The Kingdom
Welcome 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.

The Kingdom Details

TitleThe Kingdom
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 28th, 2019
PublisherHenry Holt & Company
ISBN-139781250293855
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

The Kingdom Review

  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    What I lack in attractiveness I make up for in my infallible ability to find more interesting books to add to my TBR
  • emma
    January 1, 1970
    EVIL DISNEY. EVIL ROBOT DISNEY. WITH MURDER, AND ALSO TECHNOLOGY.EVIL ROBOT DISNEY OF THE FUTURE.What more 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 EVIL DISNEY. EVIL ROBOT DISNEY. WITH MURDER, AND ALSO TECHNOLOGY.EVIL ROBOT DISNEY OF THE FUTURE.What more 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. But...robots 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 Worldthanks to Fierce Reads for the ARC
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    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 c 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**
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  • Jasmine from How Useful It Is
    January 1, 1970
    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 more exciting with all the technologies. When technology going rogue, in this case, the Fantasist Nia, Eve, a 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 more 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 more 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 more details
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  • Tara ☽
    January 1, 1970
    Hello I'm totally down for some tragic robot romance
  • Umairah | Sereadipity
    January 1, 1970
    That was wayyyy more sinister than I thought it would be. Think futuristic Disney Land mixed with Westworld. Full review to come!
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsI received an ARC copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you Fierce Reads for sending me a copy. This book was so unique. Ive not read anything else like it. As a lot of other reviewers have said it's a cross between Westworld and what you might imagine Disney World being like in the future. The only reason I gave it 4.5 and not 5 stars is because I felt like I wanted more out of the ending. That being said I did thoroughly enjoy reading this and I look forward to more books 4.5 starsI received an ARC copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you Fierce Reads for sending me a copy. This book was so unique. Ive not read anything else like it. As a lot of other reviewers have said it's a cross between Westworld and what you might imagine Disney World being like in the future. The only reason I gave it 4.5 and not 5 stars is because I felt like I wanted more out of the ending. That being said I did thoroughly enjoy reading this and I look forward to more books by Jess Rothenberg in the future.
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  • Evie Braithwaite
    January 1, 1970
    Picture this: a futuristic Disney World swarmed with robotic hybrid animals and instead of Disney Princesses, there are flawless, androids named Fantasists whose sole goal is to make the park guests' fantasies come alive. Ive read numerous books lately based around the post-human arguments surrounding genetic modification or the creation of flawless androids. As a result, I feel as if that altered my reading experience slightly. The theme park was so intriguing. The book was such a quick read so Picture this: a futuristic Disney World swarmed with robotic hybrid animals and instead of Disney Princesses, there are flawless, androids named ´Fantasists´ whose sole goal is to make the park guests' fantasies come alive. I´ve read numerous books lately based around the post-human arguments surrounding genetic modification or the creation of flawless androids. As a result, I feel as if that altered my reading experience slightly. The theme park was so intriguing. The book was such a quick read so I would have loved more details about this futuristic Disney-like world. I also underestimated how dark this tale would be. The men overseeing the female androids possess perverse desires. They objectify the androids and, considering they were created to simply look pretty and serve, they expect them to obey even the most twisted commands. They don´t have feelings, they don´t have desires. Or do they?Our protagonist, Ana, is one of the seven beautiful android Fantasist sisters. She´s a machine, devoid of human emotion. That is until her relationship with a park ranger, Owen, starts to blossom. Unfortunately, from here, the whole romance plot and the what-it-means-to-be-human storyline didn't interest me much. Dreams, tears, and a fluttering heartbeat whenever she feels his gaze; these emotions and experiences are new to her. As her emotions intensify, she begins to figure out the meaning of love, life and humanity and starts to question The Kingdom´s ethics. While the story jumps back and forth between two years prior to Ana´s murder trial and to the post-trial interview, it all draws to a somewhat predictable ending.This book may have not been my favourite, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless. It proposes some poignant questions about not only the lengths to which those in power will go to provide entertainment to the masses but also the frightening possibilities of our future technology. Thank you, Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Anja H.
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds like Westworld = GIMME GIMME GIMME!
  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    This one is one of the smartest, most compelling books I have read this year and it will definitely be making my favorites list! I suspect this one is going to be a big hit and I'm really glad I was encouraged to pick it up.The Kingdom is a brilliant sci-fi thriller that completely sucked me in. It is both beautiful and disturbing, weaving together hard-hitting social commentary with a page-turning mystery. Set at a futuristic theme park (think Disneyland on steroids with sci-fi technology) The This one is one of the smartest, most compelling books I have read this year and it will definitely be making my favorites list! I suspect this one is going to be a big hit and I'm really glad I was encouraged to pick it up.The Kingdom is a brilliant sci-fi thriller that completely sucked me in. It is both beautiful and disturbing, weaving together hard-hitting social commentary with a page-turning mystery. Set at a futuristic theme park (think Disneyland on steroids with sci-fi technology) The Kingdom follows Ana, one of 7 biological AI hybrid princesses who only exist to make happily ever afters come true. It is told in a dual narrative, past and present. In the present timeline, there has been a murder and Ana is on trial as a suspect. Thematically this book is so rich, I'm going to give you some bullet points.1- The Meaning of Humanity: Unsurprisingly for a book that involves some degree of Artificial Intelligence, there is a deep consideration of what it means to be human, to feel, to have self-determination and where the line between machine and sentient being is. Most of the story is told through Ana's perspective and we see the disconnect between her internal growth, feelings, and relationships, and the way she is clearly viewed by others as, at best, a child to be manipulated and controlled or, at worst, a program with no value or sense of self. We also see different sides of this issue in documents related to the trial. (i.e. can Ana be convicted of murder if there was simply a glitch in her programming?)2- The Commodification of Beauty and Diversity: The princesses are diverse in terms of skin tone and facial features, supposedly representing global unity, but lacking any attached cultural heritage or history. It is lip-service diversity for the purpose of corporate revenue by the theme park. (Case in point, the "authentic Nigerian" jewelry worn by one of the princesses and available for purchase in the gift shop is made in Taiwan) Likewise, they are all forced to maintain impossible standards of physical perfection and are treated by men as interchangable because they are clearly meant to be consumed. Which leads me to....3- Rape Culture & the Objectification of Women: In terms of content, do be aware that there is on-page sexual harassment and off-page sexual assault that takes place. The princesses are treated as "not real" and as objects to be leered at and consumed rather than as people. Which very understandably results in...4- The Legitimacy and Necessity of Female Anger: We see this anger manifest in multiple characters in different ways as a response to the mistreatment, abuse, and tight control of the princesses. Thematically, I think this is very timely. With the #metoo movement we are in a cultural zeigeist surrounding female rage and I think she really taps into that in ways that teen girls should have access to. The author also parallels this in very interesting ways with mistreatment of animals...5- Animals and the Environment: This book is set in a future where global warming has done a number on the environment and many species of animals are extinct. The Kingdom offers an escape from that reality, partly by giving to live to extinct hybrid animals that are part biological clones, part technological construct. But this gives way to some big questions about treatment of animals (again paralleling the treatment of the princesses). For instance, some of the animals are engineered not to experience physical pain, so is it animal cruelty to raise zebras and have lions attack them in order to entertain guests? (Major content warnings for animal cruelty by the way, in this and several other scenes). On the flip side, there is a really interesting plot thread about evolution that feels very hopeful in the face of such a bleak future for the environment. There is probably more, but I will stop there. I'm blown away at how the author was able to weave such weighty thematic content into this page-turner of a book that just leaves you wanting more. I would LOVE to see more in this world, especially from the perspectives of some of the other princesses. I received an advance review copy of this book via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.Content/Trigger warnings for the following: animal abuse and cruelty, on-page sexual harassment, off-page sexual assault, self-harm and attempted suicide, manipulation and control
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  • Renata
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a nice read for me and also it took me a few hours to finish it? I don't usually read during exams weeks but I was so excited for this one that I couldn't wait more but I was not expecting to finish it so fast? This book for me at least, was unique and so different and had a plot-twist that I was not expecting? Perhaps I got so into the story that I wasn't thinking anymore, I just wanted to read, read and read.In this book we have the point of view of Ana, one of the seven fantasy This was such a nice read for me and also it took me a few hours to finish it? I don't usually read during exams weeks but I was so excited for this one that I couldn't wait more but I was not expecting to finish it so fast? This book for me at least, was unique and so different and had a plot-twist that I was not expecting? Perhaps I got so into the story that I wasn't thinking anymore, I just wanted to read, read and read.In this book we have the point of view of Ana, one of the seven fantasy princess (sisters) from The Kingdom and we follow her story. It starts with the explanation of a murder, following with some interviewers into the murder trial and we see a countdown of two years before the murder took place. With that, in each chapter we get to see what happens with the change from before-after the murder and gives clues and more information and more points of view. I loved Ana, she's so soft and pure but definitely really smart and I absolutely loved her character development. I also loved Owen, I was curious about him at first and I guessed something before was revealed but it was a really nice ride!Also, I'd like to mention how Jess Rithenberg included almost everything in one book? We're placed in a future where climate change has done too much harm and many animals are extinct and The Kingdom gives a different reality where you can find hybrid animals; how Ana is not supposed to feel anything more than what her system made her able to do and function and, in my opinion, was really well developed how there were some breakdowns between what she is supposed to do/act and what she's actually feeling.We also have the "ideal perfect princess",the author shows how all the princess are getting ready every day to be perfect and look really good for people and this idea of the objectification of women is clear and I wasn't expecting it, in this book all the princess aren't supposed to feel anything, they're just objects, propiety of The Kingdom and the "leaders" use them however they want just to erease their memories afterwards. And obviously, we see how the sisters find things out and their anger, and I think that was powerful and what it made a really plot in the story.I loved the book, but I think the end should have been a little bit longer? To explain more things and how it'll end because that's a hude open end there. “In the end, it does not matter what a story is about. It only matters who gets to tell it.” “Like Wendy, John, and Michael Darling on the night Peter Pan taught them how to fly - I think one happy thought. In my pocket, I have a knife.”
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Kingdom is like a combination of some of my favorite tv shows, "Westworld" and "Dollhouse". It is full of mystery and ominous vibes that completely captivate you, but where The Kingdom really shines is its discussion of humanity and agency. The mystery of who murdered Owen pulls you through the entire book and what ends up occurring is that the reader begins to wonder what how (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Kingdom is like a combination of some of my favorite tv shows, "Westworld" and "Dollhouse". It is full of mystery and ominous vibes that completely captivate you, but where The Kingdom really shines is its discussion of humanity and agency. The mystery of who murdered Owen pulls you through the entire book and what ends up occurring is that the reader begins to wonder what how human Ana is.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Jay G
    January 1, 1970
    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*4.5/5 Stars The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy themed amusement park where guest come to make their dreams come true. Ana, is one of seven Fantasists, robotic princesses, whose sole purpose is to make the guests happy. One day, when she meets park employee Owen, she begins to feel love towards him, an e Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*4.5/5 Stars The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy themed amusement park where guest come to make their dreams come true. Ana, is one of seven Fantasists, robotic princesses, whose sole purpose is to make the guests happy. One day, when she meets park employee Owen, she begins to feel love towards him, an emotion she was not programmed to feel. When Owen is killed, Ana is accused of the murder and a trial begins.I loved the format of this book! The past and present timeline had me instantly captivated by Ana and her story. I loved the video files, emails and trial transcripts used for the murder investigation. Half the time during these snippets I had no idea what was happening but I loved trying to figure it out as I continued reading. I really liked watching Ana develop and become less naive as the story progressed. It was great to watch her begin to question her humanity and the actions of those around her. I have mixed feelings about Owen, at times I really liked his character, but other times he made me very angry with his actions. I liked the other Fantasists as well and found both Nia and Eve's plot lines interesting and engaging. I wanted to know why they chose to do what they did and where their actions would take them. I liked the concept of The Kingdom and its futuristic elements. I did find the book to be a bit predictable and was able to figure out the ending, but I still enjoyed the experience.I really hope the author chooses to write a sequel! I don't want to be finished with Ana and this world quite yet!
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    The Kingdom is brilliant. Highly imaginative, a true genre hybrid that takes in layers of pretty much all my favourite types of stories and mashes them up into an intense, page turner of a read that is entirely gripping.In a twisted version of Disneyland, the fantasists, hybrid girls, make dreams come true every day. In a kingdom of the exotic and the extinct, people come to escape the drudgery of the destroyed outside world. But there’s a dark heart lurking beneath the magic and Ana finds herse The Kingdom is brilliant. Highly imaginative, a true genre hybrid that takes in layers of pretty much all my favourite types of stories and mashes them up into an intense, page turner of a read that is entirely gripping.In a twisted version of Disneyland, the fantasists, hybrid girls, make dreams come true every day. In a kingdom of the exotic and the extinct, people come to escape the drudgery of the destroyed outside world. But there’s a dark heart lurking beneath the magic and Ana finds herself accused of murder…Jess Rothenberg takes her central premise and then proceeds to twist it around an entirely human story.. One of learned emotions and the hidden depths of our very nature. Told in flashback, trial transcripts, interviews and footage we slowly see Ana’s awakening and the events that lead her to that courtroom..It is an extraordinarily fascinating plot with crime fiction, fantasy and sci-fi elements blended to perfection and told with immersively beautiful prose. Immediately you will get hooked into this darkly delicious tale, with it’s thought provoking underneath and it’s scarily authentic possibilities.I loved every moment of it, the ending only wetting the appetite for more from this world, it is both beautiful and gritty, a Grimm fairytale indeed…Intelligent, with emotional plotting and characterisation, The Kingdom is a must read and Jess Rothenberg is an intuitively talented writer.Highly Recommended.
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    Really glad so many people told me to pick this one up because it's not my usual jam but I thought it was really well done, and extra fun to read while at a Disneyworld hotel.
  • Amber (The Book Bratz)
    January 1, 1970
    The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz Thank you so much Henry Holt and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review THE KINGDOM!The Kingdom is basically West World meets Disney World in this dizzying actions packed story that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park that is everything you ever wished for. The Kingdom is home to the fantasists, the seven artificial intelligence that were designed as Princess's for the consumers e The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz Thank you so much Henry Holt and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review THE KINGDOM!The Kingdom is basically West World meets Disney World in this dizzying actions packed story that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park that is everything you ever wished for. The Kingdom is home to the fantasists, the seven artificial intelligence that were designed as Princess's for the consumers enjoyment. But then Ana, on of the princess's meets a park employee and for the first time experiences emotions that are outside her programming. Soon Owen turns up dead and Ana is the prime suspect in his murder. The story is told through character testimony, interviews and Ana's memories the story of Ana and Owen and the sinister truth behind The Kingdom and the fantasists is revealed. By the last page of this book the question of: What makes us human? Popped into my mind. This book really makes you sit and thing about that. Is it emotions? Having a body? What is it exactly? I love books that make you think long after you finish them. I did not see the ending to The Kingdom coming at all. I was shocked and thrilled at the same time to see how this was going to play out. But with the ending being open ended like that, I am curious to see if Rothenberg has more up her sleeve for this world?
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  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    This was WILDTW: mentioned abuse
  • Cassie-la
    January 1, 1970
    Set in a Disney World-esque fantasy land in the near future, The Kingdom goes full on Westworld with its robotic Fantasists (read: beautiful women engineered to play the part of the park's princesses). With a hint of Jurassic Park thrown in for good measure, the corporate owned Kingdom appears altruistic to the outside world, resurrecting extinct species and providing children and adults with an immersive escape from the reality of global warming. However, not everything is as it seems, especial Set in a Disney World-esque fantasy land in the near future, The Kingdom goes full on Westworld with its robotic Fantasists (read: beautiful women engineered to play the part of the park's princesses). With a hint of Jurassic Park thrown in for good measure, the corporate owned Kingdom appears altruistic to the outside world, resurrecting extinct species and providing children and adults with an immersive escape from the reality of global warming. However, not everything is as it seems, especially when Fantasist Ana is arrested and put on trial for the murder of park employee Owen. Compulsively readable, The Kingdom is a fast-paced thrill ride that bounces back and forth from present day (told through court transcripts and police interviews) to the months before Owen's demise.
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  • Nicole (FearYourEx)
    January 1, 1970
    WOW!Let me start off by saying thank you to the publisher for sending me an early copy of this book.Then continue by saying that I saw this cover and read the synopsis and I thought I wouldn't like this book. I don't know why, but it just didn't sound like my cup of tea. I was WRONG! This book was amazing! I've been having a hard time finding books that I just cannot put down. Sure, I've forced myself to read quickly lately, but nothing that I've just HAD to continue reading. This book was so in WOW!Let me start off by saying thank you to the publisher for sending me an early copy of this book.Then continue by saying that I saw this cover and read the synopsis and I thought I wouldn't like this book. I don't know why, but it just didn't sound like my cup of tea. I was WRONG! This book was amazing! I've been having a hard time finding books that I just cannot put down. Sure, I've forced myself to read quickly lately, but nothing that I've just HAD to continue reading. This book was so incredibly hard to set down for work and sleep and etc.This book is about an android or robot (whatever you want to call them) and they are called Fantasists. There are 7 Fantasists that work in The Kingdom, a fantasy theme park. Ana is not programmed to feel emotions, but she begins to feel them, including love. She is then accused of murdering the man she falls in love with Owen. The story is told through Ana's point of view in memories, court room transcripts, and interviews.I loved Ana and how we get to follow her and see just as she discovers emotions and discovers these things about herself that she didn't think were possible. We also got to see some of her sisters as they discovered things. And the theme park seems so interesting and I love the concept to it! The way the story was told definitely added to the experience and is probably a huge part of why I was hooked! 5/5 stars HIGHLY recommend.
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  • OutlawPoet
    January 1, 1970
    So, this is the 3rd book I've read this month which forces the reader to decide what defines a human. Maybe if I wasn't already feeling kind of over-saturated on the theme, I might have liked this a little better.I did enjoy the whole theme park thing (of course, I used to be a manager in a theme park, so maybe it just hit home?). I did dig the Ana we meet via court transcripts, aka Ana with a spine.But, oh, for most of the book it's android teen-angst. Remember when androids were kind of edgy? So, this is the 3rd book I've read this month which forces the reader to decide what defines a human. Maybe if I wasn't already feeling kind of over-saturated on the theme, I might have liked this a little better.I did enjoy the whole theme park thing (of course, I used to be a manager in a theme park, so maybe it just hit home?). I did dig the Ana we meet via court transcripts, aka Ana with a spine.But, oh, for most of the book it's android teen-angst. Remember when androids were kind of edgy? Like would they maybe take over the world or something? Nope, she's just moon eyed over a guy (le sigh).It's an interesting enough book and people who like light and frothy should enjoy it. It has hints (only hints) of edge when we hint at how people treat the androids. But mainly, it's still fluff.
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  • BookVolchitsa
    January 1, 1970
    4.5The Kingdom è uno sci-fi thriller ambientato in un parco tema futuristico (immaginate a una Disneyland abitatata da ibridi super tecnologici).Trama avvincente, un mix perfetto tra sci-fi, fantasy e thriller.Ho letteralmente divorato questo libro! Poi il finale? Inaspettato!VOGLIO assolutamente un seguito!Super raccomandato!
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  • Jackie ϟ Bookseller
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. 5/5 stars"In the end, it does not matter what the story is about. It only matters who gets to tell it."Ana is a Fantasist, a human/robot hybrid who, along with her "sister" Fantasists, populates an amusement park called The Kingdom where people (actual humans) go to escape their daily lives. The Kingdom is part Disneyworld, part Westworld, part Frankenstein, while Ana's story is told through her own narration and through the tran I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. 5/5 stars"In the end, it does not matter what the story is about. It only matters who gets to tell it."Ana is a Fantasist, a human/robot hybrid who, along with her "sister" Fantasists, populates an amusement park called The Kingdom where people (actual humans) go to escape their daily lives. The Kingdom is part Disneyworld, part Westworld, part Frankenstein, while Ana's story is told through her own narration and through the transcripts of a murder trial. Love, morality, and what exactly it is that makes us human are just some of the themes woven into this exciting, but much-too-short tale.Wow. That's really all I can say right now, having just finished this about an hour ago. The Kingdom is fast-paced, exciting, well-written, and one of the most original YA books I've read in a long time. Is Disneyworld tried to be Westworld and everything went wrong, The Kingdom is what would happen. I loved the way Rothenberg chose to question our morality- in Westworld, for example, the abuse of the robotic creations is clear. They're murdered, sexually abused, and otherwise repeatedly tortured in a never-ending loop, and we're asked as viewers whether or not this is ethical. The Kingdom asks similar questions, but much more subtly. We watch as Ana gradually becomes more sentient and self-aware, though she remains an unreliable narrator. She's easy to like, though, from the very beginning. At first it's because she's gentle and naive, and so is easy to like like any "traditional" Disney princess is easy to like. She's driven by kindness, curiosity, and an eagerness to please. Further into the book, though, she becomes defiant, angry, and driven by her own motives. This all remains subtle, though, and thus believable.Ana -> Our main character, a Fantasist "hybrid" created by human scientists to act as a form of entertainment for guests to The Kingdom, an amusement park. Hybrids are essentially robots programmed to act like humans, and aren't limited to humanoids- there are also many animal hybrids that Ana interacts with throughout the book. Ana seems a bit more naturally human-like than the other Fantasists, though this was also a bit like The Handmaid's Tale in that there was quite a bit of resistance from the oppressed characters, but much of it was subtle and under-handed. Ana is almost outspoken compared to her sisters, but that made me love her even more. She's easy to like, and I enjoyed her point of view throughout the book.Owen -> Ana love interest from pretty early on, but trust me- nothing is what it seems, especially not with Owen and his relationship with Ana. His character was involved with most of the twists and surprises in the book, and I liked him. He's a gentle boy who did the best he could and I already miss him.I don't want to say too much more, since this still doesn't release for a while and I don't want to spoil anyone. Overall, this is a fairy tale Westworld with Handmaid's Tale tones, written for the YA genre, and it absolutely blew me away. I can't wait for this one to come out so I can tell everyone I know to read it. "Love is when everything is a prison, except the place where you want to be."
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Non male! Avevo aspettative molto alte ma durante la lettura mi sono un po' spenta!
  • mk 🦖
    January 1, 1970
    Whoa. My only qualm is that this felt so short, and I wanted to spend more time in this world. It’s like if Disney World was WestWorld and the princesses were androids. The writing is just so spot-on here, and I loved the main characters perspective and she developed and changed. The romance was meh for me. I also thought the central mystery to the story was a little predictable, or maybe it just felt crammed into the story for me? Or maybe I just wished it was longer...
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  • helena
    January 1, 1970
    release date: may 28this it westworld
  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    'What if, instead of being social, she simply prefers spending her time lost in her favorite book?'Totally reminiscent of Westworld complete with a theme park, violence especially towards animals (who are hybrids but still) and a budding romance cut short because murder which I just found ??, TBH. I usually love books where AIs become more human, but seeing the males objectify the princesses (and then the insinuation that they get raped on the regular and then their memories get wiped), the prin 'What if, instead of being social, she simply prefers spending her time lost in her favorite book?'Totally reminiscent of Westworld complete with a theme park, violence especially towards animals (who are hybrids but still) and a budding romance cut short because murder which I just found ??, TBH. I usually love books where AIs become more human, but seeing the males objectify the princesses (and then the insinuation that they get raped on the regular and then their memories get wiped), the princess calling their creator Daddy, and the initial jealousy between older and newer models of Fantasists (who are all women, obvs), it became a bit too cringe for me.Oh and it never felt like the book is set way ahead in 2096 because so many things, except the hybrid technology, read like being set in the present day so not at all impressive world-building to speak of. Like it was way too easy for them to find places in the theme park with spotty WiFi and just yeah. I did really like the hybrid animals, though and that the love interest is Taiwanese American but that's mostly it. It was honestly so much more interesting reading about the interactions between the hybrid princesses more than anything else the book has to offer. I also liked the discourse about just where we're headed technology-wiseIn all, The Kingdom does have some great moments and it's an extremely fast read so the thriller aspect is also there with a couple of twists...except it's been done a lot already and better. Maybe I've read too many books about androids developing feelings or maybe this was done in the same-old way that I was like eh, whatever about most of it. At one point, I honestly thought the main character would fall in love with another princess and that'd easily have been such a better book LOLFavorite quotes: 'I know that I am happy, although it seems very similar to sad.''Humans are capable of such cruelty. Such horror. And in order to become one … I’ve had to become capable of that, too.'
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  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed "The Kingdom". Its about a thinly disguised version of Disney World in the future where the princesses are a hybrid of human/computer. In fact the Kingdom is comprised of all kinds of hyrid animals, some of which were extinct. Ana is a fantasist, one of seven of these princesses. Her job is to walk around the park and do meet and greats and parades and make guests happy. But what happens when the fantasists start to become a little too human? And they start wanting more then the I really enjoyed "The Kingdom". Its about a thinly disguised version of Disney World in the future where the princesses are a hybrid of human/computer. In fact the Kingdom is comprised of all kinds of hyrid animals, some of which were extinct. Ana is a fantasist, one of seven of these princesses. Her job is to walk around the park and do meet and greats and parades and make guests happy. But what happens when the fantasists start to become a little too human? And they start wanting more then their narrow Kingdom existence? I keep wanting to tell more of this plot but I don't want to give anything away. I didn't know much going in. I will say that at the beginning of the book Ana is in trouble and we know that something has happened to two of the other fantasists. We know that there are definitely some morally wrong things happening in this magical place. The story is told from Ana's perspective with plenty of transcripts and court documents mixed in with her narration. This keeps the book moving at a very brisk pace. I read the book in two sittings and by the second one I know I would keep reading until the book was done. I think the story is told satisfyingly but there is definitely a carrot or two being dangled for a potential sequel. I would read one. Its worth it for the descriptions of the "Kingdom" alone.
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  • Toya
    January 1, 1970
    Based off of the synopsis of this book, I severely underestimated just how dark and sinister this tale would be. Imagine Disney World with its beautiful fairy tale princesses and then immerse them into a scene out of West World where the men who oversee these the day to day of these princesses are filled with perverse desires.The story opens with a brief murder scene then jumps forward to the post-trial interview between Ana and Dr. Foster. Ana has been accused of murdering someone (at this poin Based off of the synopsis of this book, I severely underestimated just how dark and sinister this tale would be. Imagine Disney World with its beautiful fairy tale princesses and then immerse them into a scene out of West World where the men who oversee these the day to day of these princesses are filled with perverse desires.The story opens with a brief murder scene then jumps forward to the post-trial interview between Ana and Dr. Foster. Ana has been accused of murdering someone (at this point, all we know is that there’s a body). Dr. Foster is trying to get information out of Ana but based off of the short transcript, she is unwilling to participate in his line of questioning. At this point, the reader is meant to be confused.The plot takes place in both the past (two years prior to the murder trial) and the present (post murder trial). During the time leading up to the murder trial, we learn that Ana is a fantasist at The Kingdom meaning that she is an advanced robotic princess that was created to fulfill all fantasies of the park guests (that right there is already as creepy as it sounds). She’s one of several fantasists and together they are collectively referred to as sisters.The sisters are meant to represent different cultures of the world (they all have different skin tones and physical characteristics), but they have no concept of the attached cultural history they represent. They are required to maintain unattainable beauty standards, which ultimately leads to their objectification. There’s a scene that alludes to sexual assault, which is covered up by wiping the fantasist’s memory.The fantasists are meant to look pretty and serve. They are not expected to think or feel anything. However, as Ana develops a relationship with Owen, she starts to evolve and exhibit human emotions. Once Ana begins to feel, she starts to question all of the practices at The Kingdom and whether or not they are humane (i.e. the way the animals are treated at the park, the beauty standards of the fantasists, etc.)I don’t want to give away much more of the plot because trust me, it packs a punch. Overall, this book tells an incredibly haunting tale that really makes you wonder about the deep desires that humans are capable of and the lengths that people will go to for entertainment.Thank you to the author for the giveaway win! This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Katherine Moore
    January 1, 1970
    The Kingdom is the ultimate fantasy theme park, with its thrilling rides and coasters, set among safari grasslands, mermaid pools, and tropical forests, a monorail, and the magical Princess Palace. Long-extinct animal species have been bioengineered and now roam free, along with hybrid animals like horseflies as well as virtual dragons.And what’s this Kingdom without princesses? Ana is one of seven Fantasists - half-human, half-android princesses, who are engineered to make park visitors' fantas The Kingdom is the ultimate fantasy theme park, with its thrilling rides and coasters, set among safari grasslands, mermaid pools, and tropical forests, a monorail, and the magical Princess Palace. Long-extinct animal species have been bioengineered and now roam free, along with hybrid animals like horseflies as well as virtual dragons.And what’s this Kingdom without princesses? Ana is one of seven Fantasists - half-human, half-android princesses, who are engineered to make park visitors' fantasies come true. Her programming dictates that her behavior is predictable, and she is not complicated with the vast array of human emotions. So when Ana does start experiencing emotions, questioning what she's been told to think and say, her whole world inside this surreal futuristic amusement park changes. It also leads to the most controversial trial of the century and to a surprise romance.Author Jess Rothenberg isn't new to the YA scene, having been both the editor of the popular 'Vampire Academy' series, and writer of 'The Catastrophic History of You & Me.' But this is a genre-bending departure from vampires and paranormal romance for Rothenberg, bringing us a mash-up between sci-fi and fantasy, Westworld crossed with Disney World. The Kingdom is set in Lewis County, WA, 2096, a future that comes across as incredibly eerie, the kind of ‘too good to be true’ that is undeniably unsettling from the very beginning. Ana, being half-human, has deep questions about the role she is supposed to play in the theme park, as it becomes clear that it’s far from ‘normal’; most importantly, the question of whether she actually committed the highest crime of all - murder - pushes the story through twists and turns all the way through. The confusion Ana feels over her romantic feelings and friendships are also fantastically exaggerated examples of how the teenage years can be a minefield to deal with anyway, and the way she questions the treatment of animals hit me at my core.This book is the perfect combination of fantasy and sci-fi, with the twist of mystery, romance and good dose of a fairytale mixed in, and because it brings up so many profound questions about humanity and how we treat others. It felt like nothing else I had read lately and so I loved this deeply original book.
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  • Karissa
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as a digital arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I went into this thinking that I was really going to love this book. It is told in pieces of mixed media (courtroom documents, video surveillance footage, a YouTube video, etc.) The concept seemed really cool and murder mystery-esque. And, let's not kid ourselves, the cover is great (the UK cover is GORGEOUS). But, I just.. didn't. I am glad that I read it and I don't think that it was a bad book, there were ju I received this book as a digital arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I went into this thinking that I was really going to love this book. It is told in pieces of mixed media (courtroom documents, video surveillance footage, a YouTube video, etc.) The concept seemed really cool and murder mystery-esque. And, let's not kid ourselves, the cover is great (the UK cover is GORGEOUS). But, I just.. didn't. I am glad that I read it and I don't think that it was a bad book, there were just parts that I was not about and did not feel like needed to be in the book (not giving away particulars but fair trigger warnings for self-harm, suicide, and rape). I also felt like it took too long to get to the climax of the story. I was 50-60% through with the e-book and still had no idea what was going on and just wanted to get to it already. It wasn't until I was about 70-80% through with the book that it really started to get moving and things started to make sense and fall into place. The ending was nice, but if you want to know what kept it from being a 4-star book for me, see below (beware of spoilers).spoilers below; do not read below these lines if you do not want to see them---------------------------------------------There were many parts throughout the book that implied sexual assault on the girls, particularly Kaia. After said sexual assault, the girls' memories would be erased. It seemed like some of the other Fantasists knew what was going on, and even our main character eventually figured it out, but of course they couldn't say anything because who would believe them (much like present-day rape culture and how most victims are afraid to report because they feel no one will believe them or say that it is their fault). I can handle difficult topics in my books, generally, but what really bothered me was that there didn't seem to be one decent human staff member of The Kingdom aside from Owen. Investors were seeking the 'company' of the girls at night, even just regular crew members would harass the girls or take them away to presumably have sex with them.While I can understand why this was an element in the story (to highlight how people didn't view the Fantasists as beings but rather playthings that they could use however they saw fit, to show the depravity of the people who were supposed to be "greater than" because they are human, not machine, etc.), it was referenced SO much throughout the book with zero repercussions for the guilty. The only one who is implied to get in trouble is Mr. Casey but none of the other men were ever punished for what they did or even implied to be so. For me, that is what really soured this book for me (that and it taking way too long to climax and then resolve), especially since the author could have taken that out of the book entirely and based on the other interactions with staff, we still would have gotten the same message. The implied sexual assault was not necessary in this book whatsoever.
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