Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Fierce Kingdom

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

 Published: 2017



Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips is a thriller.

First, I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book I have read by Gin Phillips, and I enjoyed not only the story, but the writing.  She writes very clearly, without gory details.  Although it seemed to drag initially, once the book got going, the tension continued to build.  Gin Phillips writes great suspense!  

The story is about a mother and her 4-year old son Lincoln, who spend a little too much time enjoying the great outdoors, and have to race to get out of the Zoo before closing time.  Unfortunately, today was not a good day for Joan to get lost in the world of her child’s vivid imagination of battles between the Gods and/or super heroes.  And getting a 4-year old to get moving can be a challenge.  She neglects the time, seems to let her child dictate their pace, and ignores the loud bangs which she shrugs off as balloons.  As they approach the gates, she sees bodies on the ground, then a gunman.  Apparently she should have got her butt in gear, and realized those were not balloons popping.  With little time to think,  she is running, carrying her 40-lb child through the zoo to find a hiding place.  From this point right to the end, the book picks up speed.  Eventually they do meet other survivors, a 68-year old teacher, and a 16-year old girl who works in one of the concession stands.  They also meet the gunmen.  Most of the story is told through Joan’s thoughts and memories.

I think the only real problem in the book is perhaps the saint-like quality of Joan.  There is no way she would not have lost patience with Lincoln under these stressful circumstances.  As wonderful as their relationship sounds, it’s a little too good to be true. It would be wonderful if every mother were as tuned into their son as Joan is to Lincoln, and responded so perfectly to his behavioural issues.  Personally, I can’t see that happening in such a nerve-wracking situation.  As well, although the constant chatter and questions from a 4-year-old is on target, the vocabulary and knowledge of that child is a little incredible.

All of that being said, I would still have liked the story to continue, to provide more information on what happened to some of the other characters.  Because as far-fetched as I feel the relationship between mother and son is, the story was really good, and you quickly came to care for all the characters.  It is a very suspenseful and compelling read.

The book really does beg the question, what will you do to save your child?

One more thing….not sure the title reflects the book.  


Read: June 2017


Favorite Quotes from Fierce Kingdom:

“If you always expect the worst to happen, you can only be pleasantly surprised”

“She understands, logically, a soundproof door, but logic is not asserting itself.”


About the Author:  Gin Phillips was born in Alabama, graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a degree in political journalism.  She worked as a magazine writer for more than a decade, living in Ireland, New York, and Washington D.C., before eventually moving back to Alabama, which is where she lives now.

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