Published by Random House Canada on July 4th 2017
An electrifying literary thriller introduces an unforgettable mother and son, whose simple trip to the zoo one afternoon is transformed into three hours of terror and survival after gunshots ring out. What would you do to protect the ones you love?
After school on a late October day, Joan has taken her four-year-old son, Lincoln, to one of his favourite places on earth: the zoo. Just before closing time, as they need to go home, she hears some loud pops like firecrackers. Not thinking much of it, they head for the exit...until Joan realizes the eerie human emptiness means danger, then sees the figure of a lone gunman. Without another thought, she scoops up her son and runs back into the zoo. And for the next three hours--the entire scope of the novel--she does anything she can to keep Lincoln safe. Both pulse-pounding and emotionally satisfying, Fierce Kingdom is a thrill ride, but also an exploration of the very nature of motherhood itself, from its saving graces to its savage power. At heart it asks how you draw the line between survival and the duty to protect one another? Who would you die for?
I didn’t mean to read this when I did. I was all “I’ll just read the first paragraph…” and then somehow I had read the entire book. All in one sitting. This was followed by much flailing and going “oh my god”.
This book had my pulse racing, and had me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen, and what would I do if I was in that same situation. I doubt I would have handled it nearly as well as Joan does with Lincoln.
I’m disappointed at the lack of resolution in exactly why Robby and Matt were doing what they did, but at the same time since the focus is mostly just on Joan that makes sense. I felt, though, that since we did see some of the story from Robby’s point of view that there could have been more explanation. That, or just leaving out Robby’s PoV entirely.
Mrs Powell seemed pretty out of place as well. We had a short bit of her point of view at the start, then she showed up later, but didn’t seem essential to the story. At least with Kaitlynn, Joan was provoked into doing more than just hiding with Lincoln which helped to develop the story some.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was breathtaking in its intensity and had me hooked within moments.