Audiobook review: Fierce Kingdom - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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?

Book Type:

Adult psychological thriller

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Audiobook Review: Fierce Kingdom
By Gin Phillips

Audiobook review: Fierce Kingdom

A mother and son visit to the zoo goes horribly wrong when danger prowls—they must run and hide, quiet and quick, if they’re to survive the nightmare.

Joan and her spirited four-year-old son Lincoln visit the zoo often. Joan knows the grounds intimately. On this late afternoon, while Lincoln plays with his action figures, Joan registers a series of loud bangs. Realizing the zoo is about to close, she hastily gathers Lincoln and his things, heading towards the exit.

But at the exit, everything changes with what she sees. Heaving Lincoln into her arms, she turns around and runs right back into the zoo, legs pumping, panting for air.

All the while, her mind is racing too, trying to find a place for them to hide. Her decisions are of life and death.

Over the span of three hours—the entire timeline of the novel—Joan must keep them safe in this horrifying game of hide and seek. But as darkness falls, hunger, fear and exhaustion take their toll, especially for her little one.

She must balance their precarious situation while keeping tantrums at bay and the barrage of questions typical to a four year old, handled and hushed. They’ll find others in similar predicaments, and others, both animal and human, who wouldn’t make it out alive.

The story unravels through Joan’s perspective, as her mind constantly assesses and problem solves. The mood is unbearably tense and what they face is frightening, but amidst the chaos, there are moments of poignancy that cleverly make the narrative all the more powerful and evocative. As a mom, it’s a deeply rattling scenario that begs the question—what wouldn’t we do for our children? And in moments of utter disarray, could we think clearly enough to survive?

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  1. Leandra Wallace said:

    I just went & put this on hold at the library- sounds super good!


    1. vilmairis Post author said:

      Enjoy it! It’s a fast read because you won’t want to put it down!


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