The Kingdom Keepers saga concludes with the final battle between the forces of good and evil.
Three years have passed since the Keepers last had to squash the efforts of the Overtakers (Dark Passage, 2013), but not much has changed when it comes to this series. The characters remain flat, and the adventure continues to seem less like a cohesive story and more like a string of incidents on which Pearson can hang as many nods to beloved Disney characters as possible. Fans will surely thrill at the endless parade of references and action set pieces, but no one will be excited by the stock teenage melodrama. It’s hard to care about who’s in love with whom and who’s jealous of whom when there’s an epic battle between the Card Soldiers and Small World dolls going on in the background. The author certainly serves his Disney paymasters well. From the Evil Queen in Snow White to Elsa in Frozen, all eras of Disney are represented. Whether this feels like coldblooded corporate synergy or clever mining of history is up to individual readers, but it’s hard not to like a book that features a fight between the evil Jafar and Pumbaa at least a little.
Surreal, bizarre and enchanting. (Fantasy. 10-14)