10 August 2020

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg (@JessRothenberg)


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. 

Where happily ever after is not just a promise, but a rule.

This is my first book review in over a year. Wow. Never realized that.

I have been always picky when it comes to fantasy, magic, dystopian kinda books. But this one just rocked my world entirely. The Kingdom would fascinate you at one point and would creep you out in the next - maybe because I feel that this might happen in the future, and consequences would be similar. So, there ya go, a bit creepy really.

Nevertheless, Jess Rothenberg carefully constructed a world that can make your dreams come true. Yes, better than Disney, and less scary than Jurassic World. We meet creatures that we haven't seen before maybe because they are extinct, or they are hybrid of the creatures that we have now. But what makes this story more interesting are the Fantasists. 

Fantasist are similar to humans. They look like one, and they would interact like one. The only difference is that, they are not really humans - they are programmed for that sort of thing. To create an illusion of perfection, to make dreams come true, not to lie, to make mistakes, to make people happy and safe inside the kingdom. They weren't programmed to feel - most especially to fall in love.

However, like humans who made them, Fantasist are not perfect.

We are introduced to Ana - one of the older fantasist. She's a great character, sometimes I'd forget she's not even human. Initially, she just obey and do what she is directed to do, until she met Owen. 

"Love is when everything is a prison," he says, "except the place where you want to be."
It didn't end in an HEA though, because Ana was accused of murdering Owen. 

The trial of the century began, the secrets of the Kingdom, of the people managing it, and the creatures who live in there began to surface - and it is just the beginning. What seems to be perfect from the outside, seems to be rotten in the inside. Everything is evolving, some things have gone wrong.

Exhilarating read, Jess Rothenberg made sure her readers were glued. From the start to the finish, you will just want to know what happens next, what happens to the other Fantasist, or why would Ana even harm Owen. I enjoyed how the story progressed. There wasn't a boring moment, but it didn't really prepared me for the ending. Now, that was something. 

In the end, it does not matter what a story is about. It only matters who gets to tell it.

Purchased on Amazon.

Follow me on: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  |  BookBub

No comments:

Post a Comment