Library copy available for pick up Can t wait for this This book wasn t even on my radar when I got the invite to read it and man, I m so happy I accepted I loved Ana She s so good and pure and it was easy to get wrapped up in her way of seeing the world I was rooting for her from the very beginning There are a few other characters, but this story is all about Ana and what she s going through Plot wise, I was absolutely captivated I was so happy the story was told in a past and present format Seeing the trial unfold in transcripts and video clips while the present tense of the story was in first person really worked for me It also added a layer of WTF that was necessary for a story like this Overall, it was something really unique to me and while I would have loved an epilogue, the ending was near perfection FYI there s some creepy leering, forceful grabbing, and a distinct impression of assault Huge thanks to Henry Holt for providing the arc free of charge I wanted to get this June ShelfLoveCrate box because of the book and the goodies I really wanted the goodies Click on the link below the picture to see the goodies 4.5 I started reading The Kingdom on 5 22 2019 and finished it on 5 25 2019 at 2 55AM This book is a fantastic read I like following Ana s view She has a clever attitude I like how she handles the interviews She s a bit of a smart mouth and challenges her interviewers instead of just answering the questions directly The story is interesting, reminds me of Magic Kingdom except it sounds exciting with all the technologies When technology going rogue, in this case, the Fantasist Nia, Eve, and Ana acting and thinking beyond their programming capabilities, just makes me wonder how real robots can be sometimes.This book is told in the first person point of view following Ana, one of the seven Ana, Kaia, Yumi, Eve, Zara, Pania, and Zel fantasy princesses called Fantasists, the world s most beautiful ladies Ana works at The Kingdom, an Extreme Virtual Reality theme park She along with her six sisters are created and programmed as hybrid humans to entertain and make guests happy Ana doesn t sleep and shouldn t feel hurt This book begins with what goes on after a murder, an interview into the murder trial and two years before the murder took place Each chapter will bring readers closer to the murder scene while getting to know everyone involved and all that goes on in The Kingdom.The Kingdom is well written I love this unique young adult fantasy I haven t read another book quite like it and it s such refreshing to read something new I like how the princesses are smart in a way of computers, scanning for information and memory but there s a firewall to prevent them from knowing information than they need to I like Owen Chen and his unique situation and especially how he cares I like the cute romance Love that unexpected ending The organization into this story with the courtroom trial, interviews, emails, timelines, etc is a bit confusing for me at first That s the reason why I don t bother to read Illuminae series yet because when I started reading a bit of that book the interviews and whatever else confused me But anyway, I m glad to continue reading The Kingdom because I enjoyed Ana and Owen I highly recommend everyone to read this book Pro fast paced, page turner, theme park, romance, diversityCon noneI rate it 5 stars Disclaimer I won this book through a Twitter Giveaway from Fierce Reads Please be assured that my opinions are honest.xoxo,Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for details This book was not what I expected I mean, I knew it wasn t going to be all rainbows and unicorn farts The synopsis lets you know right away that this book is about the underside of the fairytale, about all the dark things that happen backstage to the fantasy.And yet, I don t know why I still didn t quite see it coming.This book follows Ana, one of seven Fantasists and The Kingdom, a Disney World type of amusement park The Fantasists are seven engineered girls meant to be the princesses of The Kingdom They were made to be beautiful, kind, generous, and perfect in every way They were made to be obedient, docile, subservient, and to never speak their mind.In the eyes of the world, they are perfect girls In reality, they are prisoners to The Kingdom, constantly harassed and abused, lied to and manipulated, forced to endure the cruel games of the scientists that created them and the park s investors who paid for them.All until something starts going wrong with the girls programming and they start to develop feelings and desires other than the ones they were created for Sure, they feel love It is the premise of the story after all But they also start feeling loss, fear, and most importantly, hatred for the people that have kept them as prisoners.That s where things get interesting.I think this book makes great commentary on the use of women s bodies There were wonderful moments of insight that stuck so hard because they are things that real life women have to experience and endure every day My issues with this come firstly, with the romance It felt unreal Like there is no real reason for this relationship between Ana and Owen In fact, Owen didn t feel like a full character to me Why was he doing this What was his motivation His background All the other Fantasists were also pretty boring if I m honest Nia was a bit interesting at first but we didn t get much of her story Also, Eve had potential but her story isn t really elaborated on We don t get to see the other Fantasists really develop.I also couldn t really connect with Ana I felt her struggle, her pain, I acknowledged it, I just couldn t seem to care the way I was supposed to Does that make sense Also, the end felt a bit rushed A bit unfinished I have questions than answers.In the end, I couldn t love this as I wanted As I said, this book is as if the plot of Westworld was happening in a Disney park That said, Westworld does it better I couldn t help but have Westworld in the back of my head while reading, especially after they mentioned the Romeo Juliet quote Violent delights have violent ends , a recurring motif in Westworld.My rating though mostly comes from the fact that in a few weeks I probably would have forgotten most of its character and in a year I probably would have forgotten most things but the premise It justs didn t stick with me.I m not sure this review even makes sense But that s how I felt so there you have it.TW emotional abuse, sexual abuse implied, never shown , suicide ARC was provided by the publishers in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own. This book wasn t just a bit dark and disquieting it took me to a whole new level of sinister that I had never experienced before.Plot 4 5Characters 4 5Writing 4 5Trigger Warnings suicide, sexual assault off page, implied , animal abuseThe Kingdom was a futuristic theme park that used cutting edge technology to create an enchanting experience for all of its visitors With thrilling performances from previously extinct creatures, magical rides, flamboyant parades and vivid fantasy simulations it promised to inspire wonder and make everyone s wildest dreams come true by giving them the happily ever after they deserved One of its most prominent creations was the Fantasists seven android princesses engineered to delight, amuse and represent equality and tolerance in the world.The novel was a series of flashbacks, interrogation records, court testimony, emails and which pieced together the story of Ana, a Fantasist who was accused of murdering one of the theme park s maintenance workers This format allows us to see the events unfold from her perspective and simultaneously see how the same events have been twisted to appear in court It s funny how there never is any question as to whether or not she actually killed the person even though she claims to be not guilty The case is built on whether or not Ana had the conscience to make the decision to murder someone or whether it was a programming malfunction It was fascinating to see things from her perspective and understand her methodical manner of learning about the world As Ana gradually unearths the hidden terrors of The Kingdom, the reader does too and it makes for a very suspenseful journey.I found it sad that a society of the future would feel the need to have Fantasists Beautiful, subservient princesses, admired by girls all over the world, engineered and programmed to entertain and please, to always say yes and never say no And the irony was that they were represented as strong and brave princesses who didn t need saving when in reality their lives were not their own Their vulnerability and naivety was exploited, they were treated deplorably, they were emotionally abused and manipulated, they were harassed and assaulted and intimidated They were objectified and paraded and displayed for the enjoyment of others and despite all of that, they were always told to be grateful for what they had Is that really the kind of role model young girls should have I also found it interesting that there were no male Fantasists It reminded me of two articles I have read recently The first was about the increasing popularity of artificial intelligence being modelled on female personas for example things like Siri or Alexa having default female voices The second being about the increase in parents banning their children to watch Disney princess movies because they don t want them to think it is alright for a woman to always be saved by a man Although The Kingdom is a work of fiction, it has some very real themes in it.The Kingdom was the epitome of hypocrisy At first glance, it seemed like a wonderful theme park but beneath it s pretty fa ade there was relentless anguish and pain For example, at the time of the novel, nearly all of the animals we have today had gone extinct Therefore, The Kingdom started a program to revive extinct creatures through bioengineering They claimed they were doing good to the planet and helping preserve our world But why would you reintroduce an animal only to put it in chains To make it live a life in a cage being ogled at by visitors The animals at The Kingdom were abused and starved and most of the bioengineered animals died in days, weeks or months due to genetic defects they were created with Is that really helping the world It repulsed me how they thought it was alright to make the cost of entertainment for some, the suffering of others.The reason I knocked off a star was because at times the story did become a bit too confusing as it kept switching between different formats which made it hard to keep up with the plot.Overall, I found The Kingdom very creepy but I would recommend it to someone looking for an original, thought provoking read After reading it, some may wish for the chance to visit The Kingdom but I wouldn t go there even if someone paid me Why Because my entertainment is not worth someone or something else s pain.Thank you to Macmillan and Jess Rothenberg for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All opinion expressed are my own More book reviews and other brilliantly bookish things can be found at Sereadipity Oof With such an amazing sounding synopsis, I found this one to be lacking in both the action and thrills department That s a pretty hefty negative when a book takes place in a futuristic theme park with robot princess s.The book never allowed me to be fully immersed It s really choppy On occasion when a scene was finally laid out and I could enjoy what was happening, the chapter would end and switch to a new timeline There s no depth I loved that the author tried to be innovative and original with a murder mystery plot but the book is a singular great concept that never materializes into anything Plus the writing needed a good polish The magical theme park atmosphere never really came through I felt like a thin cloth blanket was draped over the setting and I was desperately trying to see through it I wanted to spend time time in all of these places the characters were mentioning and you don t get to.I also have a really hard time calling this scifi I know it takes place in the future with robots but it just doesn t feel or read like a scifi In fact it s clearly dystopian The outside world is described as destroyed, flooded, many animals are extinct.This book isn t bad Let me make that clear, it s just not the experience I thought it would be This is a futuristic dystopian murder mystery this full review is now posted at i spontaneously remembered i have a blog, and also that i would like to receive tickets to a real life version of the Kingdom please and thanks EVIL DISNEY EVIL ROBOT DISNEY WITH MURDER, AND ALSO TECHNOLOGY.EVIL ROBOT DISNEY OF THE FUTURE.What do I have to say I hope it s not a lot, because that s really all I got This book was nonstop exciting and nonstop original and nonstop awesome and that s really all I have to say.But for the sake of writing a full review, I ll elaborate First, synopsis This is about Ana, one of seven Fantasists think cyborg y Disney princesses at The Kingdom think Disney but huge and future y Ana is nice and great and INTERESTING, which is crazy because anytime a YA protagonist is nice it s just a nice way of saying boring and personality less I m aware I m overusing the quotation marks, but please let me have my fun.Ana meets Owen, a cutie theme park employee, and starts falling in LOOOOVE Butrobots CAN T LOVE ROBOTS CAN T FEEL Ana isn t quite a robot but the point stands It s the Singularity, baby Except with amusement parks and fairytales So basically the dream But then, somehow, impossibly, it gets MORE interesting Because Ana gets accused of murdering Owen, igniting the Trial Of The Century.This is the book we read CAN YOU BELIEVE WE RE BLESSED WITH A PLOTLINE LIKE THIS This story is legitimately unputdownable It s fun from page one and it never stops being fun, and twisty, and exciting The characters are so interesting and you really care about them Which is unusual for me.Honestly, this wasn t a perfect book It dragged in parts and was sometimes a bit melodramatic, and Ana s internal monologue could get repetitiveeee The other Fantasists were, by and large, flat and boring But everything else was so, so fun.READ THIS BOOK.Bottom line This is straight up some of the most creative and original YA I ve ever read, especially in recent years PLEASE READ IT SO WE CAN GET MORE STORIES LIKE THIS And also from this author s crazy mad scientist brain pre reviewEASILY SOME OF THE MOST EXCITING AND ORIGINAL YA I VE READ IN A MINUTESO EXCITING THAT IT APPARENTLY TURNED ME INTO SOMEONE WHO WRITES EARNESTLY AND IN ALL CAPSA BOOK SO GOOD IT CAUSES AN IDENTITY CRISISREVIEW TO COME yes of course i want to read about evil robot future Disney World thanks to Fierce Reads for the ARC Welcome To The Kingdom Where Happily Ever After Isn T Just A Promise, But A RuleGlimmering Like A Jewel Behind Its Gateway, The Kingdom Is An Immersive Fantasy Theme Park Where Guests Soar On Virtual Dragons, Castles Loom Like Giants, And Bioengineered Species Formerly Extinct Roam FreeAna Is One Of Seven Fantasists, Beautiful Princesses Engineered To Make Dreams Come True When She Meets Park Employee Owen, Ana Begins To Experience Emotions Beyond Her Programming Including, For The First Time LoveBut The Fairytale Becomes A Nightmare When Ana Is Accused Of Murdering Owen, Igniting The Trial Of The Century Through Courtroom Testimony, Interviews, And Ana S Memories Of Owen, Emerges A Tale Of Love, Lies, And Cruelty And What It Truly Means To Be Human
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- 352 pages
- The Kingdom
- Jess Rothenberg
- 23 June 2018 Jess Rothenberg