Kingdom Keepers: Disney after Dark by Ridley Pearson
Recommended for: ages 10 and up
Rating: PG (scary situations)
In this fantastical novel, Disney's Magic Kingdom suddenly becomes a bit eerie. Finn Whitman and four other teens have been hired as Disney World guides, but with an odd twist: With cutting-edge technology, they have been transformed into hologram projections capable of leading guests around the park. What begins as an exciting theme park job turns into a virtual nightmare as Finn and his pals attempt to thwart an uprising by a menacing group of Disney villains.
My family has seen these books at Disney World several times and after the last trip, my sister got the first two books from the library.
Over all the story was well written. It was exciting and suspenseful and I wanted to read more, which doesn't happen too often. The book could've had a higher reading. There were some parts of dialogue where it didn't put the names of who was speaking and it wasn't obvious about who was speaking. I would have to go back and figure out who was speaking. I don't remember there being much description but I had a pretty clear idea of what was going on.
The setting is the whole reason that I read this book. The story takes place in the early 2000s in Orlando Florida and much of the book takes place in the Magic Kingdom. The setting of the Magic Kingdom is accurate for when it was written, for example, there is a reference to Mickey's Toontown Fair which is now Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. The characters also visit several of the attractions. They seemed pretty accurate, but there were some details that I couldn't remember, such as a huge sun in It's a Small World. They also visit MGM (now Hollywood Studios) and places not seen by the public. There are several other places that they go, such as several of the characters' homes, Disney's Wide World of Sports, some schools and other places in Orlando.
The story is about kids who wind up at Disney World when they go to sleep. It is a little confusing on how they end up at Disney World. It is mostly explained but the main characters don't even fully understand it. It is a fantasy story so there are things that don't totally make sense. I can't think of any plot holes and everything in the plot worked out. There were some things that weren't explained but will probably be explained in another book. I liked the way the fantasy mixed with the real world.
Although they weren't the best developed characters, they were believable, especially the way that some of them reacted to the situations they were in. There were several characters, but not too many to keep up with. I liked how the main character Finn did not want to lie and eventually told the truth, even though his mother didn't believe him. There was another character who was the type that knows a lot of facts. He wasn't too unrealistically smart and had just studied up on the things that he knew all about. The villain was scary, which was another thing that I liked about this story.
I enjoyed reading this book and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, even though it makes Disney World a little scary. If you like fantasy and Disney World, you will probably enjoy this book.