Book Review – The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

the kingdomWelcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule.

Glimmering 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 free.

Ana 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… love.

But 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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My rating: Cyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starCyan-Full starNo-Star

I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a bizarre but wonderful mix of dystopian, theme park, mystery, feminism and evil corporation. (And we all know I love an evil corporation – I feel I’ve mentioned this a lot recently!)

The dystopia and mystery worked really well for me. I actually love that we never really find out about the real world. And the mystery is an odd one in that your sort of told what happened but you don’t believe it. But it’s also one where you know the end (or most of it) before you know anything about what happened. You get the story of the events, the trials and everyone in between or beyond as the book goes. This can go wrong easily, but was cleverly done here and made me want to keep reading.

The Fantasists were sort of odd as characters – in that you’re not supposed to be able to get to know them. And certainly Ana was the only one I really connected with. But the concept is fantastic – sort of a cyborg Disney Princess. I could definitely see it! And even though I love Disney, I could sort of see them in the evil corporation lol. Not in the bad ways, but in things about the theme park and how the princesses are programmed. It makes the story more realistic.

The feminism was good but not strong – especially as we never learn what exactly happens. I’d definitely have liked to have seen more.

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Buy The Kingdom from Amazon UK.

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