Title: The Kingdom
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Page Count: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★✯ (4.5 – can’t put a half star so you get something fancier)
I got this as a preview copy from the nice people at
Netgalley. I will always be honest about a book no matter if I paid for it or not. There are also affiliate links in here, too 💜
The cover – you’ve got my attention (bravo because that’s hard/I’m fickle).
The setting – life-like AI technology in a Disney style theme park? Yep sold.
The plot – M U R D E R trial. You got me.
Every single thing I’ve watched has taught me to be nice to AI tech/robots as one day they’ll rebel against their primary functions. If you’ve played Detroit: Becoming Human, you’ll get what I’m saying. If only the owners of the park paid attention.
Enter Ana. A weird princess hybrid drone with super intelligence and human-like instincts otherwise known as a Fantasists. They were created with one goal – to make people’s dreams come true, yet the book opens with her clearly being on trial. Unless that person’s goal was to end up 6ft under, something clearly went massively wrong. Did she snap or was this a situation where the Fantasists were being set up? NO IDEA. I was hooked. I had to know more.
The rest of the book switches between the trial, court transcriptions and her previous life. You’re thrown into the year 2095 where most animals have become extinct and can only be found in the sanctity of The Kingdom, unfortunately at the mercy of their handlers. You’ll meet Mom & Dad – a pair of humans who’ll you’ll dislike pretty quickly and the rest of her dysfunctional ‘family’ which are made up of old and new Fantasist models. And you’ll meet Owen; her best human friend and the one she’s on trial for murdering.
This book will make you despair for the future of humanity mainly because I could see it happening, but it’s a page-turner and a half.