Fierce Kingdom: A Novel by Gin PhillipsFierce Kingdom: A Novel by Gin Phillips

Fierce Kingdom: A Novel

byGin Phillips

Paperback | July 25, 2017

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“Warning: you'll finish this in one sitting.” —TheSkimm  

“Expertly made thriller . . . clever and irresistible.” —The New York Times

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?
Gin Phillips is the award-winning author of The Well and the Mine and Come In and Cover Me. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family.
Title:Fierce Kingdom: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:July 25, 2017Publisher:Diversified PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0525492682

ISBN - 13:9780525492689

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it slow at times but a great story
Date published: 2018-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tension all the way through! I would give this 5 stars except for questions I would have liked answered. Well written, keeping reading engaged to the end.
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too many unanswered questions I read this book in a day and half, mainly because I was really hoping it would become more exciting. There were far too many unanswered questions, and missed opportunities to make the story more exciting in my view. Since it was set in a zoo I thought there would have been more close calls with animals to make the escape/hiding more challenging. I also hate cliffhanger endings - what happened to the main character? What happened to the teacher? I also can't understand why she threw her phone... just turn it off until its safe to use again!
Date published: 2017-08-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I read the book in a day - it did hold my interest but I was expecting more - found myself flipping through some of the long narrative pages. Set in a zoo - would have liked more interaction with the animals. Since it was a scary setting would have liked more exotica - like stepping on a snake, etc. also the ending just stopped - what happened, needed a conclusion. And ... what happened to the baby in the trash can???
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring and Irritating I don't know how this has taken off the way it has. I took a chance on it based on the chapters hype and Heather's Pick, but what a letdown! This novel spans three hours of 'terror' in a zoo, following (for the most part) Joan and her son, Lincoln, whom she must protect from killers on the loose who have just decided it's a zoo they want to shoot up. Nothing about this novel felt focused. Everything felt arbitrary, or added as a last-minute thought when the author needed a new character or storyline to support some other storyline. This certainly wasn't the edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-filled ride it was described to be. I was getting bored with this novel, flipping ahead through paragraphs and paragraphs of description and dialogue that added nothing to the story itself, felt only like filler, and in the end, low and behold, meant I'd missed nothing at all. Over-saturation of dialogue, description, and unnecessary back-history did nothing to propel the plot and I felt like the story became stranded several times because of this. All that dialogue and description did not create the feeling of suspense I think the author was hoping for, but rather took me further out of the story and further out of the characters' heads, especially when the endless internalised questions (would they hear us? Could she get away in time? Could she push him through a window? Could they really get through a door? Could she picture herself anywhere but here?) made me hope the main character WOULD get shot just to make it end. The characters were banal, mostly unlikeable, and even the motivations by the killers seemed like a relentless first-attempt kick at the can in the thriller world. None of it flowed, and I think this is a good example of how not to write a thriller. Too much idle time in the novel, too many unlikely scenarios to galvanise either antagonist or protagonist to make the choices they do in this story... I could't wait for it to end. If you want a real thriller that will have the palms sweating and the anxiety racing, I'd suggest looking elsewhere.
Date published: 2017-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liam Neeson from Taken would be proud This book was a ride! A heart-stopping, edge of your seat ride. It's tense and scary and brought out the maternal instinct I didn't even know I had. I wasn't sure about the present tense at first as I can't even remember the last time I read a book written that way - but once I got into it I got into it. And I couldn't stop reading.
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Edge of your seat read!! So, you've heard readers say, "I couldn't put the book down"....but honestly, I truly couldn't put down Gin Phillips' new thriller Fierce Kingdom! Her premise is terrifying......Joan and her four year old son Lincoln are amongst the stragglers leaving the zoo late one day. They're on their way to the exit when Joan hears 'popping' sounds. It's only when she sees the first dead body that she realizes that there is a killer on the prowl within the confines of the zoo. And he's walking on two legs carrying a gun..... Okay, the idea alone is scary enough, but the fact that I have visited the zoo with my young grandson made it even more real. Recent newspaper headlines make it a plausible and appalling scenario. Phillips' descriptions of Joan's love for Lincoln has been described by the publisher as primal - an apt and realistic picture of fierce mother love. Their interactions and Lincoln's imagination and questions all ring so true. Joan's ferocious desire to ensure her son survives this horrific situation had me on the edge of my seat for all 288 pages and the three hours that the novel takes place in. Joan and Lincoln often visit the zoo - she knows the layout and will use that knowledge to try and evade the killer. But how do you keep a four year old quiet? Transmit the danger without terrifying him? What decisions does she have to make to ensure his survival? The killer is also given a voice with some chapters dedicated to his thinking and reasoning. His actions are frightening enough, but the impetus for his actions is downright terrifying - again taken from real life events. There are others hiding as well and we also hear a bit from them. Fast paced, breakneck action will keep you turning pages 'til the wee hours. The tension and the fierce love between Joan and Lincoln will leave you breathless (and hugging the little ones in your life a little bit tighter). An excellent read for those who love thrillers and suspense. I dare you to try and put it down....I can see this novel as a movie as well.
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absolutely heart-pounding, nail-biting thriller. Fierce Kingdom is an absolutely heart-pounding, nail-biting thriller. The author puts you right in the action with Joan and Lincoln and it is told in “real time” kind of like the TV show “24” making it super intense and suspenseful. Once you start reading you won’t want to put it down so you might want to clear your schedule in preparation! It’s especially chilling because it seems so possible in real life. We hear stories about this kind of rampage shooting way too often and it isn’t very difficult to imagine yourself in this exact situation. While we spend most of the story with Joan and her son, there were a few short chapters from the point of view of the other characters so the reader receives a bit more information than Joan has access to herself. There were so many times where I was mentally trying to communicate with her to stay hidden. Of course, like in a horror movie when you are screaming “don’t go into the basement!!!” she usually did the opposite of what was wise. She made quite a few questionable decisions but I suppose that if she always did the right thing there wouldn’t be a good story to tell. There were a few loose ends that were never tied up at the end and I really wonder about some of them because they are kind of important. (The baby! The baby!) I should give a warning that there are animal deaths in this story. Not surprisingly, gunmen in a zoo=dead animals. There is also a reference to animal abuse which involves cats that is very disturbing. I notice in the acknowledgements the author thanks Donny Phillips for “his cat escapades.” I am sincerely hoping that this isn’t referring to the form of cat torture that is detailed in the book! I would hardly term it “escapades!” This just reconfirms that people are horrible and animals are too good for this world. So says the cat lady! Thank you to Random House Canada for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
Date published: 2017-06-15