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Deep within the catacombs beneath an Aztec temple, a Disney witch doctor is summoning powers that should be left alone. As terrifying wraiths and demons attack the Archives on the Walt Disney Studios lot, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, Finn, Willa, Philby, Maybeck, and Charlene are summoned to Disneyland fresh from high school graduation. They must stop an e Deep within the catacombs beneath an Aztec temple, a Disney witch doctor is summoning powers that should be left alone. As terrifying wraiths and demons attack the Archives on the Walt Disney Studios lot, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, Finn, Willa, Philby, Maybeck, and Charlene are summoned to Disneyland fresh from high school graduation. They must stop an enemy that hasn't been clearly identified. In this, the final installment in the epic Kingdom Keepers series, betrayal and ambition push the boundaries of loyalty. Chasing scattered clues in pursuit of a long-lost icon--whose magic offers a fighting chance against an evil that Walt Disney himself created--the Keepers find their hearts and minds tested in the park where it all began. Bonds that once threatened to fray are renewed under the pressure for survival. As the five are pushed to their limits--and then beyond--feelings intensify behind self-imposed walls of well-kept secrets. With its dazzling action sequences and moments of touching intimacy, Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider will leave readers breathless, cheering, and biting their nails. It's a winner-take-all battle for magical good--but then why is Disneyland burning out of control?


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Deep within the catacombs beneath an Aztec temple, a Disney witch doctor is summoning powers that should be left alone. As terrifying wraiths and demons attack the Archives on the Walt Disney Studios lot, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, Finn, Willa, Philby, Maybeck, and Charlene are summoned to Disneyland fresh from high school graduation. They must stop an e Deep within the catacombs beneath an Aztec temple, a Disney witch doctor is summoning powers that should be left alone. As terrifying wraiths and demons attack the Archives on the Walt Disney Studios lot, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, Finn, Willa, Philby, Maybeck, and Charlene are summoned to Disneyland fresh from high school graduation. They must stop an enemy that hasn't been clearly identified. In this, the final installment in the epic Kingdom Keepers series, betrayal and ambition push the boundaries of loyalty. Chasing scattered clues in pursuit of a long-lost icon--whose magic offers a fighting chance against an evil that Walt Disney himself created--the Keepers find their hearts and minds tested in the park where it all began. Bonds that once threatened to fray are renewed under the pressure for survival. As the five are pushed to their limits--and then beyond--feelings intensify behind self-imposed walls of well-kept secrets. With its dazzling action sequences and moments of touching intimacy, Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider will leave readers breathless, cheering, and biting their nails. It's a winner-take-all battle for magical good--but then why is Disneyland burning out of control?

30 review for The Insider

  1. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    I'm a Disney lover so I'm a little biased... I have enjoyed the entire series but I felt like this one was the best out of all of them. I enjoyed seeing more of the good guys (even little cameo appearances) it made it more entertaining. The story was fast, and interesting. I felt like I got a good sucker punch mid-book that I may never recover from though! My only issue: What. The. Heck. with the ending. So this is the end of the Kingdom Keeper series but the book leaves it WIDE open for more... I'm a Disney lover so I'm a little biased... I have enjoyed the entire series but I felt like this one was the best out of all of them. I enjoyed seeing more of the good guys (even little cameo appearances) it made it more entertaining. The story was fast, and interesting. I felt like I got a good sucker punch mid-book that I may never recover from though! My only issue: What. The. Heck. with the ending. So this is the end of the Kingdom Keeper series but the book leaves it WIDE open for more... so is there going to be another series that involve the same characters as adults? Great read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have a LOT of opinions on this book, and due to being that this is the 7th book in the series and I've totally put the time in...i think i get to voice them! Also, TONS of SPOILERS, read at your own risk, you've been warned! Alright, to begin with, I wanted to love this book. This series started so strong, and then got bogged down in the middle, but there was hope for me in the last part of book 6, hoping this would end and be everything I was hoping for. Alas, it was not. The book took a REALL I have a LOT of opinions on this book, and due to being that this is the 7th book in the series and I've totally put the time in...i think i get to voice them! Also, TONS of SPOILERS, read at your own risk, you've been warned! Alright, to begin with, I wanted to love this book. This series started so strong, and then got bogged down in the middle, but there was hope for me in the last part of book 6, hoping this would end and be everything I was hoping for. Alas, it was not. The book took a REALLY long time to get into, it was like Ridley Pearson(author) was just trying to get more attention by adding other people's opinions/views of how the story should go. HATED it!! There were so many times that I don't think he had anyone review this ahead of time, there were times, it would just jump from idea to something else for no apparent reason and didn't make sense either. From a picky standpoint there were some spelling and some repeat phrases back to back. Next, the storyline was darker than I expected at first, and to be honest, kind of unnecessary. There seemed to be so much added "drama" that was pointless and it really was dragging out the book SO much. The main Kingdom Keepers were fine for the most part, the whole Philby and Finn battling for the lead was annoying, I don't know if it was meant for more drama or what, but it got old. Bringing Dillard back was annoying as all get out!! I mean seriously? The whole thing was just bizarre and weird!!! Who would ever think that was alright? Hated that. The whole middle chunk of the book nothing was mentioned about an insider then all of a sudden one the keepers would remember and look at everyone as if they're all bad, it really got old. Couldn't believe Wayne died. All the drama, nothing really got resolved with Wayne, and then he just dies. It was dumb, and not heroic, not befitting for this great character. Also, the way there were all of a sudden all of these overtakers from every Disney show or movie was a lot, but how come we hardly ever see the good characters that are supposedly there to help the kingdom keepers? It gets a little annoying having a bazillion bad characters, but not showing hardly any of the good, and yet the author throws in Elsa because she's the newest popular character...really?? You have SO many good people to use in these stories and yet it was so limited and annoying!! I wanted to see Beast or Cinderella, Belle, Donald...soooo many people! I hated the whole destroying Disneyland with Tia Dalma, Cruella was annoying, it wasn't a good build up, it was just frustrating. I had to force myself to get back into the book, it didn't keep me interested throughout the book, which is sad because I've been waiting and waiting for this book! I know it's a harsh review; however wanted the ending to be spectacular and it didn't reach that for me!

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Doyle

    I had high hopes for this book. I really enjoyed the beginning of the series, but then it sort of got mired in the middle as didn't seem to make progress for several books, just changes in location. The end of Book 6 seemed to jolt things back on track and I was pulling for a strong ending. There were lots of twists and tension, so not the problem the middle books had, but it didn't really grab me. I had high hopes for this book. I really enjoyed the beginning of the series, but then it sort of got mired in the middle as didn't seem to make progress for several books, just changes in location. The end of Book 6 seemed to jolt things back on track and I was pulling for a strong ending. There were lots of twists and tension, so not the problem the middle books had, but it didn't really grab me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Finn Whitman and the rest of the Kingdom Keepers team are back in this final adventure for one more fight against the Disney villains known as the Overtakers. The Overtakers seek to burn Disneyland to the ground destroying the magic with them. The Keepers are on a race against time to find the missing pieces to bring Mickey Mouse back to the parks and stop the Overtakers plan. One thing is for sure though: there is an enemy within their ranks and "It begins and ends with lightning." Want to read Finn Whitman and the rest of the Kingdom Keepers team are back in this final adventure for one more fight against the Disney villains known as the Overtakers. The Overtakers seek to burn Disneyland to the ground destroying the magic with them. The Keepers are on a race against time to find the missing pieces to bring Mickey Mouse back to the parks and stop the Overtakers plan. One thing is for sure though: there is an enemy within their ranks and "It begins and ends with lightning." Want to read more? Be sure to check this book out with the rest of the series and find out for yourself. This was an amazing finale to Ridley Pearson's Young Adult Disney series! I have been a fan of this series since the first one came out and I enjoyed the adventures of the Kingdom Keepers team who fought against the overtakers and seek guidance from their mentor Wayne. I am now ecstatic to know that there is a sequel series coming out next year called the Return and I will wait patiently to read it and dive back into the Disney Kingdom Keeper's Universe to find out what happens next. If you are a fan of Disney, action, adventure, a little romance, and the Disney theme parks, then definitely check out the Kingdom Keepers series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jilane

    I was really disappointed with this final installment. And I really wonder if Ridley will stick to that and keep it the final installment. I hope so. The entire story was disjointed, incomplete and hard to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Girard

    Final book in the Kingdom Keepers, I've been reading this series for years! It's one of the first books I read in English. I loved this one. There were a lot of Disney characters in it and it was action packed! Final book in the Kingdom Keepers, I've been reading this series for years! It's one of the first books I read in English. I loved this one. There were a lot of Disney characters in it and it was action packed!

  7. 5 out of 5

    sydney elaine

    I am pleasantly surprised with this book. It finished really well, but it did leave on sort of a cliff hanger. I got really confused at times, but then it was eventually sorted out. I really loved the characters they brought into the book, though I was a little disappointed that Ariel didn't appear because she's appeared before. I felt like it sort of dragged on up until the point they met up with Minnie, then it started to pick up. I probably could have finished this much sooner had I not had boo I am pleasantly surprised with this book. It finished really well, but it did leave on sort of a cliff hanger. I got really confused at times, but then it was eventually sorted out. I really loved the characters they brought into the book, though I was a little disappointed that Ariel didn't appear because she's appeared before. I felt like it sort of dragged on up until the point they met up with Minnie, then it started to pick up. I probably could have finished this much sooner had I not had books to read for school in the fall and what not.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    It's been six years since Finn, Philby, Willa, Maybeck and Charlene agreed to become DHI's for Disney, unknowingly being thrown into the truly real world of the Disney heroes- and villians. Now post-high school graduates, the five Kingdom Keepers must travel from Orlando to Disneyland on the other side of the country to stop what just might be the greatest threat to Disney since the company was created. In the final book of the 'Kingdom Keepers' series, author Ridley Pearson manages to combine h It's been six years since Finn, Philby, Willa, Maybeck and Charlene agreed to become DHI's for Disney, unknowingly being thrown into the truly real world of the Disney heroes- and villians. Now post-high school graduates, the five Kingdom Keepers must travel from Orlando to Disneyland on the other side of the country to stop what just might be the greatest threat to Disney since the company was created. In the final book of the 'Kingdom Keepers' series, author Ridley Pearson manages to combine history with fantasy, with allusions to different Disney movies throughout the entire book. I would recommend this book to anyone Disney fans who want a good series they will be able to remember even after many years.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brianna:)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really enjoyed this series! I'm a major Disney geek, and this was a great book for Disney fans! I was hoping to see more Amanda and Finn moments, like maybe they date or something before the series ended, but I was surprised by Charlene and Maybeck's moment at the end and of Philby and Willa. One of my all time favorite series by far! I also follow the KK Insider website and write for the contests. So fun! I really enjoyed this series! I'm a major Disney geek, and this was a great book for Disney fans! I was hoping to see more Amanda and Finn moments, like maybe they date or something before the series ended, but I was surprised by Charlene and Maybeck's moment at the end and of Philby and Willa. One of my all time favorite series by far! I also follow the KK Insider website and write for the contests. So fun!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Great book except for the ending. I wanted to "hear" the last "clue" and wanted to actually find out who Wayne was a little more in depth. Also just dropped Wanda. It feels like Finn and the gang are done...but there's a whole new world of keepers (and books) planned. Great book except for the ending. I wanted to "hear" the last "clue" and wanted to actually find out who Wayne was a little more in depth. Also just dropped Wanda. It feels like Finn and the gang are done...but there's a whole new world of keepers (and books) planned.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Clara

    This book was SOOOO GOOOOD!!!! It kept me in the book at all times and it is full of the Disney magic!!! Any Disney fan should read this book and the other books in the series!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Broca

    This series is about Disneyland that's been thriving for years and it's the happiest place on earth, but as an uprising of dark forces starts five children have to stop this uprising before it makes an impact on Disneyland, the theme of this book is that it's always good to have mentors as when the kingdom keepers had Wayne (a imagineer at Disneyland) for a mentor and Walt Disney before him as a mentor for Wayne, but the keepers had Wayne to help them through challenging mysteries and tough tria This series is about Disneyland that's been thriving for years and it's the happiest place on earth, but as an uprising of dark forces starts five children have to stop this uprising before it makes an impact on Disneyland, the theme of this book is that it's always good to have mentors as when the kingdom keepers had Wayne (a imagineer at Disneyland) for a mentor and Walt Disney before him as a mentor for Wayne, but the keepers had Wayne to help them through challenging mysteries and tough trials. I personally thought this book was amazing because when one problem was solved for the keepers a battle would arise and I just love the fantasy in this book and the author is very descriptive so Ridley could give you a better visual than most books. I would recommend this book to action lovers, and mystery cravers because of all the problem solving, battles, and the suspense in this book I really love.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hinkle

    Another great story that has its good moments and not so good moments. A great good verses evil book with the good being triumphant, but not without loss. I felt this book was a bit darker than the prior stories. It seemed like there was more death and destruction in this story. The good thing is that those particular scenes are done descreetly without the descriptive gore. There were times where it seemed slow, but not at a snail's pace. I can say though that there is plenty of action and you w Another great story that has its good moments and not so good moments. A great good verses evil book with the good being triumphant, but not without loss. I felt this book was a bit darker than the prior stories. It seemed like there was more death and destruction in this story. The good thing is that those particular scenes are done descreetly without the descriptive gore. There were times where it seemed slow, but not at a snail's pace. I can say though that there is plenty of action and you won't be disappointed. It's great seeing kids work together as a team and thinking things through instead of individuals wanting things handed to them. There are many twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat wondering as you read page to page in each chapter throughout the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mikayla

    I enjoyed this series immensely - I mean, the characters at Disney World coming alive at night? Genius! Then all of the sudden... I just had to stop. All of the sudden, the book was dealing with demons, and the evil queen is taking over people's souls and a ton of dark, weird, creepy stuff. So like... what happened? Okay, there was a lot of magic in the other books in this series, but nothing like this book, which just reeked of evil notions. I only read the first couple of chapters before I dit I enjoyed this series immensely - I mean, the characters at Disney World coming alive at night? Genius! Then all of the sudden... I just had to stop. All of the sudden, the book was dealing with demons, and the evil queen is taking over people's souls and a ton of dark, weird, creepy stuff. So like... what happened? Okay, there was a lot of magic in the other books in this series, but nothing like this book, which just reeked of evil notions. I only read the first couple of chapters before I ditched it. Anyways, the rest of the series is great!

  15. 4 out of 5

    One Man Book Club

    The Stupidest Book I've Ever Read... Not even worth my time to review. Shallow, meandering, hollow. Disappointing, frustrating, annoying. I'm so bugged at the blatant lack of writing effort that I don't even feel like giving the time it would take to properly write the reasons why. I didn't love this series to begin with. This book didn't help. Good riddance. The Stupidest Book I've Ever Read... Not even worth my time to review. Shallow, meandering, hollow. Disappointing, frustrating, annoying. I'm so bugged at the blatant lack of writing effort that I don't even feel like giving the time it would take to properly write the reasons why. I didn't love this series to begin with. This book didn't help. Good riddance.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paul Glass

    Good but.. The epilogue is confusing

  17. 4 out of 5

    Megan Green

    I seriously could not stand this book. And I almost NEVER say that. I can't remember the last time I was literally relieved to turn the last page of a book. This was almost physically painful to read. I started reading this series because the premise sounded AMAZING. Teenagers who go into the Disney parks at night to defend the park from Disney villains. Destined to be a classic for sure. I could not have been more wrong. The writing is awful. The characters are inconsistent and contradictory. T I seriously could not stand this book. And I almost NEVER say that. I can't remember the last time I was literally relieved to turn the last page of a book. This was almost physically painful to read. I started reading this series because the premise sounded AMAZING. Teenagers who go into the Disney parks at night to defend the park from Disney villains. Destined to be a classic for sure. I could not have been more wrong. The writing is awful. The characters are inconsistent and contradictory. The dialogue sounds like it was written by someone who has never heard human beings speak. Or has any idea of what human relationships are like. Or has ever even heard of Disney for that matter. The man or the company. And for the large majority of the book (and every single other one in the series except maybe the first one) almost NOTHING happens. This was a 600 page book and the entire "plot" (I'm being generous with that word) could have been covered in about 50 of those. I am NOT exaggerating. NOTHING happens. The conflicts make no sense, the characters are annoying and they never develop throughout the story. And I like cliffhangers and books where the ending doesn't neatly resolve and just leaves you to think, but this is neither of those. It's so bad, it's just a non-ending. The only reason that I held on until the end of this book is because I have a ridiculous completist problem where if I start a book or a series of books I MUST see it through to the end, no matter how awful it is. Don't be like me. If you accidentally already started reading this book, put it down and walk away. And if you haven't started reading this book (or this series) learn from my mistakes and don't start. ETA: I totally know that I am not the target audience of these books, and I tried to see it fairly from the point of view of the target audience. But even when I did that I STILL stand by everything I said in this review. The book (and series) is just bad no matter which way you slice it. I'm still shocked that this was published through Disney Press!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katie Reittinger

    “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” Walt Disney This was a fantastic ending to this book series. It culminated with Mickey Mouse, reminding all Disney fans that it did indeed start with a mouse. It brought all of the Disney magic together for a climactic and stunning conclusion.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Spencer

    The Insider PLOT: Somehow Tia Dalma manages to free the Evil Queen and Chernabog. The Keepers are called to Disneyland in a final battle where they will have to find the missing piece that will complete the 13 pieces of Mickey that were hidden in the park in hopes that they will be in time to resurrect Mickey who'll be essential to defeating the Over Takers once and for all as they plan to bring the park (where it all started) to an end. MY THOUGHTS: *Hands down the most AWESOME moment is Willa's The Insider PLOT: Somehow Tia Dalma manages to free the Evil Queen and Chernabog. The Keepers are called to Disneyland in a final battle where they will have to find the missing piece that will complete the 13 pieces of Mickey that were hidden in the park in hopes that they will be in time to resurrect Mickey who'll be essential to defeating the Over Takers once and for all as they plan to bring the park (where it all started) to an end. MY THOUGHTS: *Hands down the most AWESOME moment is Willa's transformation when learning that the only thing causing her fear is herself.! Finn has a powerful moment in the last book but Willa turns FEARLESS and FIERCE. It's so empowering! I was thinking GO WILLA! Reading that I think something went off in me and I was having the same moment Willa had. Nothing holds you back but yourself. Willa truly did turn into SUPERWOMAN! *Hang on a sec! Judge Doom and the Weasels aren't Disney! There were Disney characters in that movie at the end, but Who Framed Roger Rabbit definitely wasn't considered a Disney movie nor did it have anything to do with Disney. Is this attraction a Cali only thing? Did Disney buy the rights to the characters from WFRR? *Now seeing as I've never been to Disney land I don't know this could be, but since when is Mickey's house in Toon town two-leveled? *I kept waiting for Wayne to pull another switch of the old hologram. While I'm not surprised. I really didn't think this book would end without someone dying and I'm just glad it wasn't May beck. I do feel like Wayne's death is the beginning of the end of an era. It begin with Wayne and how fitting it ends with him. It's very bittersweet. *Ok really? Books into the series and Amanda STILL has a problem admitting her feelings for Finn. *Whose mind would be twisted enough to think that giving you a "present" of the person closest to you that died as a hologram would be a good idea? Am I not the only one that sees that this might be more hurtful than helpful? A hologram will never be the real Dillard and frankly, it's just freaky to have a replica always around like that. *I think one of the freakiest/darkest moments for me (possibly in the series) was Storey serving as a host for Usula. But then I didn't expect her to live through it either. When she woke up I thought hunh. I thought for sure Ursula had knocked her off before she took on her body. *I was reading along just fine without confusion until I came to chapter 70 and there's a part about Charlene, Maybeck and Judge Doom and the Partner's Statue. REVIEW: 10 It started out slow. Tia Dalma's trek dragged on for some chapters. But the plot picked up and it felt like the core of the story was restored for the original book. Every action sequence involving the Disney characters was enjoyable. Though some of the characters were questionable because they were in no ways related to Disney. The Insider not only had good action scenes, but it had warm (aww) moments. (The reunite with Mickey and Minnie). It had sad moments (the death of Wayne). It had moments that had you on the edge of your seat (Finn's death not once but twice and possibly May beck's) Even though you knew there was no way Finn was really gonna die. The hero is NEVER killed off. This one was less about the Keeper's love triangles. I liked how the book ended with Mickey's restoration of the Kingdom. YAY! But it threw me for a loop that the book ended with another incomplete quest as I was thinking this was going to be the last book in the series. I was satisfied also that we've seen the bulk of the characters. I think there are other books after this one so I guess the story continues. But if they do I hope they follow in the spirit of this one and don't venture off again.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vicki (The Wolf's Den)

    Not only was this the longest of the series, it also dragged way, way, WAY too long. The Insider included everything, plus the kitchen sink, yet still managed not to expand on anything other books set up. It took me three borrows from the library to get through this, and even then I almost ran out of time on the 3rd try. But first things first: The Insider starts out with a time-jump. Despite Dark Passage ending with a cliffhanger - the hope of possibly reviving Dillard with Tia Dalma's voodoo do Not only was this the longest of the series, it also dragged way, way, WAY too long. The Insider included everything, plus the kitchen sink, yet still managed not to expand on anything other books set up. It took me three borrows from the library to get through this, and even then I almost ran out of time on the 3rd try. But first things first: The Insider starts out with a time-jump. Despite Dark Passage ending with a cliffhanger - the hope of possibly reviving Dillard with Tia Dalma's voodoo doll - this book starts three years later with Dillard very dead. Now, I'm all for a time-jump if we're skipping past boring stuff, but you would think that essential character development (like Finn's dealing with guilt over Dillard, coming to terms with having intentionally killing Maleficent, getting closer to Allison, etc.) would be important enough to include first-hand. Instead we get an overview of Finn being depressed, getting support from the other Keepers, seeing a psychologist and being a dick to him, and somehow overcoming it eventually. Oh and he's at prom with Allison. Another reason the time-jump didn't work for me is that nothing has changed. The Keepers haven't been together for a while - they seemingly didn't have missions to go on after the OT leaders disappeared - yet they act no differently together than they did in the last book. There's no rise in conflict between Finn and Philby, Charlene and Allison aren't resentful of eachother's relationship with Finn, and the others are just the same as ever. It's like the 3 years erased all conflicts that were introduced in the last two books. In all honesty, I think the only reason the time-jump exists was: A) someone pointed out Tia Dalma's trek to Mexico and work to free Chernabog wasn't logical in a shorter amount of time B) the author wasn't sure how to deal with Finn's situation, so skipped it C) the author could justify writing darker stuff if the characters were older (nevermind the readers) D) the author was tired of including parents in the Keepers' activities E) all of the above But hey, what do I know? Speaking of darker stuff, I was frankly horrified at some of the gore described in here. There's a rather graphic scene of ravens attacking a car. As you might expect, most of the ravens don't fare so well, but instead of just leaving it at just dead birds left by the road, we get this: bushes are black from the hundreds of ravens impaled on their thorns. The fire rises, feathers lifting with the smoke. [character] turns away, averting her eyes as the conflagration consumes all but a handful of the birds. There is also a mention of bird guts coating a window in the car... But I get it, the situation is getting worse, it's an all-out war, there are gonna be some grim scenes. I still don't understand how Finn and the others (specifically Philby) are fine with killing people - Characters...whatever - without a second thought. Or how the other Keepers are okay with their friends' killing. I mean, there are some deaths that are 'okay' because the Character was actually just a statue brought to life, but others that are clearly the real deal. Then again, maybe their willingness to kill Characters would make more sense if we actually knew how the world works. I can't reiterate this enough: THERE IS NO CONSISTENCY TO THIS WORLD. And don't give me the "it's magic" excuse. There are plenty of magical worlds that still have consistent rules and logic behind the magic. But here, we have no freaking idea how the characters come to life, where they stay when the parks are open, why some have new magical abilities (Cruella & Megara), why some animals can talk and others can't, what they look like (Who Framed Roger Rabbit animated or live-action/CG), or what happens if they die. A good number of the main OT villains died at the end of their films. Heck, Tia Dalma was released from her human shell to become Calypso again. So is there a respawn cycle to their deaths? At what point in their movie-existence are they reborn at - their most evil? Do they control their respawn over whether they're at Disneyland or Walt Disney World? And if ripping up Mickey's original drawing made it so he couldn't come back, why isn't similar done for the villains? To that last point, I must give kudos where kudos is due. I was very impressed by the Osiris mythos being applied to Disneyland lore, with the Hidden Mickeys being a way to bring more eyes into the search. I think it would have been more effective overall if we'd been given clues about this prior to book 7, what with Mickey being GONE up to this point, but I still give kudos. But kudos pretty much begin and end there, cause there's still a lot more WRONG to cover in this book. I'm not just talking Disney lore (cause there's STILL a lot wrong even this far in), I'm talking emotionally scarring wrong. I know I've mentioned Dillard's death before - and I am actually a bit impressed that they didn't give that a happy Disney ending, even if that would have been more fitting to the series - and how its impact wasn't properly covered because of the time-jump, but I neglected to mention how we still manage to get some 'closure' late in the book. It is rather spoiler-y, so I'll hide it for those who don't want to know, but suffice it to say my jaw literally dropped open at how HORRIFYING this supposedly well-intentioned decision was. (view spoiler)[Disney Imagineers brought Dillard 'back' as a hologram. He's basically an AI that's 'studied' some recordings of Dillard, but is basically a walking, talking Google & HAL all-in-one. The kicker is that both Dillard's parents and the Disney guys working with the Keepers thought this was a great idea to give specifically to Finn. Yes, give the kid a walking, talking version of his best friend's corpse to follow him around. Even if Finn weren't the one who stabbed him, giving him a reminder of what he lost to follow him around seems horribly cruel. Why don't you do the same thing with Wayne, if it worked so well with Dillard? Oh, because that'd be horrifying to the friends he left behind? GEE, GO FIGURE! You wonder why Dillard's parents didn't want to see him as a hologram? They probably just wanted to torture Finn for killing him. They could have had ANY character acting as that AI. Heck, they could have had Mickey. Or maybe Jiminey Cricket. Nah, let's shoehorn in Finn getting emotional closure by having it appear as the best friend he killed. Couldn't have gotten that any other way, since it's been three years and all. To quote on of my favorite reviewers, "This is so stupid, it hurts!" (hide spoiler)] I've spent a good six months reading these books, and after everything is said and done, I don't feel any better for it. The original concept was confusing, ill-explained, and retconed at every opportunity. The characters weren't explored as much as their environment was, and that felt more like a commercial than anything else (especially the cruise ship). And the Disney Characters, who were really the main draw of the series, were either written with wrong information or never truly expanded upon. Even if research was done, it felt impossible to take anything as fact in these books since so much of the lore was butchered to begin with. The Insider tried to end the series with a bang, but it couldn't even do that right. With dangling plot threads (some of which may have been outright abandoned), the ending is obvious sequel bait. I don't know if I can force myself to continue, even with the promise of Maleficent's return on the next book cover. I didn't hate this book, and I didn't hate this series. The writing wasn't great, but it was for the most part creative and entertaining. I hated the lure of interacting with Disney characters come to life, only getting a handful of baddies and hardly any good guys (let alone heroes), and almost no regard for accuracy in referencing Disney. For a fan, it's just plain insulting. And as a reader, I don't have to put up with books insulting me. If you want any more of my thoughts on this book in particular, you can check out my quotes/notes. I think I managed to make most of them PG...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Addyson Huneke

    I devoured the books before this one in the series. They were really good. So I was highly anticipating the next one. However, when I picked it up, I had a few big disappointments in for me. Writing: 3.7/5 The first disappointment was that the book was in present tense. Given that the first six books in the series were in past tense and that the excerpt on the back of the book was also in past tense, this threw me off more than a little. I spent a fourth of the book trying to get used to it, way m I devoured the books before this one in the series. They were really good. So I was highly anticipating the next one. However, when I picked it up, I had a few big disappointments in for me. Writing: 3.7/5 The first disappointment was that the book was in present tense. Given that the first six books in the series were in past tense and that the excerpt on the back of the book was also in past tense, this threw me off more than a little. I spent a fourth of the book trying to get used to it, way more than I should have. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against present tense, when it is in the right place and well-done. For instance, in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins pulls off present tense extremely well (probably because she was a screenwriter before she became an author). I forgot The Hunger Games was in present tense within the first few pages. The Insider, however, took me a fourth of the book or longer. What's more, the sentences weren't very cohesive, were choppy, and didn't seem to fit together at times. This may be due to the fact that Ridley Pearson crowd-sourced the writing of this book, something he really shouldn't have done at all. The first half of the book felt choppy and awkward, especially the beginning. And where Ridley Pearson credited the parts where random strangers wrote their parts of the book according to Ridley's outline: I'm sorry, I understand that he wanted to give them credit for their (unnecessary and uncalled-for) work, but it was just too distracting, especially when I was having a hard time getting into the story in the first place. This got better as I went on, but it never got as good as the others, especially the first four. Setting: 5/5 Although I'm hesitant to give anything in this book 5 out of 5, there was nothing bad about the setting of this book. Not that I would know. Disney freak that I am, I know next to nothing about Disneyland, and even less about California itself. But it seemed real to me, and from what I could tell from my very limited knowledge, accurate. This may be one of the only things Ridley Pearson did five stars on in this book. Plot: 4/5 I enjoyed the second half of this book, although not as much as I enjoyed the others. The plot in that part seemed pretty well done. But in the first half, and especially more towards the beginning...I don't know. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, but...it didn't fit well together. It was awkward. It felt a little contrived and unrealistic. It felt like Ridley Pearson was striving for imaginative straws on what was going on. An appearance of an important character that may or may not have been a betrayal was never explained. And at the end, when there was a way more than subtle hint that the series would go on, I didn't feel excited, intrigued, or annoyed at not getting more. I wanted to bash Ridley Pearson's head with the book for trying to drag this series out more (undoubtedly for more money; I can't think of any other conceivable reason why he would want to drag this tired series out more when obviously it's begging to be finished). And I felt tired. Tired of the series, tired of his inability to make the characters change, tired of his growing head with his fame (or something; it's not the same as it was at the beginning). The rest of my explanation of why I didn't enjoy this installment so much goes in the character development section. Characters: 3.65/5 One thing I do have to say for this series is the characters haven't changed. No one can complain about them "not being the same characters as they were in the beginning". But that is the whole point of a story. No story is good, or at least good enough, if the characters don't change. Events change people. Especially events of the type that are in this series. I mean, for example, one of Finn's friends gets killed accidentally by Finn and Finn feels responsible and blames himself. But Ridley Pearson doesn't really show this. He doesn't let the reader feel Finn's remorse and guilt. I know this isn't impossible, or even extremely hard. One of my favorite authors, Jaye L. Knight, or as she was previously known, Molly Evangeline, does an extremely good job of this. Her character Jace has a ton of remorse and you feel it a lot. I myself am putting my own character's regrets (huge ones, I might add) into not the dialogue, but the narrative via character voice. It would've been easy for Ridley Pearson to put this in. *cue sarcastic voice* I know, I know, it probably wouldn't have fit in with the crowd-sourcing. *end sarcastic voice* But seriously, Ridley Pearson should have written the book himself instead of giving it to strangers that probably haven't read all of the books. I already knew that he couldn't show what the characters were physically feeling very well (I had to use my imagination to a very great extent when it said "pain"), but I thought he was good at internal feelings (and he's pretty good about a quarter to half-way through). A bigger issue I have with it is the romance. Not the presence of it, the lack of it (this'll shock my sister. She still hasn't gotten over the fact that I skipped the wedding vows in Trust ). I mean seriously, Finn has been showing interest in Amanda since before the first book! Which, I might add was five years ago! They should be past this do-I-say-something-do-I-not-say-something hesitant stage. The other sort-of romances with the side characters (I hesitate to call them romances when they are so under-developed as they are) even go farther, even though emotionally they are pretty much the same (as in, non-existent), and all the side characters do is mime "I love you". But Finn and Amanda don't go past the holding-hands and not saying anything even slightly romantic past "You're a good friend" and reluctance to be parted because heck, they could get killed. Seriously, they're eighteen, they've graduated, they can be romantic!!! All that being said, I still enjoyed the second half of the book, and the (FINALLY) appearance of MICKEY MOUSE!!! *happy dance* Although I was disappointed that he couldn't speak except through other characters (e.g., Violet from The Incredibles). To anyone who has read the rest of the books in this series, I recommend reading this book. Push through to the good parts. I know you can, especially if you've read Lord of the Rings. And you should. The ending really is spectacular (sort of. As spectacular as it could be). And to anyone who hasn't read the rest of the Kingdom Keepers series, either go and read the rest of the series first, or just don't bother. You can't read this book on its own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    My Real score is more of a 3.5, I think the good outweighs the bad, so I'll give it 4 stars. As with the rest of the books in this series, theres allot of fun to be had, if you've made it this far into the series I'm sure you already enjoy most of the characters and are intrested to see what happens in the "finale" of the original series. This time, we leave Florida and the cruises behind! Finally we are at Disneyland! Having never been to any of the Florida parks, personally I really enjoyed re My Real score is more of a 3.5, I think the good outweighs the bad, so I'll give it 4 stars. As with the rest of the books in this series, theres allot of fun to be had, if you've made it this far into the series I'm sure you already enjoy most of the characters and are intrested to see what happens in the "finale" of the original series. This time, we leave Florida and the cruises behind! Finally we are at Disneyland! Having never been to any of the Florida parks, personally I really enjoyed reading about the KK solving puzzles and having an adventure throughout the two California parks. There are a few times where the story seems to drag on for a little bit, and some characters make a return that I really didnt enjoy. If you enjoyed the other books, you'll enjoy this one. It's been awhile since I read the first few books but I am confident in saying this is probably my favorite book in the series since the first three. I really enjoyed it, it was allot of fun and I'm excited to start the sequel series "The Return" eventually.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    2.5 stars. This book was quite disappointing. Such a long book and I felt like the first half of the book seemed to drag on. I have never understand why more of the good characters have never stepped up to fight if the "Disney Kingdom" is in jeopardy from the various villains. I could not get over how at the final battle 99% of the characters, most who have special powers of their own, chose to hide out underground instead of defend themselves. And having Elsa as one of the three characters that a 2.5 stars. This book was quite disappointing. Such a long book and I felt like the first half of the book seemed to drag on. I have never understand why more of the good characters have never stepped up to fight if the "Disney Kingdom" is in jeopardy from the various villains. I could not get over how at the final battle 99% of the characters, most who have special powers of their own, chose to hide out underground instead of defend themselves. And having Elsa as one of the three characters that actually is there with the Kingdom Keepers at the end because she is the current Disney favorite - kind of ridiculous. There were a lot of unresolved issues (why the two groups of OTs and who was in which group, are the Cryptos really on the side of the Keepers, etc.) and the ending - huh? What happened? Did Wayne leave a message? It felt like a giant cliffhanger in what is supposed to be the final book of the series. Like I said, it was a bit of a disappointment.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Wow. What a terrible ending to this series. The first books were pretty good. I liked the idea of walking around in Disney World at night and having all the villains come alive. I was really looking forward to a great ending. Unfortunately, it was just like all the other books. They did tons of stuff and then it ended. The end. Hope you enjoyed the series. I can't believe I actually bought this. It was terrible. I wanted to hear more about Finn and Amanda, and Philby and Willa, and Maybeck and Ch Wow. What a terrible ending to this series. The first books were pretty good. I liked the idea of walking around in Disney World at night and having all the villains come alive. I was really looking forward to a great ending. Unfortunately, it was just like all the other books. They did tons of stuff and then it ended. The end. Hope you enjoyed the series. I can't believe I actually bought this. It was terrible. I wanted to hear more about Finn and Amanda, and Philby and Willa, and Maybeck and Charlene. It was so boring. If you've read all the other books and you want to read this one it's not really essential because it's just like all the other ones. If you've never read the series and you're interested don't bother because you will be disappointed.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tammi

    I liked the first few books but then the last few disappointed me. This book was way too long. Wayne reminded me of Dumbledore dying in Harry Potter but without the same effect. And what was with all the demons and ghosts? Then the Storey Ling story line. Nope! I felt the Disney characters should have helped out more. They were supposedly all behind the Keepers, but they really didn't help much. I also thought finding Mickey was going to make a bigger impact but it didn't. Disappointed. I liked the first few books but then the last few disappointed me. This book was way too long. Wayne reminded me of Dumbledore dying in Harry Potter but without the same effect. And what was with all the demons and ghosts? Then the Storey Ling story line. Nope! I felt the Disney characters should have helped out more. They were supposedly all behind the Keepers, but they really didn't help much. I also thought finding Mickey was going to make a bigger impact but it didn't. Disappointed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia

    So, I finally forced myself to read this. And it was just as confusing and rushed and commercialized as ever. The epilogue was confusing, I didn't get half of the stuff that was going on, and the characters were VERY hard to relate to or even like. The character that I was excited to see was Storey Ming, and even that got twisted around. All in all, I thought it was an awful end of a series that showed a lot of promise. So, I finally forced myself to read this. And it was just as confusing and rushed and commercialized as ever. The epilogue was confusing, I didn't get half of the stuff that was going on, and the characters were VERY hard to relate to or even like. The character that I was excited to see was Storey Ming, and even that got twisted around. All in all, I thought it was an awful end of a series that showed a lot of promise.

  27. 5 out of 5

    goingtonarnia

    Hmmm. I would rate this 3.5 because of the ending. The last third of the book was everything. It just took a while to get there. This book brings out some interesting details, but is bogged down by a few unnecessary and somewhat confusing tangents. Additionally, (and I may stand alone on this) I am not a fan of the darker aspects of the storyline utilized in books 6 & 7. A couple of times I found myself thinking: is this appropriate for a kids’ book series about everything Disney?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marialacey4

    I loved the other Kingdom Keeper books, but I had a harder time finishing this one. The beginning was good, the middle was cumbersome and slow to the point that I put it down a few times. And the ending made me confused. Is this the last book? I didn't get a fantastic feeling of accomplishment at the end of this book. It seemed like the story was way too drawn out. I loved the other Kingdom Keeper books, but I had a harder time finishing this one. The beginning was good, the middle was cumbersome and slow to the point that I put it down a few times. And the ending made me confused. Is this the last book? I didn't get a fantastic feeling of accomplishment at the end of this book. It seemed like the story was way too drawn out.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ranjani

    Never read a better book. This is, to be completely honest, the best book I have read to date. Especially considering the way the author went about the writing. I don't understand why no other author has thought of such a thing before. I place a hand over my heart and say that Ridley Pearson is one of a kind. Never read a better book. This is, to be completely honest, the best book I have read to date. Especially considering the way the author went about the writing. I don't understand why no other author has thought of such a thing before. I place a hand over my heart and say that Ridley Pearson is one of a kind.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hadessephy

    Good installment for the end. Was excited to see Mickey, but would have liked more from him. This ended on a major cliffhanger but heard he is planning a follow up series so fingers crossed. Hope Clopin makes an appearance. Need to tweet him about that...

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