Genre: Thriller, mystery
(From Goodreads) 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.
A masterful thrill ride and an exploration of motherhood itself—from its tender moments of grace to its savage power—Fierce Kingdom asks where the boundary is between our animal instinct to survive and our human duty to protect one another. For whom should a mother risk her life?
Seriously, I can’t with this book. It was amazing! It lived up to everything the description and advertisements said, which is even better. The book opens up with a sense of security and the love between a mother and her child, and it ends with that same love and security, but just in a different setting. Everyone’s living fear has come to life in this novel, and it’s intense. This whole novel just gave me one huge bundle of nerves in the pit of my stomach, it’s so terrifying. Just imagine being alone or with a loved one, trying not to be next on the shooter’s hit-list.
I love how Gin Phillips actually wrote about the thought process a mother has for her child. I’ve never had that in a book before, and it really was a nice addition and perspective to have. A mother will literally do anything for her child, and I know that now.
I love the other characters introduced in the novel too. I mean, a sixteen-year-old and an old retired teacher? Probably the most unlikely people to survive, but yet there they are.
I think my favourite aspect about the book is that not all loose ends are tied. I know this might be infuriating for some, but it really works for “Fierce Kingdom.” We don’t really know why Joan’s mother was horrible to live with (I’m assuming she was a stripper and a hoarder). We don’t actually know the outcome of Mrs. Powell. Does Kailynn get her phone back from her parents? What happens with Joan? All of these questions are still left at the end, but again, it works well for this novel. It’s not about the outcome, but the whole shooting itself. We aren’t meant to know every little detail about the novel and its characters, just like we don’t know about the real motives behind a shooter. Yes, the police can gather information and put the pieces together, but they really can’t say what happens in the minds of a killer and their thought process.
What are your thoughts on Fierce Kingdom? Did you love it too?