Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From Belle's Library | Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn

This month's installment of From Belle's Library revisits the Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson. This month we look at Disney at Dawn. This is one of the first books I have read/listened to that was Whispersync enabled. As and audiobook listener, I really loved using this technology. It will definitely inform my book purchases in the future.

I am usually a huge fan of the first book in a series, feel it lags in the second book and then picks up again for me in book three. At least I felt that way about Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and The Chronicles of Narnia. But I have to admit that this series surprised me. I actually thought the second book was better, smoother and all around more interesting to read than the first. And that's saying a lot, as this book takes place in my least favorite park: Disney's Animal Kingdom. Actually, the park is growing on me. I like it, it'll just never be Epcot or The Magic Kingdom. It just wasn't Disney enough when it first opened. First impressions last a long time, apparently.

As far as Kingdom Keepers goes, I liked the way the characters seemed to be more fully developed in this book, not as one-dimensional as in Disney After Dark. And perhaps with the first story under our belts, there was less explaining and more doing in this one. Always a plus if you have a reluctant reader. Also, the narrator for the audio book changed. I like the interpretation that this narrator, Christopher Lane, gives the characters, especially Wayne, the mysterious old imagineer that helps the kids on their expeditions. It was easier to listen to, to become immersed in. Finally, the story was totally believable, or at least for those of us who can believe in the Disney villains coming to life and trying to take over the parks. Not a far stretch if you ask me!

Overall, Disney at Dawn was a surprising improvement for me, a nice surprise. I will be excited to see what comes next for these precocious middle schoolers know as the DHIs or the Kingdom Keepers. I'd love to hear your thoughts as well. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

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