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Book Review: 'Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark' by Ridley Pearson

BooksKristina PinoComment

Disney After Dark is an unrelenting thriller. Pearson doesn't hold back; rather than gradually tossing in the scares and intense moments, there is a sense of danger and plenty of alarm bells sounding off right from the beginning of this book.

Finn, Willa, Charlotte, Maybeck and Phillby are in the DHI program. Disney Host Interactive. Or Daylight Hologram Imaging. They were hired by Disney to act as holographic guides to the Magic Kingdom Park, trying out some spiffy new software. But when the kids go to sleep, they start to find themselves inside the Park at night. Eventually, they become conscious enough of it to meet up in "real life" and talk about what Wayne, an old Imagineer who lives in the Park, told Finn about the characters trying to take over the Parks, with the witch Maleficent at the lead.

They are roped in to this adventure in which they have to solve one of Walt's mysteries and bring the Magic Kingdom back into the light. They need to save it from the Overtakers.

Disney has always been a place of wonder and mystery for me. Most of you reading this probably have heard your fair share of rumors regarding the Parks, their underground networks, and other secrets which are kept from the public as well. Whether or not much of

Disney After Dark represents real secret passageways and trap doors, or underground tunnels, it appeals to anyone and everyone who wants to believe in them. I got a thrill out of the way Pearson transformed the Magic Kingdom into a whole new world full of secrets and mystery, not to mention creepy, sinister villains.

As I mentioned before, the author doesn't hold back with the thrills. I got the chills. Since I've been to the Park many times, being a Florida resident, I knew of all the landmarks and details which were described in the story. It just made everything a whole lot creepier, in a good way. It was exciting. It was exciting to think about the animatronic pirates out of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride come to life and smuggle carts from Buzz Lightyear's ride, or the dolls from It's a Small World try to attack the hosts.

Disney After Dark is only the first novel of the Kingdom  Keepers series, which is currently on its fifth book. While it certainly stands on its own, it is set up for much more mayhem.

Maleficent is painted as the big baddie of the Overtakers at first, but she herself ends up saying there are more, and more powerful ones, than herself. Though Disney After Dark comes to a resolution and an initial mystery is put to rest, it leaves a few questions unanswered, a few characters hanging loose, and of course, leaving me wanting more - wondering how Maleficent, the baddest of the bad, could be only the first ace on the table, and how she could basically refer to herself as a chump in comparison to the stronger Overtakers.

If you're a fan of Disney, especially if you're a fan of the Parks or have ever wondered about some of the things that go on behind the scenes, and what the Park may be like after the gates close, then this is probably the book for you. It's written for mid-grade and young adults (10 and up), so an older reader should gobble it up in no time. Though, I expect even teenagers wouldn't be able to put it down any more easily than I. 

Books-A-Million:

Disney After Dark - Ridley Pearson - Hardcover

Disney After Dark - Ridley Pearson - Hardcover

Buy Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson in Hardcover for the low price of 17.68. Find this product in Juvenile Fiction > Fantasy & Magic.