When Disney Imagineers installed hologram guides for the Magic Kingdom using teenage models, they had no idea the technology might backfire. But backfire it did: some nights when the kids go to sleep, they wake up in one of the Disney parks as holograms.
The five teens have twice thwarted evil plots masterminded by Maleficent; but now Finn, Philby, Willa, Charlene, and Maybeck have another problem: Wayne, their mentor and head Imagineer, has mysteriously gone missing. Concerned that Wayne has been abducted by the Overtakers, the kids pick up a major clue from a close friend, Jess, whose dreams (nightmares, really) often accurately predict the future.
This time, the clues from Jess’s dream lead the kids into Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Each clue seems tied to the last, and with the stakes growing ever higher, what starts out as a puzzle ends up as a fight for their lives. As they quest for a sword, take rides on Soarin’ and Maelstrom, have life-and-death encounters with a giant snake, and attempt to stop Maleficent, the Kingdom Keepers not only begin to decipher deeper meanings in the clues, but discover new truths about themselves and their ever-growing friendships.
©2010 Ridley Pearson (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Okay, first off, yes, I expect there to be some 'magical' aspects to this story. It's about Disney after all. I enjoyed the first Kingdom Keepers book, but perhaps that was partially due to the fact that I read that one, instead of listened to it; this title have only listened to. These are geared towards children/teens, but that does not mean that logic must be ignored, or common sense thrown out the window. One cannot follow how the characters make their conclusions, or why they do half of what they do, which makes it hard to enjoy the story.
To make matters worse, the narration is atrocious. Following what another reviewer said, the valley-girl voice for all female characters is annoying and distracting, nor do the voices even remind one of a woman (or girl) in most cases. I know it is a man reading the story, but most good narrators tend to at least give the impression of femininity. Here, I feel as though I'm listening to a comedy sketch impression. The most irritating part is that many times when 'she' should be spoken, the narration clearly says 'he.' I thought I was going crazy at first - rewinded and replayed multiple times. My thought was confirmed when a girl was described as 'himself.' Not sure if these were typos that were just read in mistake, or what, but it definitely impacted my listening experience negatively.
Love the book - I really enjoyed the first two as well. The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because of the narration. It was good for most of the story, but I didn't care for how he voiced the girls. A little too "valley girl" for me. Overall, if you enjoyed the first two books, you will like this one too.
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