Fierce Kingdom was a book that I won on Twitter from Alison Barrow (@alisonbarrow) from Transworld Books. Firstly I need to give a huge thanks to Alison for this. This book was out on June 15th. I have not read a book by Gin Phillips before so I was going in blind as to what her style of writing is and what her books are like.
"An action packed read, which had a real life feel to it"
Précis (taken from the cover):
Lincoln is a good boy. At the age of four, he is curious, clever and well behaved. He does as his mum says and knows what the rules are.
'The rules are different today. The rules are that we hide and do not let the man with the gun find us.'
When an ordinary day at the zoo turns into a nightmare, Joan finds herself trapped with her beloved son. She must summon all her strength, find unexpected courage and protect Lincoln at all costs – even if it means crossing the line between right and wrong; between humanity and animal instinct.
It's a line none of us would ever normally dream of crossing.
But sometimes the rules are different.
When I read the cover of this book I was excited about it. A few chapters in and I was even more excited about it. You already knew what was going to happen and you felt that if you turned on the news, it could be happening right now in the real world. I love how the book was written, each chapter title was a time. Something like 5:32pm or 7:06pm which made me think of the TV series 24 which was filmed in real time, and one of my all time favourite shows. The zoo has been taken hostage and there are people stuck all around. This included the main characters Joan & Lincoln, a mother and son who you follow throughout this book. Lincoln is only 4 years old so Joan not only has to protect herself but also that of her son. I liked the relationship between these two and as the book progresses you put yourself in Joan's shoes and you ask yourself, as stated by Shari Lapena on the back of this book "What would I do?"
The other characters in the book were the hostage takers plus a few other people lost and hiding in the zoo. Although these were bit part characters in the book you found yourself asking on every single one. Are you hiding for fear of your life or are you part of this whole process. The way they were written you felt like you could not trust any of them. This gave the story a mystery to it for me which added to the already great plot line.
Reading this book, I found the pages were turning at a fast rate, especially the last 70-80 pages which felt like I read in about five minutes. The ending was great and it had you on the edge of your seat, or in my case sitting up in bed and straitening your back to make sure you were concentrating correctly.
Was there anything at all that I did not like about the book? Well there was I'm afraid. Around a quarter of the way through the book I felt the story kind of stopped. It slowed down quite a bit and you did not have that urgency to read on like you had at the start of the book. Or the second half of this book did after you got through this part. For me this was my only bug bear, The rest of this book was great..
As I've said in my last couple of blogs. Would this book be a good summer holiday read.? Well.... I would definitely recommend that you take this book with you and would be great whilst sat by the pool or on the beach. Maybe not so though if part of your holiday you are going to the zoo... If you are though, please make sure you know where ALL the exits are.
I scored this book a 4 out of 5. I really enjoyed it apart from the little blip I mentioned above. My first Gin Phillips book has now been read and it will definitely not be the last I read of hers as well.
I would love to know what everyone else thinks about this book if you have read it. Do you agree with me or not? Please let me know.