Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game

Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game, by Ridley Pearson.

Finn wasn't about to get back to sleep. He tiptoed into the kitchen and made himself a strong cup of tea to help him stay awake. Tiptoed because he didn't want to wake his supportive mother or his doubting father; didn't want to hear them bicker about how to deal with their oddball son who claimed to travel into other worlds at night. His mother knew the truth. A scientist by training, she'd put together enough empirical evidence to convince herself. Finn's father was the exact opposite. He believed his son hormonally imbalanced, "poisoned by puberty," he called it. He wanted Finn to see a counselor - a shrink - to exorcise whatever demons possessed his son into convincing himself that he could wake as a hologram in another world where evil witches vied for control of an amusement park.

I had never heard of the Kingdom Keepers series before reading this book, but the concept behind it is quite interesting. All of the Disney witches and evil characters of lore become real at night, and they are trying to destroy the Disney parks; it is up to Finn and his friends, as DHIs, to protect the parks. To protect themselves from harm, they enter the parks as holograms - so that their actual bodies are safe in their beds. With the new advanced 2.0 program, they are able to use this even more to their advantage, and the only way they themselves can be harmed is if they become fearful, turning their bodies real again.

Crazy concept, right? But it works, as you can see, because this is the fifth book in the series. I had not read any of the previous books, so I liked that the novel explained a bit about the DHI concept to its new readers, as the excerpt at the top shows, although I've heard that to fully appreciate this book, you should really start from the beginning of the series. This end of this novel, too, definitely sets up a sixth book, which was a little disappointing because the book ended so abruptly, with the DHIs on board the Disney Dream cruise ship fighting the Overtakers, the evil Disney characters that come to life at night. With real people dressed up as the characters aboard the ship too, it is often hard for the DHIs to tell the people from the villains, though it's of course the villains that try to harm or kill the DHIs.

Shell Game clocks in at a lengthy 544 pages, so I'm not sure if I will be reading the full series soon (the first book is about 350 pages as well, according to Amazon), but if I ever have more free time, I may return to the series.

3.5 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book to review. The opinions expressed, however, are my own.


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