- “Disney After Dark” by Ridley Pearson
- Middle-Grade Fantasy
- Read as a physical copy
- 4/5 stars
- Finished February 12, 2016
In this fantastical novel, Disney’s Magic Kingdom suddenly becomes a bit eerie. Finn Whitman and four other teens have been hired as Disney World guides, but with an odd twist: With cutting-edge technology, they have been transformed into hologram projections capable of leading guests around the park. What begins as an exciting theme park job turns into a virtual nightmare as Finn and his pals attempt to thwart an uprising by a menacing group of Disney villains.
“What puts us in a bad mood when just a minute before we felt so good? What makes us afraid of the dark when we know perfectly well there’s nothing out there? What explains that sometimes we think of a person and two seconds later the phone rings, and it’s the same person calling us? Not all such forces have to do with hats and rabbits. There are forces bigger than all of us. Good, and bad.”
This book is the perfect example of a book that pops up when you least expect it. I was helping a friend move, and found this book with half the cover torn off on top of one of the boxes and was immediately intrigued just by the cover. I grabbed it, read the back of the book and immediately announced, “Cynthia, I’m borrowing this!” And I’m glad I did.
Many of these reviews will have you believing that this book is terrible, horrible, and not realistic, but I find that we often hold Middle-Grade books to a standard that..they shouldn’t be held. We have to remember the audience it’s created for. It needs to kind of speed along, keep the kids interested, be long enough, but not TOO long, and have an interesting subject matter. I really actually enjoyed this book, and as I texted my closest friend, never have I actually felt ANXIOUS when reading about Splash Mountain until this book
My disclaimer is that I am way more familiar with Disney Land than WDW, so maybe that’s where I go wrong, but it was pretty cool when things were being described to be able to picture them pretty perfectly in my mind. I found it really interesting and true that these “virtual tour guides” and their look-alikes really couldn’t be in the park at the same time. Disney really does pride itself on the experience of its guests, it’s why adults can’t come into the park dressed as characters, and to me, this was a very true to Disney touch. One of the other reasons I was actually really happy with this book was the fact that Disney-Hyperion was able to publish. People on here will probably disagree with me, but Disney isn’t going to publish something that is going to present the characters that people love at a quality that Disney doesn’t approve of. Especially because this involves their parks. Disney has been through this with a fine-toothed comb, and I actually really loved it.
I read this in a matter of a few hours, I’ve been delving more into middle readers books lately, and I found that I really enjoyed this one. Sure the characters were lacking a little but I would absolutely say that this book is way more plot driven than character driven, that while the characters are important, getting lost in WDW and being there with them felt more important, and more enjoyable.
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