Second Look: Ridley Pearson’s DISNEY AFTER DARK (Kingdom Keepers #1)

Title: Disney After Dark
Series: Kingdom Keepers
Author: Ridley Pearson
Genre: Mystery/Urban Fantasy
Age: Juvenile Fiction (Grades 4+)

Centering around Finn’s POV, the story is about five children who are the “actors” for the Magic Kingdom’s Disney Host Interactive (DHI) program.  However, they learn they got more than they bargained for when they start to “cross over” to the Magic Kingdom when they try to sleep.  It’s up to Finn to find the four other hosts and have them meet at the same time in MK so they can find out what’s happening to the park.

Malificient (none other than Sleeping Beauty’s own wicked witch) is causing trouble for the Disney Parks.  She’s on a quest to solve the riddle of The Stonecutter’s Quill, but to what end?  The answer is never really given at the end of the book as it leads directly into a waiting plot for Book #2.

The book focuses on Finn’s POV.  He’s the leader of the group.  There’s his friend Amanda, who is up to something because she knows more than she’s saying but she’s not part of the DHI program.  Finn’s cohorts in solving the riddle are Maybeck, the “oldest” of the group with a snarky attitude; Philby, an ultrasmart English transport; Willa and Charlene.  Though, you don’t really find out that much about Willa and Charlene in this book.  Finn is definitely likable and relatable for young readers.

This made me want to go visit Magic Kingdom to see the rides that they were discussing throughout the book.  It definitely makes things seem realistic and Pearson has great descriptions, but sometimes it feels as if he assumes the readers have already visited Disney World.

I couldn’t put it down!  I read it for a YA book group at the library.  I know a mom was raving about the series, but I didn’t put much thought into it.  However, once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down!  It was definitely a great book with a great story.




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