Fierce - Gin Phillips Review

With autumn upon us, it's time to get stuck into one of my favourite book genre's.. Thrillers. There's nothing I love more than an edge of your seat, page turner of a book that keeps you hooked from start to finish. Mumsnet have been knocking it out of the park with their Book Club selections, and this month's was no exception. 

Fierce by Gin Phillips is a small but mighty book that will literally leave you holding your breath as the story unfolds. It's one that was every ounce tense as it was scary and thrilling. And a book that left me hooked and wanting more. 

Fierce Gin Phillips

The story opens with Joan and her 4 year son Lincoln at the zoo. Something they do on a regular basis and something that seems ever the norm to them. That is until they hear shots fired and realise that there is an active shooter in the zoo. How far would you go to protect your child? Joan is about to find out how fierce being a mother can be in the race to save herself and her son. 

Joan soon realises she is trapped like the animals in the zoo and she becomes a lioness and fights to save her child. It's an idea that most of us parents dread. Being in a situation that is out of our control, but could harm our child. The lack of ability to do anything but try and protect our children with all our might, even if the odds are stacked against us. And it's a feeling that sat in the pit of my stomach with each page I read as the tension continued to rise. 

The story is set over the space of three hours (coincidentally how long it took me to read) and I have to hold my hands up and say that this wasn't an easy read. It was one that whilst I read in one sitting,  had to take time to step away from at times. I'm still not sure why, but for a thriller obsessive it must be a good thing for a book to leave me tense and nervous throughout. The Sunday Times put it so right, it reminded me of the tension I felt when I read the book Room by Emma Donoghue. It's so beautifully written that you feel like you were there in the story with her. Breathing along quietly in the shadows, waiting for the sound of footsteps. 

I'm in awe of the way that Joan handled herself in the book. It's something that as a mother you strive to be able to say you will do. The animal instinct switches on and you do anything within your power to keep yourself and your children safe. How she did anything she could and was willing to put her life on the line for her child. How she was so focused on doing anything to save her child she would have given up everything to do so. It's honestly a book that will have you rooting for her and wishing that she gets out safe. Will have you chanting in your head and despairing when you hear a sound. 

Whilst the book is told mainly in the perspective of Joan, it's also littered with chapters from some of the other characters to give a bit of perspective and a bit of a break from Joan's tension. From the school teacher who is trying to enjoy her retirement, to the 16 year old server working in the kitchen and hoping that she will graduate. It was good to read what some of the other zoo visitors were up to whilst the shooting was happening, to see how everyone reacts to something as extreme as a shooting differently. 

There were also a few chapters from the perspective of one of the shooters. It was interesting to read his motives and how he got caught up in the idea of living forever, being remembered eternally and how life to him was something to throw away. It honestly left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. But it's supposed to. It's supposed to make you angry and mad and every emotion in between. 

It's a book that I couldn't put down and really showed me that the everyday parenting is something that we can all take for granted. Something that can be changed at the flick of a switch when we aren't even aware of it happening. One that shows you the primitive side of motherhood. It brings out the animal in all of us and is definitely a book that I won't be forgetting in a hurry. If you want a heart racing quick read, then I urge to you to read Fierce. Well done Gin Phillips, you've created a masterpiece.

Fierce is available to buy from Amazon, Waterstones and all other book shops!

Fierce Gin Phillips

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