Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips- Book Review

I saw this was available on a Canadian book site and was excited I could get it now, rather than waiting until the end of the month, so I ordered it early. I had read the description and the plot seemed so intriguing- mother and son are trapped in a zoo after closing as things get strange, so it became a book that I became excited for in the summer and was an instant purchase.

The plot is Joan and her 4 year old son are in the zoo, as they often are. It is nearing closing time and Joan begins to bring her son to the exit. As she nears the exit, she sees a few dead bodies on the grounds and then more. The zoo is under attack.

The rest of the book follows Joan and her son for the next few hours as she hides and ducks and scurries to keep ahead of the shooters. She has a cell phone to communicate with her husband, but she doesn't know why or who is attacking the zoo. It is now a game of survival for Joan and her son.

It is extremely difficult to talk about this book without giving plot points away, but I will try my best so as not to spoil the book. Warning though there will be vagueness ahead.

As I read this book, I keep telling myself- this would make a great movie. It is tense. Being in enclosed spaces at times with a 4 year old who likes to talk and simply does not understand that if he makes noise he gives away their position would make a fantastic movie.

For me though, it made a dragging book at times.

The book starts off very quickly and gets the reader into the tense situation very quickly. The characters are drawn out and you are with this mother and child. Their backgrounds, family life, who they were, etc really don't matter. They are in crisis mode. We will learn about Joan a bit in the book, but in the beginning we know all we need to know.

The ending is also incredible. As one can guess, there will need to be a point when Joan needs to get out of there. Other things happen, things are learned, and she will need to escape. That is all I will say on that. The escape is also tense.

It is the middle that would be great in a movie, but in a book almost didn't work. At one time, I almost put it down and didn't come back to it. This is primarily about hiding and having to stay hidden while other things happen. The book is told from Joan's perspective and stays with her. So, things are happening, but since we are with Joan, we don't know what is happening because we are hiding. Hiding can be pretty dull at times, if you know what I mean, especially with just two characters- Joan and her son.

I am glad I stuck with it though as the conclusion is worth it. There was at least one- "oh come on" moment, but I don't want to say when as it will give away some things, but brace yourself for at least one of them. It is a very convenient situation that helps Joan and son too easily.

The story is also told using time as chapters, which was fun.

I gave this one 3.5 stars. Great for summer or curled up for a weekend. A good thriller.

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