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The Kingdom Paperback – 9 July 2019
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- Publisher : Macmillan Children's Books (9 July 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1509899383
- ISBN-13 : 978-1509899388
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Dimensions : 13.1 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 201,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg is a revelation. It’s uniqueness and ingenuity absolutely blew me away. I cannot recommend this clever, chilling and stunning novel enough. -- Midnight Book Girl
An exciting and thought-provoking Young Adult novel. ― Juno
When the book starts it has the air of a book about Disney princesses brought to life, but make sure you persevere, as this young adult narrative becomes increasingly dark. As Ana’s growing awareness and understanding is explored, so subplots make you question the reality of her thought processes. Is she truly just an automaton after all? There is a murder and there is a solution but the book actually, quite cleverly, explores so much more. I did not expect to be recommending this book when I started. I did not even think I would read it to the end, but I did. I recommend you do the same -- Crime Review
From the Publisher
Welcome to The Kingdom...
Your wish is our command. A debut novel set in a theme park like no other, this page-turning fairy-tale-gone-wrong is the most thrilling YA fantasy this summer.
A new voice to watch
Debut author Jess Rothenberg weaves a thrilling tale of Ana, a half-android theme park princess, on trial for murder. Can you be guilty if you're not even human?
A thrilling read
The Kingdom is the perfect read for fans of Humans and Black Mirror. If you loved thrillers One Of Us Is Lying and We Were Liars, this book is for you.
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Top reviews from other countries
In the Kingdom the seven Fantasists aka Princesses are hybrids designed to give visitors the best experience by making their dreams come true. Yep, even writing that sounds sinister. We experience events from Ana's POV and look at how she develops from the expected/programmed to something else or more. Ana learns more about human emotions through her experiences and those of her sisters (the other Fantasists) including Nia and Eve.
The narrative itself is interesting. The book includes flashbacks, trial notes, CCTV excerpts, interviews and so on. If you're not a fan of this then it may not be the book for you. I found these elements added to the story.
A friend asked me whether The Kingdom is just Disney with robots. The setting itself is clearly a distorted Disney-like theme park with artificial creations/intelligence, but it is so much more than that. The issue surrounding the hybrids reminded me of the part in Jurassic Park where Dr Malcolm says "your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." Ana and Owen explore this idea, as do the characters on trial. I didn't like the animal mistreatment but understood its inclusion in the story. I'd describe The Kingdom as a YA futuristic mystery thriller inspired by an imagined sinister version of the Disney theme parks...
4 Stars in my Sky!
I loved this novel so much and have preordered a copy for myself as well as already recommending it enthusiastically to my friends.
The Kingdom (tm) is an immersive fantasy theme park where technological advances have created ‘hybrids’, including long extinct species and fantasy creatures such as dragons and winged horses. They also have created seven Fantasists, beautiful part-human, part-android princesses, who entertain visitors and make dreams come true.
However, one fairytale has gone wrong and Ana, one of the Fantasists, is now on trial for murder.
The story is told via court documents, interrogation transcripts and Ana’s fragmented flashbacks.
I was completely caught up in this tale from its opening. It explores some of the same futuristic themes as ‘Westworld’ and ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’, including the question of sentience and free will.
There are suggestions of darker activities taking place, including the objectification and exploitation of the Fantasists. It’s fairly easy for the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks and this absence of any explicit scenes increases the sense of unease and horror.
Ana was a wonderful main character, full of curiosity and warmth. Her devotion to the hybrid animals and especially to her sisters was very moving. The supporting characters all shone. I also enjoyed the idiosyncratic naming of the months such as ‘The September of the Dusky Sparrow’ and ‘The April of the Clouded Leopard’.
Although marketed for a YA audience I feel that it will have appeal to older readers of science fiction.
This is my first book review in over a year. Wow. Never realized that.
I have been always picky when it comes to fantasy, magic, dystopian kinda books. But this one just rocked my world entirely. The Kingdom would fascinate you at one point and would creep you out in the next - maybe because I feel that this might happen in the future, and consequences would be similar. So, there ya go, a bit creepy really.
Nevertheless, Jess Rothenberg carefully constructed a world that can make your dreams come true. Yes, better than Disney, and less scary than Jurassic World. We meet creatures that we haven't seen before maybe because they are extinct, or they are hybrid of the creatures that we have now. But what makes this story more interesting are the Fantasists.
Fantasist are similar to humans. They look like one, and they would interact like one. The only difference is that, they are not really humans - they are programmed for that sort of thing. To create an illusion of perfection, to make dreams come true, not to lie, to make mistakes, to make people happy and safe inside the kingdom. They weren't programmed to feel - most especially to fall in love.
However, like humans who made them, Fantasist are not perfect.
We are introduced to Ana - one of the older fantasist. She's a great character, sometimes I'd forget she's not even human. Initially, she just obey and do what she is directed to do, until she met Owen.
"Love is when everything is a prison," he says, "except the place where you want to be."
It didn't end in an HEA though, because Ana was accused of murdering Owen.
The trial of the century began, the secrets of the Kingdom, of the people managing it, and the creatures who live in there began to surface - and it is just the beginning. What seems to be perfect from the outside, seems to be rotten in the inside. Everything is evolving, some things have gone wrong.
Exhilarating read, Jess Rothenberg made sure her readers were glued. From the start to the finish, you will just want to know what happens next, what happens to the other Fantasist, or why would Ana even harm Owen. I enjoyed how the story progressed. There wasn't a boring moment, but it didn't really prepared me for the ending. Now, that was something.
In the end, it does not matter what a story is about. It only matters who gets to tell it.
The Kingdom is a theme park that uses innovative technology to create a magical experience for the visitors. With something for everyone, from fantasy simulations to the chance to see previously extinct animals that have been brought back with technology, the park promises to inspire hope and wonder in people and to give them the happily ever after the visitors want and deserve. One of the most important and distinguished attractions are the Fantasists, these seven android princesses made to delight and inspire the guests and visitors in the park.
This book is told in flashbacks and multimedia chapters, which peice together the story of Ana (one of the Fantasists), who had been accused of murdering a maintenance worker, who was employed at the park.
The plot of this story is so captivating and the story being told in past and present formats really helped to fully immerse me into the story and have me on the edge of my seat as some of the revelations within the story came to light.
This is a very unique story and it is a book that will stay with me for a long time!
Trigger Warnings for suicide, sexual assault (off-page and implied), animal abuse and self harm.