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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror At Its Best
First book Ive read by this author and it was brilliant, especially the short stories that follow on as you find out what happened to Joe wife. Great cover for the book. Will give visiting a zoo a miss for a while. Keeping this short as I dont want to give too much away about the plot. I would highly recommend this book to all.
Published 24 months ago by Wendy

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Animal Kingdom
This is Iain Rob Wrights second book, downloaded without reading reviews as his first book "The Final Winter" was riviting. Animal Kingdom is set within a Zoo, nice place to be if the wild life was not so intent on killing all humans. It starts out pretty good, introducing the characters add to that a few fast deaths to begin with, followed by panic among staff and...
Published on 17 Jan 2012 by M. Hill


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror At Its Best, 9 Aug 2012
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First book Ive read by this author and it was brilliant, especially the short stories that follow on as you find out what happened to Joe wife. Great cover for the book. Will give visiting a zoo a miss for a while. Keeping this short as I dont want to give too much away about the plot. I would highly recommend this book to all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, very good book, 28 Mar 2012
By 
Tina Gillham "magic112" (France) - See all my reviews
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Really enjoyed this book, better than the first, and one I would highly recommend, It is exciting and fast paced, and you care about the characters. You won't regret buying this book, cheap on kindle too. Good value, i have paid much more for much worse!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nom nom nom...tasty!, 13 Jan 2012
Here's a minor spoiler...there's some chomping and clawing and killing and stuff in Wright's Animal Kingdom. It's gruesome and visceral, full of violent death, but it's more than just a chomp-fest. It's really well written, at a cracking pace. It's a blast, too. A really easy read, and one I'd happily recommend. A great way to pass an afternoon.

Five stars for an enjoyable animal chomp 'em up.

Craig Saunders, author of Rain
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome Zoo-some!, 7 Mar 2012
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My 2nd Iain Rob Wright book and I loved this!

Picture a scenario where the world changes in an instant and all the planet's animals join forces and turn Humankind into the prey.

Now picture the worst place to be when that happens.....

The Zoo

Big cats, Silverbacks, Elephants, Creepy crawlies, right down to the cutest furriest critter. And they all want to eat you. Just think of all the teeth, tusks, stingers and strength and you get the gruesome, visceral picture.

Now throw in a small band of survivors. Some likeable and some....not.

Great read. And I'll never look at a zoo in quite the same way again
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you go down to the woods today.........., 22 July 2014
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This review is from: Animal Kingdom: An Apocalyptic Novel (Kindle Edition)
So picture the scene.......something inexplicable happens and the animals start attacking the humans.......every animal.....from cute bunny rabbits to household pets.........

Where is the one place you wouldn't want to be when this kicks off?

Joe hasn't seen his son Danny for months. They are having a day out.......at the zoo!!

It all starts with one of the zookeepers being crushed to death by a Boa Constrictor then all hell breaks loose. Joe and Danny witness this and can't believe what they are seeing. Joe tries to help but can't and they start walking toward a building for safety. Then they start running for their lives as a pride of lions gives chase. Every animal in the zoo has escaped and they are out for blood......human blood.

The story follows Joe and Danny and their battle for survival along with 6 other unlikely allies as they bunker down in a building to wait on someone coming to rescue them. They soon realise from news reports on the TV that help isn't coming anyway soon as the carnage is worldwide.

You can feel the fear on every page of this book. Each character has their own problems and issues but at the end of the day they are all just meat to the animals and they have to band together or they won't survive. Not everyone as the same agenda though.

As is normal for Iain Rob Wright this book has it's fair share of gore. I found myself a few times wondering how I would feel myself having to deal with what the people were witnessing and if my mind could take it. Also as is normal for Mr Wright he has written a story that is very easy to read but very difficult to put down.

A couple of twists and a couple of turns as the story comes to an end to keep you guessing what will happen next. Without giving the plot away as well Mr Wright is one of the few authors who isn't afraid to have an ending that may not necessarily be a happy one.

There are a couple of what read like short stories at the end of this book then you soon realise they all tie in with the main story and it is done beautifully.

Can't give anything less than top marks again.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and fast-paced, with plenty of action to keep the apocalypse hurtling ever closer..., 20 Feb 2012
By 
Chris Hall "DLS Reviews" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
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First published back in November of 2011, 'Animal Kingdom' formed British author Iain Rob Wright's second full length novel to see publication.

DLS Synopsis:
It was a day-out that Joe had been looking forward to for quite a while. And it was all because he hadn't seen his son, Danny, for months. But that was just the way things were when you became divorced and were trying to piece your life back together. But today was going to be good. And their first stop that Saturday morning was to the local Zoo.

But that morning was to become the morning where the world would suddenly change dramatically. That was the morning when, for seemingly no reason whatsoever, the entire animal kingdom would suddenly turn on mankind. Every species and type, (thankfully other than the birds) would all of a sudden rise up against humanity, in a rage of savage hatred.

And so, together with a handful of fellow survivors, Joe and Danny attempt to barricade themselves inside the relative sanctuary of one of the zoo's many buildings; hoping that rescue will arrive soon. But outside the hordes of animals are becoming organised. Under the watchful guidance of their apparent leader - Nero, the silverback gorilla, the animals are beginning their siege on the zoo's enclosure.

Inside the building, the few survivors quickly find that they have their own problems. Key-investor to the zoo, Christopher Randall, is throwing his weight around on a power-trip. Whilst the heavily tattooed Scot named Victor is already showing how intimidating he can be. Meanwhile a bible-bashing religious nut named Shirley is preaching her apocalyptical beliefs upon the other seven survivors - whether they want to hear it or not.

The added pressure of their immediate confinement together is already taking its toll. Their clashing personalities and individual ideas for survival are becoming a real problem. And outside the animals are starting to wage the war that could potentially end it all. The group's time, and potentially that of the whole of humanity, is quickly drawing to a close...

DLS Review:
Following on from 'The Final Winter' (2011) Iain Rob Wright has once again embarked on another apocalyptic-style end-of-the-world scenario, shown purely from a small and localised environment. Here, instead of a typical British pub (ala Wright's previous novel), our handful of survivors are this time situated in a zoo. And here the threat is not such a pseudo-religious-doomed-mankind affair. Instead, although it's never properly divulged as to why it is happening (although hinted at in the later shorts), the potential end of humanity is ultimately brought about by a sudden uprising of the animal kingdom.

Like an apocalyptical cross between George Romero's 'Night Of The Living Dead' (1968) and William Kotzwinkle's 'Doctor Rat' (1976), Wright's 'Animal Kingdom' was apparently spawned from the initial desire to write a zombie-apocalypse novel. The end result is certainly far better than simply tagging on another post-apocalyptic zombie story to an already well and truly over-saturated subgenre.

Wright's writing ability has clearly come along leaps and bounds since 'The Final Winter' (2011). The dog-eat-dog atmosphere and desperate intensity of the survivors' predicament is much more immediate. The snappy rhythm and general flow of the events that unfold are more in tune with the plot - unravelling at an increasing rate until it's finally time to play that final card.

However, what really lets the novel down somewhat is the limited and somewhat blasé approach to characterisation. Wright has all the right elements, with individual character traits shoe-horned into the tale like there's no tomorrow (which indeed there might not be!). But the characters can't just stand on their own two feet with these singular traits alone. Joe is a giant of a man, along with being a divorcee - sadly end of story there. Danny is his 90's wrestling-mad son - age pretty much unknown and not much else to say there either. Grace suffers from a form of OCD that makes her want to hurt herself unless she's had her medication - and that's about all we're given on her. Bill is gay and black - end of. Mason is the zoo curator - so who needs any more than that, right? Shirley is an aged religious nut; once again, that's all we really see of her. And Victor is a homophobic racist Scot with a psychotic side to him and little else apparently. The character of Randall (a very Harry Cooper-esque character) is the only one who is given any further development or exploratory depth into his personality. Admittedly it's not much more, but Wright was at least on the right lines with making the character a little more human.

To be honest, the dialogue used by these cardboard cut-out characters isn't really up to much too. It's basic and hits all the right points, but doesn't come across as even remotely real or anything other than another method to deliver points for the storyline with. It's certainly a shame, but not too compromising of the overall enjoyment of the novel.

Characterisation and the dialogue aside, the tale does hurtle along with plenty of excitement and a snowballing pace. Yes there are shovel-loads of action and comic book style bloodshed. It's not shocking or gritty, but more playfully pulpish in its exaggerated frolicking with a condensed-Armageddon style of plot.

To be honest I enjoyed reading the novel from start to end, so I'm reluctant to say anything too scathing about it. It was a fun read, with plenty of action-packed scenes to keep you flying through the pages. Okay, so it did start to get a tad too ridiculous at times, but that's perhaps half the joy of the tale. And the ultimate finale was a little too abrupt and snappish in its delivery. But it was still a monstrously entertaining read ensuring a thick smirk was plastered across my face throughout.

The book also includes a collection of bonus short stories set in this new 'Animal Kingdom' universe - very much in the style of David Moody's 'Autumn: The Human Condition' (2005). These are as follows:

Clocking Off - 4 pages
Jeff, along with all his fellow colleges at the Stote Investments chemical plant, had been sent home from work after becoming exposed to a large dose of their SIRT1 compound following a large-scale spillage. Now at home, he was relaxing with a couple of days off, with just his wife and pets as company. But his cat, King, was beginning to get a little on the frisky side...

This swift little short plays along with the whole 'possible cause for the outbreak' scenario in a similar fashion to the meteor storm that was mentioned in Romero's 'Night Of The Living Dead' (1968). Refreshingly, the short doesn't even pretend to work up to anything other than a predictable ending of animal attacking fun. But it's quick and simple and gets the suggested `possible cause' requirement down in almost record time. As a stand-alone short, it would be quite a poor read. However, alongside the main tale (as it was obviously always meant to be) it works well in thickening out the writer's whole 'Animal Kingdom' plot.

Howard's Wood - 4 pages
After Grace left Howard his life gradually become devoid of any form of companionship whatsoever. And following his incredible good fortune in becoming a millionaire off his first published novel, Howard was feeling like he now had everything but the one thing he wanted. However, whilst walking around his private woodland that surrounded his impressive home, Howard found his luck was finally running out for good.

Here we have a small expansion on the secondary character of Grace from the main tale, offering up a brief insight into her previous love life with the introduction of the tragic fellow of Howard. The short doesn't have a whole lot in it, but lays down a quick backstory before diving into a last minute 'Night Of The Lepus' (1972) style ending. As a side note, Wright really missed a trick in not titling the short 'Howard's End' which would have been so much more apt and delightfully pun-tastic.

The Hunt - 6 pages
Clive Middlesex is a Master Huntsman and very proud of it. And that's why, on that fateful Saturday morning, he was to be out hunting on his trusty horse Petronella. Furthermore, for this particular hunt, he and his fellow huntsmen were being filmed by a television crew. And so it was important that the hunt was shown in all its spectacular glory. And not just revelling in the gore of the kill...

You've gotta love a good short that's drenched in irony. Oh yes, we all know where this one's going. We had the delightful end guessed from just reading the title. But it works and it's delivered incredibly well, with plenty of meaty backstory and supporting layers. This is perhaps Wright's best example of his writing potential in the book (even though it's so short). The characterisation of Middlesex is far further developed than any other character we have been introduced to. And it just flows well, with enough padding to make it a good solid piece of engaging fiction.

Home - 4 pages
Jane was at home alone when all hell broke loose across the world. And as the unbelievable stories of animals turning on mankind started being broadcast across every channel, Jane's thoughts went out to her son Danny and where he was with her ex-husband. A zoo of all places. And now, she couldn't get hold of Joe. And the animals outside were getting closer...

An altogether depressing short, with barely a glimmer of hope to be pulled out of it. The short does little other than to serve as a slight expansion on the main tale's principal protagonist via a deeper divulgence of his backstory. The short is grim and emotive and ends perfectly in-tone with the rest of the quick story.

Behold, The Beasts Of War - 4 pages
Corporal Nick Robson had already seen more than his fair share of the war against the animals. Wave after wave of the beasts had surged over their military ranks. And the animals were undoubtedly becoming wiser to mankind's defences. Their attacks more organised. And now, as he surveyed the land before him from behind their hastily erected barricade, he knew that much, much more was to come...

'World War Z' (2006) meets 'Animal Kingdom'. Here, Wright throws down a brief glimpse of the war to come. A depressingly bleak vision of a military response to the attacking hordes of the animals. Admittedly, the short doesn't really hold up that well to its epic-sounding title, but nonetheless, delivers a firm kick to the guts for the continued development of Wright's animal-attacking premise.

Sanctuary - 4 pages
Caroline was alone now; wandering the deserted and ravaged streets of Leicester in the hope of rescue or some form of sanctuary. She hadn't seen a living soul since she was with her small group of wandering survivors. But they were all gone now. Dead. But up ahead she could just make out the outline of a hastily erected barricade. An outpost for soldiers to defend against the hordes of animals. But sanctuary in this new ravaged world is a very fickle thing...

For Wright's last short in his 'Animal Kingdom' premise Wright keeps with the downbeat bleakness, this time taking the story on to the possible end days of mankind, where the beasts that have risen up against humanity have swept over everything, killing and destroying as they go. Slight attentions to emotive details make this a much stronger addition than the sum of its parts; and certainly a grand one to finish Wright's overriding input with.

The Night Of The Squirrels - by Eric S Brown - 10 pages
Scott found himself alone and running through the dark woods in the desperate hope of finding safety somewhere. After the squirrels had stormed their house, and his mother and father had succumbed to their overwhelming numbers, he had managed to escape. And now he was on the way to old man Worley's farm. After all, he was an ex-military man with plenty of strength behind him. Scott was sure that he'd take him in... Meanwhile, Lieutenant William Gunter and two escorting soldiers were on their way flying over the woods in a helicopter on a rescue mission for the very same Colonel Worley. But the woods are far from empty. In their depths lurk swarms of squirrels as well as a much, much larger and fiercer threat...

Penned by prolific short story writer, Eric S Brown, this final addition to the 'Animal Kingdom' premise is certainly a strange one. At first it feels like it fits in nicely - the Leicester setting, the small nods towards details that Wright had already set down, and the overall 'apocalyptic' backdrop. Indeed, all the correct ingredients appeared to be there. And the short is well-written to boot. But for some reason, possibly known only to Brown himself, he has included some strange sasquatch type of beasts roaming around the woods! Not only does mankind have the animals rising up against them, but now they've got mythical beasts to cope with too. Okay, so 'Animal Kingdom' was never meant to be an altogether realistic tale, but to throw in a whole new form of beastie right at the very end is just plain stupid. Personally, I would have preferred to have kept Brown's 'Squirrel and Sasquatch' based addition out of the book. It's well written and exciting, but veers off the overall storyline just too much to justify its inclusion.

The book as a whole runs for a total of 292 pages with 'Animal Kingdom' itself running for 253 pages.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Animal Kingdom, 17 Jan 2012
By 
M. Hill "KingKong" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is Iain Rob Wrights second book, downloaded without reading reviews as his first book "The Final Winter" was riviting. Animal Kingdom is set within a Zoo, nice place to be if the wild life was not so intent on killing all humans. It starts out pretty good, introducing the characters add to that a few fast deaths to begin with, followed by panic among staff and visitors as the entire zoo population goes on a frenzy to kill all Humans. Not just in the zoo, but across the world, or so it suggests.
The main characters have to survive different attacks from the zoo animals, from monkeys, lions and even Giraffes/Elephants and not to be left out Gorillas (Grey Back) and throw in a couple of pesky chimps, creepy crawlies. The book itself is a good read, however struggles to become anything like his first. The characters even though they are well developed are thrown into a building and have to survive not only the constant attacks from the beasties from outside trying to get in, but from each other as the baddie of the book attempts to become the Main Leader of whats left of mankind.....this is where the book falls flat, in my honest opinion. Even though its brimming with action and events, it falls away from the dangers outside and leans towards surviving the Baddie inside....which he turns out to be harder to kill off than you average Terminator. It all started so well too. Only three stars as it left a lot to be answered and left me feeling rather short changed. (At one stage I wanted a T Rex to break its way through the sky roof and eat the entire occupants just for killing off the story line....) Sorry, I know peeps are going to slate this review, but would not add this to my likable list. The Final Winter would be better to download, and give this one a miss, as The Final Winter is his best read!!! This being his, well, average....sorry ;(
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book and Thought Provoking., 5 Aug 2013
By 
S Squire "squire243" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I thought this book was great and actually quite thought provoking in what would happen if this actually occurred.
Loved how the baddies got their come uppence and loved the hero of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, 4 July 2013
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I read this on a whim knowing very little about it except it had generally favourable reviews on goodreads.com glad i gave it a try as i loved it and finished it in one day its a unique book and is flat out action and non stop tension this book has made me a huge fan of this authors work and i have since read another of his books which was as equally enjoyable this book is exactky what the describtion says in terms of story and wastes no time in getting to the point which i loved and never let up so glad i stumbled across this book and author and i urge you all to read this book absolute bargain and one of my favourite books i have read to date
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars who doesn't love a good apocalyse, 28 Jun 2013
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Have to say since reading first book by author I am now reading them all. Love the subtle nods towards irony and flawed nature of human beings and how god knows sometimes we would be better off as the submissive race
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