ARC REVIEW: Fierce Kingdom – by Gin Phillips @VikingBooks

Title: Fierce Kingdom
Author: Gin Phillips

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: July 25th 2017
Publisher: Viking
Finished reading: August 20th 2017 
Pages: 288

“Templates are dangerous. Templates teach you not to think. History doesn’t repeat itself, Rob. Every second is a new thing.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Viking in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


I have been eyeing this story for a while now, so when I found out it was in the Read Now section on Netgalley I couldn’t resist hitting that button. There was just something about that cover and blurb that kept calling to me… And I’m definitely glad I took the time to read Fierce Kingdom. Despite the fact I didn’t give it the highest rating on the planet, Fierce Kingdom is without doubt a very suspenseful, refreshing and entertaining psychological thriller that reads like a train. I found myself literally flying through the pages and finished it in less than a day! The writing has a way of drawing you in and I loved the setting in a zoo. Very refreshing and original! The story follows Joan, her son and a bunch of other characters trying to find a way to keep safe in a very chaotic and dangerous situation. There are quite a few twists involved and danger is never far away, but Fierce Kingdom isn’t just about the suspense. It is also about the bond between Joan and her son and how far she will go to protect him. And there is were the part comes in that made me lower the rating: the credibility. I’m not sure if the whole situation is actually credible and I wasn’t sure about the decisions Joan made either or how things developed. Some of it just felt pretty chaotic and all over the place… BUT. Somehow I still managed to enjoy reading this story anyway. This has a lot to do with the writing, the refreshing and original plot and the constant presence of danger and suspense as you keep reading to find out what will happen to them. So while I ended up giving Fierce Kingdom ‘only’ three stars, it is a very good three stars for me. And I’m sure this book will be a right fit for those who are not affected by the credibility and are looking for a refreshing psychological thriller with a healthy dose of suspense and a touch of drama.


Joan and her four-year-old son spend a lot of time in the zoo and today is not different. The zoo is already nearly empty as they pack up their things and start heading back to the entrance… It has been a perfect day so far and the two are happy, but suddenly the mood changes. At first there are strange sounds, and then Joan sees something when they are approaching the exit gate that chills her to the bone. She sprints right back into the zoo with her son in her arms… And for the next three hours she will have to do everything to keep them both safe.


I’ve kept the summary short to avoid spoilers, but trust me, you will want to know what is happening in the zoo and how things develop. While I had problems with the credibility of it all, I did very much enjoy reading Fierce Kingdom and I could really appreciate the refreshing plot and the fact that it isn’t just another psychological thriller. The focus on the bond between Joan and her son was interesting and added a whole different level to this story. Definitely one to keep in mind.


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23 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Fierce Kingdom – by Gin Phillips @VikingBooks

  1. Hmm. I have to admit I was very tempted by this when i spied it in the Read Now section. Possibly no bad thing that I resisted as I have more than enough books on my shelf.

    I do like stories with interesting and different premises but there was something a little off in the blurb which it seems didn’t work for you.

    Great review as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m still glad I read it because otherwise I would have kept wondering if I would like it… It was definitely refreshing and a change from the ‘typical’ phychological thrillers, but the credibility did put a damper on things.


    • My thoughts exactly! I don’t think her decisions were all that credible at all… I did manage to enjoy the story in general, but had to lower the rating considerably due to the credibility.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, the premise sure does sound interesting but when you mention credibility and poor choice, I think it would just piss me off 😀 hahaha, no doubt it’s a thrilling read though… great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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    • I had actually forgotten about the mixed reviews when I got my copy at Netgalley… I’m glad I did read it because it was quite an original story even though the credibility made me lower the rating considerably.

      Liked by 1 person

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