Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg - ESSENTIAL

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg, 430 pages. Henry Holt (Macmillan), 2019.  $19.

Language: PG (8 swears swears,  0“f”); Mature Content: PG (implied rape); Violence: PG (some blood)



Ana and the other Fantasists were engineered to perform for the regulars who visit The KingdomTM.  They are beautiful biohybrids who are there to help every visitor.  Lately, however, Ana has felt that something is off.  Eve, the oldest of them all is acting odd, and then Nia, her closest friend, does something so disastrous that she disappears – probably to be recycled. Ana has also noticed a boy, Owen, around the park. He says he’s a maintenance worker, but she sees him just about everywhere she goes.  When Owen goes missing, presumed dead, Ana is the key suspect – but is she human enough to decide to kill or is she just a robot that follows her programming?

Disneyland meets a bit of Westworld.  The back and forth between time of the narrative makes for a bit of confusion, but every time shift is neatly labeled.  The look at what might happen with a Disney-like kingdom creates sentient automatons that want to break their confines.  More psychological than blood and gore her, though.  Great to pair with Girls With Sharp Sticks.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

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