Kingdom – book review

The Kingdom
by Jess Rothenberg
Science Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

When we first meet Ana, all we know about her is that she has been on trial for murder. But she is no ordinary criminal. Ana is a Fantasist – a human/cyborg hybrid who was created in a lab specifically to be one of the hostess-princesses in a sprawling theme-park known as “The Kingdom.” She and her sisters mingle with guests, give performances, and pose in photo-ops. For the most part, their lives are very structured and they follow strict rules, especially concerning their interactions with guests. Everything runs very smoothly for the most part, but recently there have been problems. Ana’s closest friend among her fellow Fantasists – Nia – seems to be malfunctioning. She’s taken away for some time and when she returns she is distant, different. Then she attempts to drown a child during one of her performances. Ana is horrified, and when Nia is decommissioned and replaced, she misses her terribly. Something is rotten at the core of the Kingdom, however, and Ana is just starting to awaken to its existence and fight back. This science-fiction thriller is a little West World meets Disneyland, and its princess protagonist will keep readers guessing about her true nature until the end. Suspenseful and compelling.

Reviewed by  YA Librarian

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