Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: DISNEY AFTER DARK by Ridley Pearson

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

This book pleasantly surprised me. I didn't initially want to read it, but a friend lent me her copy and asked me to read it, so I did.

This story follows Finn and four other kids as they are selected to be Disney Host Interactives (DHIs) for the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. One night, Finn winds up in Disney World in the middle of the night, but he isn't dreaming. He was transported there, along with the other DHIs, and together they must stop the Overtakers (A.K.A. Disney villains) from gaining control of Disney World.

I actually really enjoyed this book, but I just felt a little too old for it. I think if I were in middle school, or even high school, this story would have been an even more amazing story to me. The biggest problem I had with the book was that some details were over-explained when they seemed obvious to me. For example, there was a detail brought up early in the book (this happened more than once), and I thought it was an established fact at that point. But then that detail kept being brought up and clues were dropped about it until a big reveal later on in the book, but I had already guessed what was going to happen at the first mention of that detail. One example of this is [SPOILER: that Jez was working with Maleficent. I thought that was obvious during the car wash scene, but there was still a big reveal about it at the end of the book.]

Contrary to this, there were other details I kept waiting to read about again, thinking that they were important facts that would pertain to the story, but these details never resurfaced. An example of this is [SPOILER: that all five kids were from different schools. I thought one of them would say something about this fact, how it made it harder for them to get in contact with each other. That maybe that was the Overtakers' plan all along, that they weren't supposed to get together to solve the mystery, or something like that. But this bit of information wasn't brought up again.] I was just a little bit bothered by events happening this way, and to me, it felt like that created minor plot holes. Thankfully, this didn't detract too much from the overall enjoyment of the book.

I love that the parents were a part of the story. At thirteen years of age, of course your parents are going to start asking questions if you wake up in dirty clothes and it looks like you've been sneaking out at night. The concerned parents added a more realistic element to the story that I appreciated.

Despite my enjoyment of this book, I am at a disadvantage in reading it because I know very little about Disney. I have been to Disney World once before when I was five, but I do not remember much at all. I also haven't seen very many classic Disney movies, so I am not in a position to say how accurate the setting in the story was, although I would like to know anyway.

Overall, this book's plot and setting were highly original and enjoyable to read about. I do wish we got to see more of the "good" characters after dark instead of just the villains, though, but maybe they will come in a later book. I do plan to continue on with the series, and I hope that it only gets better.

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