Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Review: Kingdom Keepers II

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn

Author: Ridley Pearson

Author's web page:

Date: 2008

Publisher: Disney / Hyperion

ISBN: 978-1-4231-0708-8

Length: 377 pages

Quote: “[T]he Magic Kingdom…offered the holograms of five teenage kids as Park hosts. The five kids who had auditioned for those roles were typically forbidden to enter the Magic Kingdom. But tonight was special.”

Exactly how it’s possible for a holographic image to be used to harm the reality it’s an image of—directly, such that if any of the teenagers falls asleep the hologram will somehow prevent his or her waking up—is not made clear in this novel; in the real world that wouldn’t happen. But who cares? All a novel like this one really needs is an excuse for the kids to spend a wild night chasing villains through the amusement park, with lots of reference to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and lots of the kinds of special effects young movie-goers apparently enjoy.

Ridley Pearson is not as funny as his occasional collaborator Dave Barry. That’s probably not a problem either. Since the untimely death of Douglas Adams nobody has been as funny as Dave Barry. Let’s just say that a certain cerebral resonance probably led these two different writers to collaborate in the first place, and Pearson can also be funny, but he's tagged more as an adventure writer than as a humor writer.

So, in this story readers meet, or readers of Kingdom Keepers I re-encounter, a typical Disney-movie mix of diverse teenagers who've become friends because five of them were chosen to become holographic hosts at the Animal Kingdom Park. Something went wrong, and the holograms have power over the real kids' brainwaves, so it's a good thing that they have a few additional friends to participate in this adventure.

If you enjoy the idea of staying in an amusement park at night and doing all the dangerous, stupid-unless-evildoers-are-chasing-you sort of things you wouldn’t be allowed to do there during the daytime, this goofy, fast-moving, easy-reading novel is for you. There's a whole series!

The first four volumes have definitely been out long enough that we can resell them as Fair Trade Books: $5 per book, $5 per package, $1 per online payment, and if you order all four as used books here, the four-book package will cost $25 by U.S. postal money order or $26 by Paypal. From that price we send $1 per book to Pearson or a charity of his choice.  The more recent three volumes, and the forthcoming eighth volume...there's always somebody who didn't like a new book and is willing to sell a copy dirt-cheap on Amazon the day after the book reaches local bookstores, but it would be much cooler to buy at least the new books directly from Pearson's web site.