A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Although primarily an entertainment, The Kingdom addresses questions of free will, artificial vs. innate intelligence, and the roles young women are assigned by society.
Humans aren't the only creatures that deserve love and respect. Even when trained to be subservient, young women can find ways to assert themselves.
Positive Role Models
Ana begins the novel believing that she must do everything in her power to ensure that guests enjoy their stay. Gradually, she begins to suspect that her own needs should be respected.
Violence & Scariness
A rather grisly murder is the central action of the plot. A princess nearly drowns a young visitor. It's implied that some of the hybrid princesses are sexually assaulted by members of The Kingdom's staff.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Ana falls in love with a human. They manage a couple of passionate embraces.
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A handful of "hell" and "damn."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Kingdom is science fiction novel by Jess Rothenberg about a half-android/half-human girl engineered to be a welcoming "princess" at a fantasy theme park called The Kingdom -- who's on trial for murder. A bloody killing is at the center of the story, and there are also a near-drowning and hints at sexual harassment or assault. There's infrequent swearing (a handful of "hell" and "damn") and minimal sexual content -- just a couple of passionate embraces.
Is It Any Good?
The idea of out-of-control amusement park attractions isn't new, but this intricate thriller about an android/hybrid and her search for freedom is a blast. The Kingdom imagines living, breathing "Fantasists" who interact with visitors, showing the dangers that might lurk in such a plan. With a great initial hook and a middle section that remains taut throughout, the novel sustains suspense while topping one twist after another. Ana is a strong and complex protagonist, and she's surrounded by a diverse supporting cast. Author Jess Rothenberg expertly choreographs the genuinely surprising revelations that occur at the narrative's climax. The Kingdom is a little like Michael Crichton-meets-Philip-K.-Dick, but it stands on its own as something fresh and intriguing.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.