Fierce Kingdom

Fierce Kingdom

A Novel

Book - 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. Suddenly, mother and son are as trapped as the animals. Joan's intimate knowledge of this place that filled early motherhood with happy diversions--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?
Publisher: New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780735224278
0735224277
Characteristics: 275 pages ; 24 cm

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DBRL_ANNEG Jun 13, 2018

I was drawn into this intense story from the opening pages. The story is very cerebral--much of it is spent in the protagonist's head, with not much action. But, this is a story of a mother and lengths she will go to in order to save her child. I can't think of a relationship that is more defined by its roles of protector and protected. Most people will thankfully never find themselves stuck with a 3-year-old while murderers stalk them through the displays of their local zoo. But it's a scarily easy scenario to imagine and I think Gin Phillips captured the fear and intense emotions of a mother trying to just get through these few hours alive in a rather vivid way that had me questioning just what I would do in her shoes.

neyoscribbles Apr 20, 2018

Great book! I absolutely loved the primal instincts of the victims to survive, juxtaposed with the environment of the zoo, where the instincts of all the animals are basically restricted.
I liked being inside the mother’s head and understanding the adrenaline and worry that would accompany the desire to safe keep her child. I also couldn’t help but get mad at myself for allowing the author to manipulate me by offering different perspectives towards the end. As a reader you can assume one person to be the villain, but then of course as humans you want to rationalize all kinds of behaviour, which then leaves you wondering, who really is the villain in this story? As a result, I think the ending was very disappointing. And it was also a weird surprise to have additional perspectives with only 100 pages left in the book.

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islandqueen47
Feb 24, 2018

This book was just okay. I felt a bit overwhelmed with the mom's thoughts about every peep, squeak, word etc that her son had ever made. It did get kind of boring during those parts.
Also found the ending a bit vague but perhaps that was the intent.

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dlh1
Feb 12, 2018

I found this book gave a unique perspective (which caught me off-guard when it switched between characters). It was enlightening to see the author go into the territory of what makes someone decide to commit murder, and how sometimes it just doesn't make any sense at all (if there are mental problems). As a victim trying to "reason with" someone like this, it likely isn't possible. I wish the author would have taken the time to finish off more of the story (i.e. what happened with the crying baby?, why didn't the police use night vision goggles to locate people?).

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wilqser
Dec 12, 2017

Thriller about a woman trapped in a zoo with her son and an unforeseen horror occurs. The novel is about survival and the primal instincts of a mother's love. Not enough for me here, just indiscriminate mayhem.

ehbooklover Dec 09, 2017

Wow. This was one stressful book. I made the mistake of reading it right before bed and had a really hard time falling asleep. A frightening, edge-of-your seat thrill ride that was also an examination of the beautiful relationship between a mother and her young son.

marycatlyons Dec 05, 2017

This title had so much potential and started out at a great pace, but toward the middle it begins to slump, and by the end it's just about to pick the pace back up when it abruptly ends. Overall, it's a decent read, but it will leave you with questions and disappointed by the ending.

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SJM7323
Nov 23, 2017

This book was a huge disappointment! It was boring and seemed to drag on. There was minimal action or storyline. Not sure why, but I decided to torture myself with reading it through to the end. I wish I wouldn't have wasted my time. I guess I kept hoping it would get better, considering the fact that I had to wait a long time in the library queue to even get it.

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dcafk
Nov 11, 2017

To me, this novel was slow paced and boring.

readfiend Nov 01, 2017

Fast paced story on the unyielding drive of a mother and child faced with insurmountable odds. Phillips uses a unique setting to tell the age-old tale of familial survival in harrowing circumstances. Very fun and quick read!

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swimmer10_0
Aug 04, 2017

skimm says you'll finish this in one sitting

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