Hannah's Reviews > Disney after Dark

Disney after Dark by Ridley Pearson
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's review
Dec 09, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: school-year-2010-2011, disliked
Read in December, 2010

Where do I begin to describe my disappointment?

Living in Florida, I love Disney with a fierce passion. My best memories have been made there. I've seen this book every time I've gone in a store, and I figured it must be good.

How wrong I was.

Everything was so... bad, but let's break it down into elements.

Negative Elements:
The characters -
They were underdeveloped to say the least. You couldn't connect to anyone because the author simply didn't describe them. You didn't know what they liked, what they hated. There were surface-level perfect, spawns of Mary Sue and Marty Stu. I found myself uncaring if they lived or died (but I know they didn't die since this is an unfortunately continued series.) Not to mention, the bad guys did not seem bad. I could find no reason whatsoever to hate Maleficent other than the previously known fact that she tried to kill Aurora in Sleeping Beauty.

The dialogue -
It was forced and without meaning. I could have slapped the characters every time they asked some obvious, stupid question. I'm aware that this is a kid's book and that the dialogue needs to be slower/more obvious, but this would have insulted the intelligence of my 8-year-old sister.

The story -
It was probably one of the worst I've ever read. When you look at Disney, there is so much potential for a good story, and the back to this book seemed to capture that potential. However, once you got into it, it was horrible. The events surrounding the entire plot were completely unexplained. I'm still confused as to what the Stonecutter's Quill had to do with anything. I'm still confused as to how they even progressed through the book. Their circumstances and battles were conveniently (and impossibly, even for a fiction book) solved. Not to mention infrequent. Plus, any good parts were just not memorable. For example, I thought I would love the It's a Small World part with the demon dolls. But, the resolution to that conflict was so completely and utterly unintelligent I had to put the book down for a moment. I kept on asking, "Did that just happen?" However, it was not asked in the good way. Anyway, the conclusion of the plot was not good. I saw it from a mile away, but, for some reason, I thought I would be wrong.

The Unrealistic Situations -
Before you start yelling that this is a fiction book, I'm referring to the situations in Finn's personal life... where it was supposed to be realistic. I can't go too deep into this, but some of the things that happened in Finn's home were completely unrealistic. It just screamed obvious.

The abuse of Disney -
This book in no way captured that magical Disney. There was very few Disney characters in the book, and the one that it focused on (Maleficent) was not described property. Pearson didn't capture her true personality or evilness. For example, Pearson described the temperature dropping 50 degrees every time she steps in the room and objects freezing at her touch. Where the heck did he get that? If anything, Maleficent is a fire and therefore does the exact opposite. It seems like he didn't do his research. And why were there no good guys? Everyone who could have helped was mysteriously missing as the idiots ran through the park. Anyway, Pearson didn't capture that feeling you get as you travel the park at night. There was just nothing there. If you're going to do a book about Disney, put "capturing the Disney magic" on your priorities list.

The weird religious references -
I read this book to read about Disney, not the author strange view on religion (projected through little kids.) There were multiple, yet subtle, negative reference to religion with an emphasis on Christianity. I was quite literally shocked. What does Disney have to do with religion? Why the heck is Pearson wasting my time with his religious beliefs? Whether I am religious or not, I don't enjoy reading about any type of religion or an author's interpretation of it... especially in a kid's book about Disney.

The writing style -
I thought that Pearson, being the author of a variety of book, would at least have a good writing style... but no. It was dull and uninteresting. No freshness. The imagery stunk like a dirty diaper, and everything felt choppy. The action was near impossible to visualize because it wasn't described with any sort of depth. I will employ one of my previous metaphors. It felt like I was sliding down a cheap, plastic corkscrew slide, and I kept on getting stuck as soon as I gained any momentum.

Positive Elements:
The basis of the story -
The original basis and potential of this book soared. It had an awesome base that was just not expanded upon properly.

How the book made you want to finish it -
How do you describe it? Even though I didn't like it, I wanted to find out how the book really ended. It kept you slightly interested, just interested enough to make you stick with it till the end. However, like I hinted above, it never lived up to its potential. It's a shame.

With everything considered, it was not a good book. I'm glad I read it, now I won't have to wonder about the book every time I see it, but I really didn't like it.
I don't recommend it, but feel free to disagree.
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Reading Progress

02/06/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 71) (71 new)

message 1: by Eden (new)

Eden You read my mind. The idea had so much potential, but Pearson's characters and writing style were much too bland...

Drew Graham It's SO refreshing to read another honest review of this book. So many Disney fans are unthinkingly eating the series up and completely ignoring the terrible writing and awful characters and total disrespect of Disney characters and properties.

Kirsten Perfectly put.

Patrick i would just like to point out that pearson had to get everything approved by disney creative teams before it could be released . Spent countless hours in the park and they refused to use much of what he saw due to it being kept secret.

Drew Graham I would like to see any possible proof of Patrick's statement. I have read nothing about Disney approving everything he wrote, and it would really surprise me if they approved everything in these books. And if he truly spent "countless hours in the park" (which one?), it certainly doesn't show in his books, based on the many inaccuracies and liberties taken. You would think Disney would carefully inspect anything they put their precious name on, but apparently they were pretty loose when it came to KK.

Angelia I completely understand that this is an opinion, but I honestly don't think you need you need to say rude remarks like, "The imagery stunk like a dirty diaper" and, "I found myself uncaring if they lived or died (but I know they didn't die since this is an unfortunately continued series.)" I personally love the series and find great potential for it's future. I simply think that the dislike-rs of this book need a pinch of imagination. It's better written than any of the shows on Disney Channel now.

Angelia I completely think that different opinions are ok, but there is no reason to hate on one anothers opinions.

Drew Graham Angelia wrote: "It's better written than any of the shows on Disney Channel now."

Ha ha, ummm, that MIGHT not be your best defense... Just because it's better than poo doesn't mean it's good. The lesser of two poos is still poo.

Cameron Watkins I honestly loved the first book it was full of imagination, even the author stated that majority was made up, but remember this is a children's fantasy book. Just because it didn't live up to your standards does not mean it won't to other people's. As for maleficent I think he described her rather well, he kept the description far enough away, yet close enough to show her off. If you'd read the series you'd see what the stone cutters quill is about, remember this is a series so things will be dragged out, even more due to being children's series. Plus the characters get more developed as the series progresses.

message 10: by Drew (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham Sure, some things will get dragged out, but since things (like the Stonecutter's Quill) will be abandoned completely. And no, these characters never develop beyond what they do in the first book, which is to say not at all (except for becoming more unpleasant and inconsistent, they do do that).

As for Maleficent, he did describe her, just NOT as Maleficent. You can't just completely recreate Disney characters like that.

message 11: by Hannah (last edited Feb 10, 2013 05:35AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Hannah Okay, guys. Just take a step back for a moment and relax.

I am not insulting any other else's opinion. Honestly, my remarks previously referred to are not rude, they are not attacking anyone, they are just what I felt during the book. Oh, and, Angelia, I appreciate that "attack" on my imagination. ;)

I know that this is a series; I don't have to be reminded. This is a review of a single book, not a series. Any book in a series, especially the first one, should be strong enough to stand on it's own and be reviewed on its own.

And I don't think any limitations placed on Pearson by the Disney creative team should have limited the quality of the writing.

With that in mind, I still extremely dislike the book.
I still love Disney.

Of course, you can disagree. Healthy discussion of disagreements are really fun, actually.
Sure, I disagree with a lot of the defense of the book and agree with a lot of Drew's critiques.

But, please, don't feel insulted that we have these differing opinions. That is not the feeling I want to create.

Caitlin Sumrall I disagree in a way that can not be described. While reading your review, I found myself saying "how did she get that? Where is this coming from?" Several times. I realize this is just an opinion but I don't understand it. I am a teenager and I discovered these books when i was about ten. Fell in love with the series before I was even halfway through the first one. Granted, I am a disney world addict who has and has always had an unbelievably large imagination. I respect everyone's opinion but I very much disagree with this one.

message 13: by Drew (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham It's amazing how people can read something without actually reading it. I'm a Walt Disney World addict too (and former Cast Member!), which is exactly why I have such problems with this series.

Caitlin Sumrall Along with saying I was a Disney World Addict I also said I had an unbelievably large imagination. I always have. Perhaps this is why I love the series so much. I feel that anyone with that childlike imagination and enjoys disney would love these books. If you don't then I'm sorry, but if you'll notice there is a lot more good reviews than bad. Also I would just like to point to Drew's first comment, when he said its nice to see another honest review. The majority of even the good reviews are honest. Hard as it may be to believe for someone who hates them, some people absolutely love them.

I stand saying I love them and I will recommend them to anyone that loves disney world.

message 15: by Drew (last edited Mar 21, 2013 07:01AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham Believe it or not, I have quite a sizable imagination too! (Anyone in the arts and animation has to, pretty much.) And I still think these books are pretty bad. I know, it might seem incredible to you. There may be a lot of good reviews, but that's apparently because people are too distracted by blind fandom to realize how bad and inconsistent the writing and characters and Disney references are, which is why I praised this review for being an honest one. I realize it's written for a younger audience, but that's no excuse for poor writing, and besides, it's also written for a Disney audience, which is an audience of all ages. I'm entitled to have an opinion against them (without having my fandom or imagination called into question, since those are actually key factors in why I have trouble with the series), and of course people are entitled to enjoy them, but that doesn't make them quality literature. I understand that a lot of people love them, but a lot of people really love the Twilight books too -- that doesn't make them good.

I never recommend these to any Disney fan without a major caveat about the inaccuracies and writing.

Miriam wow, I can honestly agree with everything you said Hannah. I wanted to finish the book(I rarely abandon a book) but wasn't extremely interested. Characters were EXTREMELY undeveloped, realistic scenes were unrealistic, and YES nothing was described well at all!! I've never been to Disney World and so it was harder for me to understand than most who've read this. Choppy is exactly how the writing was! My friend read it and she gave off the impression that it was the best thing she'd ever read! I read it and was a bit like...eh...okay. Although I agree with your opinion on most things, I do not agree with hating the book entirely. I enjoyed it and plan to pursue the series. It's just not top notch on my list of things to do.

message 17: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Madero (Boricuan Bookworms) Not sure to read it or not. It does seem interesting, but by just knowing its about disney, published by disney hyperion, I feel that it'll be like a disney parks promotion for children that read this so that their parents take them there. But thanks for posting your honest review and not being blinded by things mentioned above the comments. It has helped me have a more open insight for when I decide to read the book :)

message 18: by Johnny (last edited Apr 29, 2013 12:18PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Johnny Mark This is the best, most unbiased and honest review I have read. It fits my thoughts 100%.

I have actually read all of the books and there are no improvements. The characters are shallow, he focuses on Maybeck's skin color too much, he brings religion/Christianity into the books (which has no place).

My overall impression of the writer, Pearson, is that he was young, this was his first book and he was trying to make a big break. It was only after I read this book that I viewed his bio; I would have expected more.
The story lacks plot and substance. These characters, the hologram hosts for WDW, are the focus of the story. However, the story never comes out to tell why they were really chosen. It mentions skills, much of which are never really focused on. It mentions one character's attitude a lot, but never really their story.

There are a lot of holes and gaps. The author bounces all over the place without breaking chapters. One moment we are reading about something they are doing now, the next moment we are jumping to a conversation taking place elsewhere. The story is somewhat empty, lacking detail and a reason for the plot. The writer never really goes into why the issues are taking place and how they knew it could happen. He never goes into the Imagineers story and why he lives in the MK and how all of these kids were really chosen to take part in this mystery.

The characters lack character. The writer does not do a very good job of describing the characters. I could not get a mental picture of any of them other than Dillard, and this was only because he continued to focus on his weight. None of these characters really had a story, a good solid background or anything of the sort.

One other thing that irritated me about the book, though it did not really affect the story, was the amount of errors. There were some minor story errors, such as mentioning five kids when it should have been four or using the word "was" when he should have used "is" or "were". It was also annoying that he would try to write like he was British at times when Ridley is clearly American. And the way he would use kid's lingo as his way of describing things instead of it just being things kids said.

He is very negative when it comes to Cast Members, too. Worse than Unofficial Guide.

The stories feel so incomplete.

Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia are both for young readers and both authors did a fantastic job giving a mental picture. I was unable to do that with this book (or any of his books). Having been to WDW many many times, I could not even make a clear picture using his descriptions of the Magic Kingdom. I really expected more.

VERY disappointing. He is a horrible writer. I can see that in interviews with him - very dry and dull. It comes out in his books.

message 19: by Johnny (last edited Apr 29, 2013 12:17PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Johnny Mark People would not be reading and reviewing it if they didn't like Disney. I have found the entire series to be horribly written. I am a DVC owner, visit twice a year, have a Disney decorated room in my home, my Christmas decor is all Disney, etc etc. You could say I like Disney....but these books are terrible IMO. It is great that some people like them.....it is also fantastic that people are being honest with themselves and not letting their love for Disney cloud their comments.

Johnny Mark Patrick wrote: "i would just like to point out that pearson had to get everything approved by disney creative teams before it could be released . Spent countless hours in the park and they refused to use much of ..."

Sorry, not true.

Hadessephy I agree with the quality of the writing not being the best. In regards to him having Disney support and research, I personally assumed he did since it is their publishing company and the books are advertised and sold in the parks. I follow him on twitter and I've seen him tweet a few times that he is at a park researching.

message 22: by Gia (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gia I'm sorry, but I totally disagree. This whole series is greatly developed, the characters are extremely lovable, and it sucks you in from the start. I respect your opinion, but I had to defend Ridley. I've met him several times at book signings and he is very intelligent and kind, and you can tell he loves what he does. Just give The Kingdom Keepers a fighting chance and read the entire series. Believe me, your disappointment will exist no more.

message 23: by Gia (last edited Jul 30, 2013 08:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gia And Ridley went behind the scenes with permission from Disney officials, and all of his research is entirely accurate and unprejudiced. I find his writing style very exciting and easy to follow, yet he is very intelligent in his wording. Believe me, these books are amazing if you just give them a chance.

message 24: by Drew (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham I have read the entire series (except the very most recent one, which hasn't been available at the library yet), and my disappointment grows with every single book. I agree with your "it sucks you in from the start" assessment, as long as you take the "you in from the start" bit off. Ridley may be intelligent and kind and love what he does, but that doesn't make him a good writer. He also may have had backstage access, but his presentation of the parks and characters is definitely NOT completely accurate. Anyone who has been to the parks or seen the movies can tell this.

I for one did GIVE THEM A CHANCE (many, actually), and they let me down more and more as time went by. Sorry!

Hadessephy Gigi wrote: "I'm sorry, but I totally disagree. This whole series is greatly developed, the characters are extremely lovable, and it sucks you in from the start. I respect your opinion, but I had to defend Ri..."

Drew wrote: "I have read the entire series (except the very most recent one, which hasn't been available at the library yet), and my disappointment grows with every single book. I agree with your "it sucks you..."

I haven't been fortunate enough to meet him yet, he was actually at wdw once when I was there, but I didn't realize it to afterwards! He seems very nice, I asked for a follow and twitter and he followed me back. I thought that was so sweet. I do love the series, as a Disney person I completely agree with getting sucked in! And I think the most recent is the best yet. Though I also agree with a lot of the other reviews that it isn't the best writing. But with such a creative and fun series I can look past it : )

message 26: by Clare (new)

Clare G I haven't read the book, but I'm curious: what kind of religious references are you talking about? Can you give examples?

message 27: by Gia (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gia Clare wrote: "I haven't read the book, but I'm curious: what kind of religious references are you talking about? Can you give examples?"

I myself, even as a huge KK fan who practically has every book memorized from cover to cover, I have no idea what "religious references" they are speaking of. The most religious thing I remember from the series is that one of the characters, Jezebel, is named after a witch woman from The Bible.

And Drew, saying that it "sucks" is just a little unorthodox, don't you think? I mean, everyone has their opinion, but still- I wouldn't say that a book "sucked" or that it was (I acknowledge that you didn't say this >>) "the most terrible book in the history of mankind". I would say that I was disappointed with the plot or the characters or whatever. I'm just being honest; shoving your opinion down the others' throat doesn't get it any closer to being true. Let others decide what they think of KK's before you deem the whole series "more disappointing the further [they] go".

message 28: by Drew (last edited Jul 15, 2013 10:06PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham It's not my opinion. It's a fact. These books are horribly written and very inaccurate. People can still like them, that's just fine but that doesn't mean they're actually quality literature. They are not. They're poorly written kitsch at best, and are an embarrassment to the Disney fan community.

Oh, and (though this is not the most terrible book in the history of mankind) I was also disappointed with the plot and the characters and whatever.

(Though, even if it were my opinion, I would be entitled to express it however I like, whether you think it's "unorthodox" or not [and I'm not quite positive you know what that word means... but don't worry, I doubt Ridley Pearson does either. Not that that would stop him from using it. It never has before]. That's sort of the point of a review.)

message 29: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Malley I absolutely disagree with you. KK is my favorite series! The whole ice this comes from the actual "Sleeping Beauty" movie! You say the dialogue is forced. Pearson's like 40, Ok!?!? Even if you hate it so much, I suggest giving the follow ups a try. They are better, feature all the Keepers, gave me a vision of a park I haven't been in in ages, and increase in quality with each book. But in the end, I understand not every book is for everybody. But don't make everyone else feel like they have to hate it too, kay?

message 30: by Gia (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gia Drew wrote: "It's not my opinion. It's a fact. These books are horribly written and very inaccurate. People can still like them, that's just fine but that doesn't mean they're actually quality literature. They ..."

Wow, Drew. You need to calm down. I mean, really. I completely understand that you have a right to express your opinion. I never denied that you could. However, that also means that people with the opposite opinion can express theirs also. Therefore, I too took advantage of my right to freedom of speech as an American citizen and posted MY opinion on Ridley's writing. (To which, of course, you retaliated and proceeded to.. let's just say "shove your opinion down everyone else's throats.")

Trust me, honest to God, I know you have your own opinion and that's fine! I have mine too. What I'm trying to get at is that you don't have to get angry and act infantile (and yes, I do happen to know the definition of that word, thank you for your concern) when someone doesn't agree with you. Seriously, this is a book review website. You should come here expecting mixed opinions, not for everyone to cower down and agree with you if you keep arguing with them like a four-year-old.

Dear John (no pun intended), I'm glad you love the books as much as I do. But for anyone who didn't like The Kingdom Keepers so much, that's fine! I won't force my views on you until you cave.

Happy reading.

message 31: by Drew (last edited Jul 30, 2013 11:03PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham Hmm... perfectly calm over here, actually. I simply came here and basically agreed with the reviewer's thoughts, and then others started reacting defensively. If someone here is emotional and infantile, it's certainly not me. :)

Of course others are free to express their opinion, I never said otherwise, and in fact I said exactly that myself above. I'm not angry, I don't expect anyone to cower, and I'm not shoving anything any more than anyone else is. Why would people read reviews if not to hear various viewpoints? (I only defended my right to an opinion because you implied I shouldn't tell people how I feel about these books, but let them "decide for themselves," which interestingly goes against even your own review. And again, like I said, I'm not talking about opinions anyway, I'm talking about facts... I can back up all of my thoughts regarding these books with actual excerpts if you'd like.) And yes, I fully expect to find differing opinions on a review site, but at the same time, people have to expect to find opposite thoughts when these sites allow and encourage feedback and conversation, and shouldn't get huffy and defensive and imply people are bullying them into changing their opinion.

And to John, though I realize you weren't addressing me personally, to respond, I have read all six of these books now, and I disagree that they increase with quality as the series goes on. If anything, the first was the "best" of the bunch, and they went downhill from there, but if you're really interested in my full thoughts, you're welcome to read my reviews yourself. :) And yes, like the original reviewer said, the ice feature of Maleficent's character is definitely not from the movie (if anything, it's the opposite), and also, many middle-aged writers write convincing teenage dialogue. Not so with Mr. Pearson.

(For the record, Gigi, name-calling is never a really great way to make progress in a discussion like this, just FYI.)

message 32: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Malley Yes the ice thing is in the movie. In the beginning, when the fairies are debating what to turn Auroa into, the idea of a flower pops up, and one of them states, "that would work, until Malificent sends the frost". The writer says "you CAN'T go and change characters like that" it's called creative license! As for the statement "it's not my opinion, it's a fact" it is one of the more ridiculous statements I've heard in my life. (Trust me with 3 younger sisters, I've heard a lot of 'em!) There is no aspect of the "quality" of writing that isn't based in opinion. You say you can "back it up with experts" these are just people who post their opinions in magazine articles. Finally Drew, though I mean no offense, after awhile, we KK lovers want to say, "WE GET IT!!" Thank you GiGi, for your comments on everyone's opinion, though I must agree with the fact there is such a thing as being a little too forceful. These are comments, not commands. But I love you're as much of a KK fan as I am!

P.S. KK movie, thoughts?

message 33: by Drew (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham First, that mention of frost in the film is a reference to Maleficent's general powers, even to the point of being able to control the weather, not an indication of a constant trail of ice and sub-zero temperatures that follow her around. Again, if anything, her defining element is fire (see dragon).

Second, as far as creative license goes, that's a valid practice, but NOT when you're using someone else's characters, especially characters that are well-known and carefully designed and defined and have existed for decades in their respective forms (Maleficent is only one example, almost every Disney character in these books has been completely recreated for some reason, again, if you read my reviews I give many examples).

Finally, with five sisters of my own, I've heard many ridiculous statements as well, but my comment about opinion vs. fact is certainly not the superlative among them. Someone may enjoy a certain style of writing, that is clearly an opinion, but there are some rules and standards of writing that, if disregarded, lessen the actual quality of said writing (if not, why would teachers correct our spelling, grammar or sentence structure? They're trying to teach us "good writing"). And I didn't say I could back my thoughts up with experts, I said I could back them up with excerpts, as in actual examples from the books themselves. Pick any book, any page, and I'm pretty sure I could find an infringement either of writing and/or Disney. (Though, it should be noted, an expert's opinion also should hold more weight than a fan's, as they're able to see and examine things more objectively, and also with a lot more experience and knowledge behind their assessment, whether an expert on literature or any issue, really. Not that you have to be an expert to enjoy something of course, but an expert definitely has a more valid opinion than a non-expert, which is why we go to a doctor when we're sick instead of someone who just looks up medical facts for fun.)

P.S. I have strong doubts that a KK movie will ever come to pass, but if it does, they'll have to make some pretty serious changes of plot and character in order for it all to make sense and to form a cohesive series. The elements of a good story are there, but it's been so random and inconsistent that there would have to be some pretty major rewrites to make a logical film adaptation (and I doubt the superfans would much appreciate that).

message 34: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Malley Sorry to take you against a misread comment Drew. It won't happen again. As for why Pearson chose ice over fire, while fire represents warmth and comfort, ice is cold, can only fully exist in darkness, turns something soft into something hard, kills everything without making new, fertile soil for new life, and something you touch and then cannot let go. As for the different description, it's Disney WORLD, as in, a different world! some might go as far as to say its a different universe, as in, an alternate universe. The reason I say the books increase in quality is because I love how Ridley feature all the Keepers points of view, how it's not all about just Finn. What you state teachers teach us in writing is not necessarily "good writing" but more "understandable writing" Even these criteria are, just that criteria, set criteria the teachers MAY use to grade/review the students writing.

P.S. The major plot changes you say need to happen may not be necessary. Just change the forced dialogue, fill the plot-holes, than fix the pacing a bit. I see it working with a good enough crew.

P.P.S I'm typing on a mobile, so ALL CAPS is the only way to put emphasis on words.

message 35: by Drew (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham You make interesting points about ice vs. fire, and if someone were creating their very own character in a story like that, that might be a compelling element to that character's personality. But, since he was using a character someone had already (and masterfully) created, that's when it oversteps creative license. At LEAST get her physical appearance and basic character attributes right, you know?? Ha ha. It's not an alternate universe, it's the characters everyone recognizes from the worlds of Disney, which is how they've supposedly infiltrated the parks all these years. If they don't even resemble their film/theme park counterparts, wouldn't people have noticed? I think character integrity is important.

Yes, what I mean by major plot changes is that they would have to figure out how to fill the plot-holes, of which there are an abundance (not to mention trying to make the concept and technology consistent and make sense). They would also probably have to eliminate/combine half the characters so it doesn't get overrun with too many. And I think "understandable writing" and "good writing" could easily be seen as the same thing in many cases. There have to be general standards of writing, or there's nothing to teach. Anyone can write, but not just anyone can write well.

P.S. Understood about the ALL CAPS portions. No worries. :)

message 36: by Mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark Daniel Were you in my head when I read this? These are the exact thoughts I had as I forced myself to finsh this. Although, I didn't catch the religious references at all. They must have happened while I slept through it.

message 37: by Tiff (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tiff I highly disagree I thought this story was very good in the terms of being a Disney adventure book! I love Disney and this Just caught my attention and I fell in love

Isabella I will agree and disagree in most parts. I really hated the Small World puppets going evil, in fact I thought they would help fight AGAINST Maleficent. I do agree with the fact that Maleficent is a fiery kind of person, so the cold doesn't make sense. I disagree because they made the main characters like a real team, you have just athletes in most books. Here they bring out the positive qualities of being a nerd, or just your average Joe.

Brianne I am also a big Disney fan -- I go to WDW every year, sometimes twice -- and that is why I didn't like this book as much as I wanted to. I know those parks like the back of my hand, and some of his descriptions were totally off. It goes along with the choppy writing style. One minute they are in Frontierland, and the next sentence says that he could see the Jungle Cruise. Those are two completely different areas, and those little inconsistencies are what really made me frustrated. Also, he said that Maleficent is in "Fantasmics"...but the show is actually called "Fantasmic." I know it seems petty, but small details are what really make a story believable. And if you're going to write about a popular place like WDW, all the little details had better be correct!

message 40: by casf (new) - rated it 1 star

casf I COMPLETELY agree with Drew, Johnny and Hannah.

Hailee Bug To Drew I think that you are completely wrong. I think this series is well written and I agree with the fact that they aren't very well rounded characters in the 1st book but I think you were wrong about the fact that you don't think they expand on the characters. I especially loved the fact that they were kind of a mystery at the beginning because that is why I kept reading and I fell in love with Charlene especially since we had a lot in common and some of the characters are just slightly added upon little by little and they are subtle so if up you are so focused on hating the book than you probably wouldn't notice them. I personally loved the series and characters also Ridley did spend a lot of time in the parks because he said it in some of the acknowledgements and also in a interview. I also have a very big imagination and although you claim to have a big one too I don't think you do be use most people who have big imaginations love it and I don't know if it is because I am only 13 but all of my friends love the books and they don't really read children's books they mainly read divergent and hunger games and things like that.

message 42: by Drew (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham I wasn't focused on hating the books, every time I read one I try to have an open mind that it will be better than the previous ones. I know what you mean about the characters building subtly, but it's still just not very convincing, and they're not very consistent. I remember reading that Ridley had spent a lot of time researching the parks, but that makes me even more confused when I read thinks that are inaccurate or just plain wrong!

I DO have an imagination, but these books don't really play on it or enhance it. I'm glad to hear that young people are reading, I just wish they would expose themselves to better writing and storytelling.

Hailee Bug Thank you for clarifying the fact that you tried not to hate them... Some book series aren't meant for some people

message 44: by Drew (new) - rated it 2 stars

Drew Graham That is true. Still, one would think a book series based on Disney characters and Disney theme parks and Disney properties would be meant for a Disney fan, but... evidently not.

message 45: by Liz (new) - rated it 1 star

Liz This review is SPOT ON!

Amcurella I wish I would have read this review before I started the book. I also saw the book everywhere and also that it was a series so I thought it must be good. Disney always does things right and because the books were sold at the parks, I thought it must be awesome. However once reading, I was sadly dissapointed. I put the book down realing no connections to the character or understanding of the story plot. I dont feel like it was a complete waste because in a sense I feel like I scratched an itch.

message 47: by Malik (new) - rated it 1 star

Malik Mohammed I thought I would actually have to write a review myself when I saw this which basically read my mind

Cheshire Cat [Heidi]~ We're All Mad Here ~ WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, Hannah, enough with the review! I couldn't get halfway through reading it before I had to stop. I understood from the first sentence: You didn't like the book. I, however, DID happen to like it. I thought it was very enjoyable. I rarely ever noticed the mistakes, because I was just so into the book. I am sorry that you (and other people) were unable to feel the same satisfaction from this book that I felt. Not every book is for everyone, am I right? So, why don't you people go read a book that makes you happy. I'm sorry this book isn't one of them.

message 49: by Coye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Coye Lies

message 50: by Abby (new) - rated it 5 stars

Abby Well this review wasn't only insulting but down right rude!! You say the characters aren't very well developed and you say that people can't really connect with them but go on Instagram because there are hundreds of rp accounts by people who are just like the characters themselves. It's very interesting how you say the stonecutters quill had nothing to do with the plot because the stonecutters quill is the resolution to everything and you would know that if you bothered to read the whole seris. I also think for a fiction book the characters have very normal lives (other than crossing over and being DHIs but that's the fiction). The imagery is AMAZING if you read the very first page of the very first book and the imagery dosent make you feel like your there then there's something wrong with you. It's very rude to say things like "I don't care if they die" because if a character did die there would be many many people in a depression for a week. It captures the disney Magic very well (you would know that if you bothered to read the whole series) because it's not just 1 villain as an overtaker, it's all of the villains. It's definitely disney Magic because without Magic, there would be no overtakers, no crossing over, no walts pen, and no story. When maleficient enters the scene it gets cold but that's not in sleeping beauty, it's more for symbolism for her cold heart and yes she throws fire also because she's a fairy and she does what ever the hell she wants! I find it deeply insulting that you say that ridley has a very bad writing style because he isn't only my favorite author but I also refuse to read any books that aren't written by him. I live by these books. They make me laugh, cry, smile they make me happy, sad, angry, confused, and in love. Please don't write such a rude and long detailed review if you haven't read the whole series! And I know what your thinking "oh she has no idea what she's talking about she forgot what the books were even about" no just no I've read each book at least 10 times. The books are in a very used condition with some rips some stains wrinkling (all accidental) because I've read them so much. I have not only read each book at least ten times but I've read hundreds of fan fictions. Now you might be thinking "oh she dosent know what she's talking about she's probably been to walt disney world like twice in her life" well I'll have you know that I'm an annual passholder and I've been about 41 times in my 15 years and no I don't even live in florida. It's insulting that you say that t's a children's book and you say even 8 year olds could read it and be insulted of how childish it is because it's not for kids definitely not because they deal with things like death and deadly battles and cussing and certain parts have kissing and jumping off of cruise ships and lots of confusing technology and anagrams! When I first started reading this series I was 10 and the technology and anagrams confused me the deadly battles really scared me and the romance made me gag but now that I'm older I see it in a different way, a better way, a way no child could ever see it. I connect with the characters more and I understand more about the plot and what's going on I understand the technology and anagrams and all of that. Maybe you don't because your a little kid. Your too young to understand the importance of these books or the impact it has on other people's lives. I made an amazing live long friend who's exactly like me and likes all of the same things I do and we agree on everything and were super close (especially for living 4 states apart) and you'll never guess where I met her: at a ridley Pearson book signing for the return disney lands. Through these books I learned the importance of teamwork, confidence, and bravery. Each character taught me a valuable lesson that I can use for everyday life. Finn taught me about the importance of leadership, charlene taught me about facing fears for the sake of a greater cause, Philby taught me that knowledge is power, willa taught me it's what's on the inside, personality, that truley counts, Maybeck taught me that variety is key to a good team and everyone can contribute something unique that benefits everyone, amanda taught me about the importance of friendship, jess taught me that people aren't always what they seem to be, and Dillard taught me that if you don't take a chance you don't get a chance (cue the tears). Over these past years the kingdom keepers have greatly impacted my life and I enjoy being sucked into a series and pretending like there are no other books (that's why I'm on here, to find more books by pearson). another thing is that ridley introduced me to lou mongello from wdw radio and that brought me and my dad closer and not only that but I was able to visit maelstrom (the best ride ever) on closing day because lou warned us when it was going to close so I made sure I was there. If it wasn't for the keepers I wouldn't have a lot of things that shaped my character and turned me into who I am today. Ridley Pearson the best author with amazing imagery and a wonderful imagination just like walt disney. Walt would be proud to have an author like him writing books about his parks and showing the adventure of disney.

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