Fierce Kingdom: A Novel - Gin Phillips

Joan and her four-year-old son have been playing in a secluded part of the zoo, but now they're cutting it close as the zoo is about to close for the day. As they hurry toward the exit Joan immediately turns around, Lincoln in her arms, and races back into the zoo. Those pops she heard earlier weren't balloons bursting or fireworks - they were gunshots and there is a man with a gun at the exit. Joan loves the zoo and it's her knowledge of this place - the hidden pathways and what exhibit is empty - that keeps them one step ahead of danger for the next three hours. She will do whatever it takes to protect her son.

With a cover like that and especially after reading the blurb I desperately wanted to read it right away. As an animal lover it pains me to read about fictional animals being hurt and killed and since this takes place in a zoo I figured it would happen. (I skimmed over those parts and I'm pretending they didn't happen!) But this book is so good! I couldn't help but fall in love with little Lincoln. His imagination and the love he has for his mother - their bond - it was something special. I was totally absorbed in this and if life didn't get in the way I would've read it in one sitting. It was very intense. Never a dull moment.

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada for a copy of this book.