A half-android, half-human girl is accused of murder in Jess Rothenberg's tautly-paced YA thriller, The Kingdom, perfect for fans of Westworld and The Lunar Chronicles.
"Wildly addictive and beautifully terrifying... Readers will leave this glittering theme park forgetting what is real."—Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles
Welcome to the Kingdom… where "Happily Ever After" isn’t just a promise, but a rule.
Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom™ is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species—formerly extinct—roam free.
Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.
But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty—and what it truly means to be human.
Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me) presents a thought-provoking anti fairy tale of AI enslavement for the amusement of humans. Ana is one of seven Fantasists, organic-technological hybrids who serve as princesses hostesses and attractions at the Kingdom, the world's most advanced amusement park in the 2090s. The Fantasists have been engineered to be beautiful representatives of the global population and are programmed to be helpful, polite, and compliant. Ana and some of her "sisters," though, have begun to have their own thoughts. Beginning with the discovery of an unnamed body, the story follows three timelines, interweaving brief coverage of a public trial and a secret post-trial interview of Ana with events leading up to the murder. Those events include two of Ana's sisters, Nia and Eve, who were permanently shut down after violent aberrant behavior, as well as Ana's growing relationship with Owen, a maintenance man with an unusually high security clearance. Rothenberg delves into questions of what it means to be sentient and how humankind treats beings considered to be "lesser." Combining elements of mystery, drama, and romance with science fiction, this novel will have broad appeal. Ages 14 up.
Odd but amazing
I enjoyed this book a lot. Can I just say, I had no idea where she was going with this and I was scared she was going to ruin the ending. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The characters are lovable—especially Owen (😍)—the plot was unpredictable and fast-paced. It definitely exceeded my expectations and I loved every step of the way. If there was a book 2 (pls) I would definitely read it. The plot was set up a bit differently than I’m used to, but that made it all the more better. I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t my fav, but most certainly not the worst. If you like romance, futuristic worlds, and checking out unique books, I’d recommend it.
Everything I could ever ask for in a book