Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips



Ok, so I read some mixed reviews on this book, but let me tell you: the naysayers are wrong. This was a phenomenally suspenseful thriller kind of book, but more than that– it’s a story of the fierce love between a mother and her son.

The book is set in a zoo within the span of about three hours. Joan and her son Lincoln are visiting the zoo and mistakenly stay until the zoo is about to close. However, something’s wrong: the animals are suspiciously quiet and eventually Joan discovers dead bodies on the ground. There is a gunman(gunmen?) having a shooting spree in the zoo.

From that point forward, we follow Joan and Lincoln (her son), as well as Kailynn (a teenager) and Margaret (a retired schoolteacher) through their journey of attempting to hide from the gunman (gunmen?).

“And here they are, where death is shoving its bloody about in their faces, and she has not considered it, not really, because she has some vague idea of what she will unleash if she does, the great, gaping chasm that will open up. That is what you do when you have a child, isn’t it, open yourself up to unimaginable pain and then try to pretend away the possibilities.”

What I found most enjoyable and satisfying was learning the nuances of Joan and Lincoln’s relationship in the middle of an extremely stressful situation. Some complaints of this novel was an argument that the ending was open ended. I didn’t feel this way. The main questions and concerns I had were answered. And best of all, the love and strong bond between mother and son were highlighted.

Highly recommend if you enjoy suspenseful thrillers and/or the stories of the bonds between a mother and child. Also if you watch Criminal Minds. I feel like this could be an episode of that show.

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