Vivienne Medrano’s Zoophobia stars a young woman named Cameron who’s desperate for a job and will take any available position in her field of counseling. She’s basically duped. When she hears there’s a job that it involves relocation, she expects, quite reasonably, that the students will be of the human persuasion. To her surprise, she’s whisked away to Zoo Phoenix Academy in Safe Haven, a land full of anthropomorphic creatures. That’s not ideal because, as the title suggests, animals give Cameron the heebie-jeebies.
When you get down to it, Cameron’s journey is not unlike Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. A bold statement, I know, but think about it: Cameron gets suckered into counseling animals, while Ms. Eyre is duped into a teaching job at a spooky manor house inhabited by a creepy ghost woman or something. Shoot, there’s even a supernatural element established early on. It turns out that Cameron’s recruiter … is a warlock of some sort? What’s got her so interested in a clueless educator who just happens to have strange dreams at night?