Oh my goodness, I enjoyed this book so much I’m not even sure how to review it. I had a feeling I was going to enjoy this book based on the synopsis (posted below, so make sure you read it!), but I didn’t realize quite how much I was going to love it.
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Published by Viking on July 25th 2017
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An electrifying novel about the primal and unyielding bond between a mother and her son, and the lengths she’ll go to protect him.
The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours—the entire scope of the novel—she keeps on running.
Joan’s intimate knowledge of her son and of the zoo itself—the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines—is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger.
motherhood, survival, and an unexpectedly terrifying zoo
(I am leaving this vague so that I spoil NOTHING! If you haven’t yet read the synopsis above, READ IT!)
What I Loved about Fierce Kingdom:
1. I didn’t realize how much this book was going to feel like a horror novel to me. I knew it was going to be suspenseful, but I didn’t expect to feel as much terror reading this book as I did. I would read this at night, and then I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I was too tense from what I read!
At one point, I was reading this in a loud restaurant. My husband called me in the middle of a tense scene, and I actually jumped I was so on-edge. HOW FANTASTIC IS THAT?! This book is the definition of a thriller novel.
2. There is unexpected beauty in the chaos of this novel. The story revolves around a mother and her son. Gin Phillips did a phenomenal job describing the feelings a mother has toward her son. I don’t have children, but I could glimpse the immense feelings that comes with motherhood. It was heart-wrenching and lovely all wrapped into one.
3. This book is FAST PACED. The entire story takes place in the span of about three hours. Each minute that passes in this book is intense (have I mentioned that this book is intense yet?). It makes it very hard to put the book down. I read this one really fast by my standards (I read physical books slllooowwww), and whenever I wasn’t reading it, I wanted to be.
4. This book is full of suspense. I live for suspense in novels, so I’m certain this is the main reason this book is now one of my favorites. There is some action, but a large majority of this book will have you biting your nails and sitting on the edge of your seat just waiting.
What was so-so:
It’s a minor point, but there were a few storylines that I wished got wrapped up a bit more. I also wish there was a smidgen more closure at the end. Honestly, these things weren’t enough to really affect my rating of Fierce Kingdom. I loved it.
I recommend this to EVERYONE so long as the synopsis appeals to you!