I’d like to preface this by saying I did not pick this book out myself; my husband noticed it while paying for our bag o’ books and stuck in the bag because he thought it sounded ridiculous.
First, some random info:
Title: The Kingdom Keepers
Author: Ridley Pearson
Genre: Middle Grade (MG), oh, let’s go with Science Fantasy
Other Pertinent Details: Published through Disney Editions, and the “Kingdom” in question is the Magic Kingdom
Pros: Excellent pacing that keeps you entrenched in the action
Cons: More telling than I’ve ever seen in a book, significant headhopping, key plot details occasionally a bit muddy
Best for: Disney obsessed preteens who like an adventure story
Here’s the basic premise. Finn, almost 14, has recently been chosen by Disney to become one of their newest bits of technology for Disney World, a Disney Host Interactive, or DHI. The DHIs are holograms that walk around the park and help visitors out. However, now that the DHIs have been activated, Finn finds himself crossing over into his hologram self at night, where he meets an Imagineer named Wayne. Wayne tells him that the DHIs were created for a specific purpose, to be part human, part park attraction, in order to fight what he calls the Overtakers. Now, what an Overtaker is is a little muddy, but I think what it comes down to is that they are parts of the park (such as animatronic characters) that have started coming to life due to people’s beliefs.
Because believing in something makes it real, you see.
Normal people can’t see the Overtakers or some such (again, a bit unclear on this part, because it seems like even if it were animatronic pirates stealing cars from other rides, that that would be perfectly visible to all), so the DHIs are needed to fight them. The Overtakers, like their name implies, intend to take over the park, and eventually move on to the world beyond.
However, some Overtakers can already be seen/interact with the normal world, which is where I am confused. Maybe someone else can read it and explain it to me.
The prose is extremely clunky in bits, and it switches POV willy nilly (it’s almost always in Finn’s, but takes detours to tell you how other characters are feeling, or follows someone else if Finn is not currently interesting enough), but it does engage you, even though the premise is a bit silly and the plot points are confusing.
I’d give it a 3 out of 5, I suppose. Not terrible, but would not read again, and it’s going to go in the Donate to Goodwill pile unless someone else in the household wants to read it. I suspect I am far from being the target demographic.
My Google Fu tells me that there are now seven books in the series (of which this is the first) and a few short stories available. If this sounds interesting, you could be entrenched in Disney holograms for a few thousand pages.
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