Sunday, May 27, 2012

Book #5: Kingdom Keepers: Disney in Shadow

Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow, By Ridley Pearson
                From one of the authors who brought you Peter and the Starcatchers (which were pretty great books btw) comes a series about the Disney theme parks themselves! Yes, this is the third installment in the Kingdom Keepers series, a series that follows the adventures of several middle schoolers as they try to save the Disney Theme Parks from Disney Villains that have come to life called the Overtakers. In this book these children must look for their lost commander, Wayne, whose being held in either Epcot of Hollywood studios, and it is these parks that take the spotlight this time around.
                Ok, so this Christmas, when we drove to Arizona, we listened to the first two of these books on tape. They were pretty fun so I’ve decided to finish the series this summer.

Sexual Content: 10/10
     Let’s go with zero. This is a book about middle schoolers, there isn’t even any kissing. In fact, I believe that the line "girls are gross" appears a few times in this book.

Spiritual Content: 10/10
     I don’t remember this being addressed at all in the books. #notthatdeep

Violence: 10/10
     There really isn’t any violence. Well, I take that back, Maleficent gets cut a few times with a sword, but, come on, she had it coming.

Plot: 5/10
     It was a cute story. Not one of the best ever. It was fairly engaging, although it did drag on a bit.

Style: 3/10
     I have many complaints that fall into this category. Pearson, it seems to me, has trouble keeping the points of his stories straight. There are several things that don’t match up across the books in the series, which makes it confusing to read at times. Also, in the book itself there are several contradictory parts. There are instances when character names are mistakenly interchanged. It’s kind of like he never edited the story, and I’m like ‘really?’ It’s a bit frustrating at times. I wish there were more consistency across the books and within the story. As it is, it feels incredibly arbitrary from chapter to chapter.

Character: 4/10
     The characters are archetypes. It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t remind me of one of those shows from the 90’s where every race was represented and everyone had their own specific talent and could do nothing outside of that, and everyone celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
Also, this is a book about DISNEYWORLD but none of the Disney people are really characters. This frustrates me. I mean, there’s always maleficent, but he’s changed her so much she’s like nothing from the movie. The characters leave me feeling empty and disappointed inside. Also, some of the kids have stupid talents – tenacity…. what is this? Twilight?

Theme: 0/0
     Was there even a theme??????????? Working hard as a team will help you win the day?

Overall Conclusion: 4/10
     This isn’t nearly the worst thing I’ve ever read. It’s a cute story that’s clean and safe for all ages. It’s just not that well written and not that deep. I really did like the first book in this series, I’m just getting more and more disappointed with where this book is (not) going (anywhere exciting). I wish that real Disney characters could play a bigger role. As it is all the good characters seem kind of dumb and the evil characters… pointlessly nefarious.

Next Book: Father Brown Stories. 

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