Thursday, July 04, 2013

Zoo Station (2007)

Zoo Station. David Downing. 2007. Soho Press. 304 pages. [Source: Bought]

John Russell is a British journalist living in Nazi Germany in 1939. While he doesn't like the Nazi regime, he loves his (German) son very much. (He's divorced from his wife.) He's also been in a good and steady relationship with his German girlfriend, Effi, an actress, for many years. One day he's presented with an opportunity, the Russians want him to write articles; he'll be well paid, but Russell fears that if he begins working for another country he'll soon be asked to do more than write--perhaps spying or smuggling or something much more dangerous. But after some doubts, he talks himself into it. He gets the permission of the Nazis--who want the articles in advance so they can be approved--and his work begins. The British take notice and also want to see the articles in advance. They want to be very friendly with Russell just in case he proves useful. (Russell suspects they want him to be a spy as well.) Most of Zoo Station seems to be setting the stage for the 'real story' that may be revealed in later novels.

John Russell has some decisions to make. He has to decide how much he's willing to do to risk his comfortable life in order to stand up for what he knows is right. Is he willing to ask his Nazi acquaintances about the fate of his Jewish friends? How much is he willing to do to let the world know the truth about the Nazis? Is he willing to risk his own life? Should he keep silent with the truth? Can he manage to put his conscience on hold and wait for the right moment?

Zoo Station was an interesting read. It definitely held my interest! I'm not sure I loved it, but I definitely want to know what happens next!

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


hopeinbrazil 9:49 AM  

This book has been on my radar, but your review makes me think I won't love it.

Falaise 11:45 AM  

I quite enjoyed this one but found that there wasn't as much tension in it as I would have liked - it all seemed a little too easy for Russell. Maybe that's just me though!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP