The Kingdom Review

Title: The Kingdom
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 11 July 2019
Source: Pan Macmillan South Africa
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 464
Rating: 3. 7 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Book Review:
Pre-reading Thoughts:

This book made waves in America when it was released there in May. Since then, I have been dying to read this book ASAP. It sounds like an interesting read that I cannot leave on my TBR for too long.

Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan South Africa for providing me with a proof of this book! Just a quick disclaimer for those reading this review, I have received this book for free, Please note that this does not affect my opinions in any way. All thoughts are my own.

Writing Thoughts:

I really enjoyed that this book was split into both an interview (which took place in the present) and a normal narrative (which took place in the past). I think that this allowed us to anticipate what is to come and also to attempt to connect the dots. I enjoyed how descriptive the writing was but sometimes found that the descriptions were difficult to follow on some occasions. 

Plot Thoughts:

I was so surprised by the plot of the book. Not only did I get suck into the world and feel the urge to visit a park much like the one described but I found that I couldn't stop reading. I wanted to know what happened next, I needed to know more. I think that the plot takes you on an interesting journey because it is as if you have two contrasting narratives. On the one hand, you have a very innocent Ana and on the other, you have an Ana that has been accused of something that seems impossible. 

Character Thoughts:

I struggled to connect with the characters. I felt as if there was a big focus on selling the idea of androids that appear human-like. I didn't buy into the human aspects of them. Even with the insight provided by Ana's point of view, I couldn't feel the supposed feelings that she had. 

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The concept was unique and interesting. The split narrative was well done and only made the reader more interested to find out what happened. The plot has the perfect twist to because its not one that you would easily expect. However, I couldn't connect with the characters. I definitely recommend this book for readers who love a fairytale with a twist! Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan South Africa for providing me with a copy of this book!

Yours in Reading,


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