The Kingdom

The Kingdom

Book - 2019 | First edition.
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Ana, a half-android, half-human employee of a futuristic fantasy theme park, the Kingdom, faces a charge of murder in a tale told through flashbacks and court transcripts.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250293855
1250293855
Branch Call Number: YA SFI/FAN ROTHENBERG
Characteristics: 340 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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List - Non-human Narrators
FPL_Annie Mar 26, 2020

Enter The Kingdom, where beautiful androids entertain theme park guests.


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Gina_Vee Jan 23, 2021

This book was partially familiar and partially mesmerizing. I think I picked up on familiar underlying themes, but at face value, the storyline was one that made the book one you'd come back to to finish reading.

Dekotah Jan 08, 2021

I was a massive fan of Rothenberg's other work, The Catastrophic History of You and Me, and this novel did not disapoint. While it is a vastly different concept, Rothenburg was able to pull it off really well. To describe the book, I would say its Westworld meets Disneyland. It has many different elements in it to engage the audience such as transcripts, photos, articles etc. It is a very well planned book and one that makes you question every chapter as you try to work out the mystery of did Ana kill?

This one has SO MANY LAYERS, and I absolutely adored it.

The Kingdom is a kind of theme park, one where guests can come and interact with Fantasists: android princesses set on helping them with whatever they need. Ana is a Fantasist, and, along with her six sisters, lives full-time at the Kingdom, talking with guests, going from theme land to theme land, and generally following her programming to make dreams come true. Then, she meets Owen, a staff member who seems to be showing up everywhere Ana is, and soon, she begins to develop feelings that she shouldn't be capable of - dangerous feelings. And all at the park is not as it seems; the genetically-engineered animals, the biologically modified girls...something is wrong. And when Ana is accused of murder, the world must decide whether she is human enough to commit this crime, or whether she can be held responsible for her actions at all.

This book isn't for everyone. It is dark, and twisting, and not at all the happy alternate-universe-Disney that it could be mistaken for. But those dark overtones combined with this absolutely enthralling character and a relentlessly interesting story had me absolutely enraptured the entire time I was listening to this audiobook.

Ana is such an interesting MC. She's an android, so of course, she has those kinds of android-like thoughts ("This is not in my programming", etc.) but she has this curious streak that ultimately gets her in trouble. She's smarter than she should be, and she's more emotional than she has any right to be, and all of that combined with the overarching murder plot had me wondering the entire time: could she have actually done this? I absolutely adore when a book keeps me guessing, and oh boy, did this one do that.

I think that's why I enjoyed this one so much. It was so unexpected. Every time I thought I had something figured out, I'd be taken for another ride the next chapter. The ultimate unravelling of the actual events at the end was satisfying, though I will say I don't know that the romance subplot was necessary. That's the reason I take half a star off; that was the one area that felt stereotypically YA to me, when the rest of the book was unafraid to take on subject matter that didn't conform to those stereotypes at all.

I would highly recommend this one to those who like their fiction with a solid dose of pondering and dark intrigue. The setting, the Fantasists, all of it feels so addictive while you're reading it, and the questions the narrative raises have stayed with me for days.

a
angela808
Oct 07, 2019

nah not my thing.

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