I enjoyed reading this book and felt transported to Mosul. Abu Laith, the main character of the book, is an animal lover who has always dreamed of owning his own zoo, and he wants his animals to be well cared for. Readers who are searching for strictly an animal story, however, should note that the attractive cover design might be slightly misleading. The story seems more about Abu Laith's life, from his hopes and dreams, to the intense fear his family feels when everyone else has fled the city; that includes the soldiers whom they were counting on for protection. There are plenty of tense moments and interesting anecdotes that ring true, such as electrical power being intermittent For example, when Abu Laith discovers an old cell phone, he is not sure what to do since ISIS had made it illegal to own a SIM card. There are other characters in the book whose lives revolve around their employment at the zoo. This is a touching story; the reader will truly sense the despair when characters awake to "another unpromising day" (chapter 28).