Thursday, 1 March 2012

Book Review - Animal Kingdom: An Apocalyptic Horror Novel by Iain Rob Wright

Animal KingdomJoe is on a day out at the zoo with son Danny when they witness an awful snake attack. As they try to raise the alarm with zoo staff they realise the snake isn't the only animal behaving strangely. Not only have other animals including the lions escaped from their enclosures, rather than follow any instinct to escape they seem determined to kill humans. A small group of staff and visitors are able to hole up in a zoo building but it's clear they are under siege, with the animals acting in ways that are completely unnatural, and man has moved to the bottom of the food chain.

This is a book that grabbed me, shook me and wouldn't let me go! If it wasn't for work I would probably have devoured this in one sitting. The action started immediately and the pace didn't let up until the very end. There are some pretty gory scenes as the group hold back the advances of the animal ranks and the ideas stemming from the scenario had my mind working overtime. 

The book isn't dissimilar to the other book I have previously read by the same author, The Final Winter, which also featured a group of mismatched individuals trapped and facing mortal peril as a result of a freak occurrence. However in this book we are never really told what has caused the animals to suddenly act in the way they do. Again though it left my mind plenty of latitude to imagine more. 

The characters range from protective dad Joe to bible-bashing Sylvia via a psychopath and potential despot. Needless to say the mixture of characters is explosive. The less savoury characters were bordering on the absurd but within the context of the story that wasn't a distraction, and after all pressured situations bring out the worst in people. While there is plenty of conflict there are also some positive relationships that start to grow, which provides a glimmer of hope.

At the end of the book are seven short stories set in the Animal Kingdom, some of which connect back to the group trapped in the zoo. It was a novel way to provide more background on the characters and extend the scope of the story without breaking away from the action at the zoo.

I don't read a lot of horror but when I do this is how I like it. 

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*


Mark Boss said...

This book sounds fun. I know it's awful, but I usually root for the animals.

TC said...

Probably as awful as me feeling sorrier for the birds that get slaughtered than for the humans.

Iain Rob Wright said...

Hi Tracey,

Thanks for this review - I'd love to see what you think of Sea Sick my new novel (it's free on amazon until Tuesday)

Greatly appreciate it,