I am lucky to participate in the Fierce Kingdom Blog Tour, I loved the book, so it's a pleasure to have a little text written by Gin Phillips, the author!
A Different Kind of Geography
I’m in London for what I believe is my seventh time. There is a particular joy to revisiting a place, to having the layers of previous years and previous selves.
London was my first trip overseas. I’d won an essay contest, so I was travelling with 100 other high school students, all in matching red jackets. Luckily I had travelled so little that I was unaware this was not the coolest way to explore a city.
Now whenever I walk past Madame Tussaud’s I remember standing in that long line of red jackets, and I remember the pleasure our tour guide felt in cutting in front of a similarly long line of French high schoolers. I remember my trip to London after college where I saw my first West End play—before I’d ever seen anything on Broadway—and I remember trying my first Indian food. I remember sipping an Orangina at a barbecue, and a girl told me I looked like Scully on the X-Files. Later she asked me if I’d consider kissing a girl, and while I did not have any interest in girls, I was also aware that this might be my only chance to kiss someone who thought I looked like Gillian Anderson.
I grew older. By my next trip, I had mastered the Underground and felt great pleasure at that. Later I came back with my husband, and we ate the most delicious waffle and ice cream I have ever tasted, and our fingers were sticky and our feet were aching.
And so I love the layers of travelling. But I’ve found that, since having a child, there can be those same layers when I stay at home. In Birmingham, Al., where I live, there are a handful of places where my son and I go every week or every month.
One of those places is the zoo. These days we walk through it, and somehow my son has become a tall five-year-old holding my hand, and as we move through the exhibits, around every corner is some reminder of an old version of him. For a long time he made up his own words and hand signs for thing—we’d stand by the flamingos, and he’d lift one arm above his hand and bend his wrist, and that was the sign for flamingo. For a while, the flamingos were our first stop. When we pass them now, I can almost feel the weight of him on my arm.
At some stage after that, the carousel became his first choice, although he would only ride the zebra. That was until a zoo employee told him that the animals came to life at night, and after that pronouncement…no more carousel.
I remember when we played knights and sieges on the bridge of the playground—was he three? On that same playground, there was a giant fake spiderweb, and we left behind the bridge to play Spiderman instead—he had definitely turned four by then.
And so I walk through the zoo, and it is both intensely familiar and always slightly foreign. It’s not the place that’s changed, of course. It’s the boy holding my hand. The memories rise up, and there is such a pleasure in revisiting him.
Imagine that spending a day with your son in the zoo, at the path to the exit, you find out that there are gunmen shooting at people trying to leave. You have to choose between run and hide or try to escape... What will you choose?
This is the most terrifying book I have ever read. Not just because you can feel the fear on your skin but because this is a situation I could see myself in.
This is a book that will put your emotions running high, and you will fear the inevitable ending, will Joan and Lincoln see another day?
Joan knows that she has to find a good hidden place for Lincoln and her, to wait till the police arrives and catches the gunmen. But, how long they will have to hide? A little boy can't stay quiet for long and needs to eat and do his necessities, will they be able to stay quiet till the cavalry arrives? These are just some of the questions that pop in our mind when we start reading the book, and of course who are the gunmen and what they want.
I can understand Joan fear, the need to protect her little one even if it means risking her own life, I almost could feel the sounds of the animals and the cold sweat on my skin! I couldn't stop closing the book when the tension moments where too high, like when you close your eyes in a horror movie, sadly this book was so authentic that it was much more scaring!
This is one of the best books I ever read, the theme was completely different to the ones I usually read, but most touchable and frightening than any book I had ever in my hands.
Are you planing a visit to the zoo soon?
Labels: 2017, Blog Tour, Book, Psychological Thriller, Review