology was happening when trained biologists in the field didn’t (Jackson Oz never finished his PhD). Still, inquiring minds want to know and he travels the world investigating his theory, slowly piecing it all together.
However, for such a smart guy, he does a fair bit of dumb things – like owning a chimp for a pet. That is a risky proposition at the best of times, but when you’re investigating animal attacks on humans, it’s probably not a good idea. He also travels to the African Savannah and is nearly killed when a pride of lions attack the tour group he is with (an event for which he is ill-prepared).
A problem with the book is that for no reason, it suddenly jumps five years into the future. Sorry, but that seems like lazy writing to me. Why not start it there and use flashbacks to tell Oz’s back story? Or have a prologue to provide some background?
The biggest cliche of this book though are the women. His somewhat frumpy yet trusting girlfriend gets killed off and is almost instantly replaced by a super-sexy French scientist who of course falls in love with him. Really?
SPOILER ALERT: The premise that mankind has altered the biosphere by burning massive amounts of hydrocarbons is not all that exceptional, but it’s manifestation is an interesting one. However, as with Dave Freedman’s Natural Selection, the quantum shift that occurs in all mammalian species worldwide at the same time (in under a decade) is a touch difficult to accept.
This book is lot like a Michael Bay movie – if you don’t ask too many questions and just sit back and enjoy it, it’s okay but not overly memorable and odds are you will forget about it shortly after closing the book.
Two stars out of five.