By Jess Rothenberg
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.
I picked up ‘The Kingdom’ By Jess Rothenberg randomly in London. The cover intrigued me and when I read the synopsis I was even more interested. I hadn’t even realised that I’d heard about ‘The Kingdom’ on Youtube until I was half way through.
In ‘The Kingdom’ we follow Ana an engineered princess who is finding the realities that she has experienced for her whole existence come into question, she is also on trial for the murder of Owen, a staff member at the park where Ana has been created.
I absolutely loved the format of this book. It reminded me of ‘The Illuminae Files’ although ‘The Kingdom’ goes between standard chapters explaining the past events and interviews and transcripts from the trial. I enjoyed the chapter breaks to reel you back into the present and see how the stories match up.
Ana as a main character is curious and brave. She really wants to find answers to the questions that she has and learn more about life beyond the green light. She is however limited by her creators and made to believe things that are not as they seem. Ana’s curiosity is an interesting point to read from as it evolves from small curiosities to things that become more dangerous. It shows Ana’s growth as a character and a desire to be seen as more that what she is made to believe she is.
‘The Kingdom’ was a fast read and quite easy to digest. The scientific side of things is explained in a way that does not overwhelm the reader but also gives the necessary information. I really flew through this book.
Ease of reading: 9/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 7/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10