Disney after Dark (Kingdom Keepers Series #1)

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Overview

Featuring a new paperback cover to match hardcover of Kingdom Keepers II:

In this fantastical thriller, five young teens tapped as models for theme park "guides" find themselves pitted against Disney villains and witches that threaten both the future of Walt Disney World and the stability of the world outside its walls. Using a cutting-edge technology called DHI?which stands for both Disney Host Interactive and Daylight Hologram Imaging?Finn Whitman, an Orlando teen, and four ...

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Disney after Dark (Kingdom Keepers Series #1)

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Overview

Featuring a new paperback cover to match hardcover of Kingdom Keepers II:

In this fantastical thriller, five young teens tapped as models for theme park "guides" find themselves pitted against Disney villains and witches that threaten both the future of Walt Disney World and the stability of the world outside its walls. Using a cutting-edge technology called DHI—which stands for both Disney Host Interactive and Daylight Hologram Imaging—Finn Whitman, an Orlando teen, and four other kids are transformed into hologram projections that guide guests through the park. The new technology turns out, however, to have unexpected effects that are both thrilling and scary. Soon Finn finds himself transported in his DHI form into the Magic Kingdom at night. Is it real? Is he dreaming?

Finn's confusion only increases when he encounters Wayne, an elderly Imagineer who tells him that the park is in grave danger. Led by the scheming witch, Maleficent, a mysterious group of characters called the Overtakers is plotting to destroy Disney's beloved realm, and maybe more.

This gripping high-tech tale will thrill every kid who has ever dreamed of sneaking into Walt Disney World after hours and wondered what happens at night, when the park is closed.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In this fantastical novel, Disney's Magic Kingdom suddenly becomes a bit eerie. Finn Whitman and four other teens have been hired as Disney World guides, but with an odd twist: With cutting-edge technology, they have been transformed into hologram projections capable of leading guests around the park. What begins as an exciting theme park job turns into a virtual nightmare as Whit and his pals attempt to thwart an uprising by a menacing group of Disney villains.
Publishers Weekly
For anyone who has imagined what goes on in Walt Disney World after the gates close to the public, Pearson's (Peter and the Starcatchers) tale and Littman's authentic-sounding narration, in middle-schooler Finn Whitman's voice, offer a suspenseful all-access pass to the Magic Kingdom behind the scenes-filled with action, technology and a tricky (and implausible) riddle. Finn lands a cooler-than-cool opportunity after he becomes a model for a new breed of "holographic hosts" (Disney Host Interactive/Daylight Hologram Imaging) at Disney World. But the experience gets weirder than weird when Finn and the other four DHIs find themselves transported to the park via their nighttime dreams and must save the Magic Kingdom from Disney witches and villains called "Overtakers" by solving a puzzle said to be left behind by Walt himself. Littman reads at a smooth pace, speeding up along with the story's tension. He nails realistic kid-like reactions and dialogue even though listeners might find much of the plot hard to believe (and some of the plugs for Disney a bit over the top). Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
This book is about a group of kids picked to be DHI's (Disney Host Interactives). Everything is normal until they start having weird dreams that aren't really dreams at all. I liked the book because it has an in-depth story line and imagination. It is written in a way that had me thinking that I was there, watching what was going on. I think people who are into fantasy with a little bit of sci-fi will enjoy this book. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Hyperion, 325p., Ages 11 to 18.
—William Jeys, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Thirteen-year-old Finn and several of his friends become holograms at Florida's Disney World and then find themselves literally pulled into nighttime adventures in the theme park. Ridley Pearson's fantasy (Disney Editions, 2005) is fast paced and technologically savvy. Finn and his friends make repeated forays after hours into the very guts of such Disney icons as Tom Sawyer's Island, It's a Small World, Adventure Mountain, and other rides both tame and wild as they lay siege to Maleficent, an evil witch whose minions are at work to destroy the Disney mystique. The kids hang out at the park looking for signs and signals that will aid them in their nighttime quest for securing Disney power. Their parents are mildly suspicious, but Finn and his pals are fast talkers, willing to face their nighttime nemeses alone, rather than bringing in adult forces. Gary Littman reads with a variety of accents, some of which are less successful than others, and it's easy to differentiate among both kids and adults. Given how much Disney has seeped into the very core of Americana, most listeners will be able to understand the references and will know for whom Maleficent is a foil. While the details about why one would become a hologram for Disney are slighted, the sleuthing aspect of the tale has universal appeal.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When Finn is selected as the model for a holographic guide in the Magic Kingdom, he never imagines it will pit him against the evil forces plotting to destroy Disney World. Along with the four other teens who act as Disney's holographic hosts, Finn appears in the Magic Kingdom in his dreams. There, an old Disney Imagineer tells the five they have been specially selected to save Disney World. The evil forces of the Overtakers-Disney's villains, led by the witch Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty-are coming to life to destroy first the Magic Kingdom, and then the world. Luckily, Walt Disney wrote a riddle long ago that can be solved to defeat the Overtakers. As they study the puzzle, the heroes battle witchcraft and living animatronics in the theme park's after-hours. Though the adventure makes cunning use of Disney's mythos-a scene in which the "It's a Small World" dolls attack the adventurers while singing their famous song is chilling-flat characters and an anticlimactic finale detract from the cleverness. (Fantasy. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423123118
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: Kingdom Keepers Series , #1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 19,402
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ridley Pearson

Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of more than a dozen books, including Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far); The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog; Dave Barry's Money Secrets; and Big Trouble. Along with Ridley Pearson, he is the co-author of Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Escape from the Carnivale, Cave of the Dark Wind, and Blood Tide.

Ridley Pearson, in addition to the Peter and the Starcatchers series with Dave Barry, is the award-winning author of The Kingdom Keepers-Disney After Dark, The Kingdom Keepers-Disney At Dawn, and Steel Trapp. He has also written more than twenty best-selling crime novels, including Killer View and Killer Weekend. He was the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Oxford University.

Biography

Crime may not always pay, but crime fiction always sells, and Ridley Pearson is one of the stars of the genre, the kind of writer whose royalties keep his family fed and cover a few extras as well (like, say, his own airplane). Yet Pearson didn't spend his youth dreaming of bestsellerdom. His first ambition was to be a musician, and he spent most of his twenties writing and performing folk-rock songs. The idea that he might become a novelist came later. As he explained in a Barnes and Noble interview, he was reading a Robert Ludlum novel when "a voice spoke up from inside me and said, 'I can do this.'" (Once he began writing and discovered firsthand the skill involved in crafting a cohesive thriller, he realized how much he had presumed!)

Pearson is renowned for fast-paced, thrill-a-minute suspense novels that include "a rare humanism and attention to detail" (Publishers Weekly). In a Greenwich Magazine interview he called his work "aerobic fiction, because I hope to get your heart pounding and get you turning pages." Entertainment Weekly dubbed him "the thinking person's Robert Ludlum."

As his fans know, Pearson works hard at nailing the details of forensic investigation and police procedure. In Undercurrents (the first novel in his Seattle-based Lou Boldt mystery series) his research was so thorough—he consulted an expert in oceanography—that the book helped convict an actual murderer. A Washington state prosecuting attorney happened to be reading it while working on a case similar to Pearson's fictional one: A woman's body had been found in a bay, and at first it appeared that she had committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. The oceanographer mentioned in Pearson's acknowledgments was called in as an expert witness to help prove that, based on tidal currents, the woman must have been dead before the time her husband claimed to have last seen her. Due largely to the expert testimony, the victim's husband was convicted of second-degree murder.

Of course, there's more to a Pearson novel than research. "Just what is it about Ridley Pearson that makes him the best damn thriller writer on the planet?" mused Bill Ott in BookList. "We've celebrated the forensic detail, the taut plotting, the multidimensional characters, and the screw-tightening suspense, but lots of fiction writers do all that. Here's a theory: Pearson is a master at manipulating opposites. His stories are forever jumping from high concept to small scale, from positive to negative charges, manipulating our emotions and minds with their polar hip-hopping."

When he's not writing, Pearson still makes music—he's the bass guitarist for the Rock Bottom Remainders, an amateur rock band made up of professional writers including Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, and Mitch Albom (the group's motto, coined by Barry: "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels").

It was while Pearson was in Miami to play with the Rock Bottom Remainders that he told Barry about his idea (actually, daughter Paige's idea) for a prequel to Peter Pan. The two authors had such a good time hashing out possibilities over breakfast that Pearson asked Barry to write the book with him. Published in 2004, their clever collaboration Peter and the Starcatchers became a huge bestseller, spawning two sequels (Peter and the Shadow Thieves in 2006 and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon in 2007) and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Even though Pearson thoroughly enjoys crafting juvenile fiction, his adult fans need not worry that he's abandoned his high-voltage crime novels. Indeed, he has said that writing gives him the same "adrenaline rush," no matter which audience he is targeting: Readers of all ages appreciate the imagination, suspense, and an impeccable eye for detail he brings to all his fiction.

Good To Know

Pearson calls himself a workaholic, "not so much by desire as out of necessity," since he reserves a lot of time for his two young daughters. His hobbies, which he now defines as "something you once did and no longer have the time for," include recreational tree climbing, fly-fishing, backyard volleyball, snow boarding—and, of course, bass guitar in his rock band. An avid reviser, Pearson says, "I'm said to have a nervous, worrying disposition, but rarely feel I live up to that description—perhaps internal calm is expressed as external nervosa."

Pearson loves to travel, especially to southern France, with wife Marcelle and second child Storey, who is adopted from China. We're certain to do a good deal of international travel in the years to come. He also attends local symphony and theater. But his "favorite avocation is to spend an evening around our dining table with two or three other couples. This, I feel, is where many of the world's ills are solved, and many souls restored. Mine, especially."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Wendell McCall; Joyce Reardon
    2. Hometown:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 13, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Glen Cove, New York
    1. Education:
      Kansas University, B.A., Brown University
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 952 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(741)

4 Star

(111)

3 Star

(42)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(38)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 957 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 20, 2009

    A Fantastic book

    I read this book last summer and absolutely loved it. I found it very creative and interesting and also funny. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and adventure

    155 out of 173 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic Read for Disney Fans of All Ages

    Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark is full of everything that is Disney - the rides, the atmosphere, the adventure, the imagination, and the magic. The first book in the ongoing series introduces readers to the Kingdom Keepers, five ordinary kids in Orlando, each with a talent to add to their team. The book follows Finn and the others around likely the most famous of any Disney parks, the Magic Kingdom. They face pirates, dinosaurs, witches, parents, school, and much more in their adventure to stop what the Disney Imagineers call the Overtakers.

    There's never a dull moment with this book. It is guaranteed to keep you reading all day and night as it takes you on one of the wildest rides through Disney imaginable.

    124 out of 132 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    Five young teens living in Florida get the opportunity of a lifetime--they're each going to be turned into a DHI, or a Disney Host Interactive, to guide visitors throughout the park. The five teens--Finn, Charlene, Willa, Philby, and Maybeck--are a varied assortment of ethnicities, and all attend different schools. As Maybeck states, they're "the Orlando assortment pack." When Philby points out that DHI also stands for Daylight Hologram Imaging, the kids get a little worried that maybe the people at Disney aren't telling them everything there is to know. And that turns out to be quite an understatement. <BR/><BR/>One night when Finn falls asleep, he finds himself in the park after closing-- in his DHI, or hologram, body. He meets an old man named Wayne, one of the original Disney Imagineers, who informs Finn that he and his other four DHI friends have been chosen for a mission. A mission to save the park from the Overtakers, a group of once-benign Park characters who have taken on power and are intent on spreading their power outside of the borders of Disney World. <BR/><BR/>What at first seems like a fantastical dream soon turns to reality, when the attractions at the Park begin coming to life when the DHIs cross over into the Magic Kingdom while sleeping. They're attacked by animatronic pirates from The Pirates of the Caribbean, the dolls from It's a Small World try to capsize their boat, a dinosaur fossil from the Thunder Mountain ride comes to life and starts chasing them. And then there's Maleficent, the witch from Sleeping Beauty, who appears to be all too real--and determined to stop the kids from solving The Stonecutter's Quill, the fable that Walt Disney passed along to save the Park from the Overtakers. <BR/><BR/>THE KINGDOM KEEPERS is definitely an imaginative read, full of action, adventure, and suspense. For anyone who has ever visited the Magic Kingdom, you'll recognize the settings immediately. Even if you're not a frequent visitor of Disney World, this is one book that will bring the magic--both good and bad--to very realistic life.

    67 out of 83 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Speechless

    If you're a disney lover like me you'll love this book! After reading the whole series it left me speechless and got me thinking more deeply about disney!

    63 out of 76 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good

    That was great. I enjoyed every minute reading this.

    62 out of 99 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Great for any Disney Fan!!

    Ridley Pearson has written a fantastic book about what happens at Disney after the park closes. This is a fantastic book to read for fun or whenever you need a moment to get away from the stress of life. Disney fans will especially love this book as Pearson takes you from place to place inside the Magic Kingdom.

    38 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!!!!

    THIS BOOK WAS SO AMAZINGLY AWESOME!!!!!! I am practically dying to read the second one. I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!! I am a bookworm, and have read a ton of books, and this book is one of my absolute favorites. And hey, whoever said this book was boring, BACK OFF. This series rocks. :D

    36 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    Hi

    I really like this book. I m twelve and i started readimg it in fourth grade! Now i m in sixth and i luv the series! I just got book five!










    27 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Great!

    This book is two hundred some pages. You should definetly get it. I thought it would be babyish, but its not!!! It was a great adventure, and brought back memories of disney films from when i was a kid!

    22 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    great

    i love disney and i love this book

    22 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    geet it

    i definatley recomend getting this book. although, it is only good if you are a fan of mystery books, problem solving, and you are a fan of disney. and i am. it is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!




    10 stars!!!!!! click yes if u agree :)

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    For Disney lovers of all ages

    We couldn't believe it when we heard there was a book about the Magic Kingdom. My daughter loves Disney and read the book right before we went on a trip to Disney World, I read it too and we spent a lot of our trip talking about chapters in the book when we were on rides that were mentioned in the book. We couldn't wait for the next book to come out. The book besides being interesting and exciting makes you feel like you get to see behind the scenes parts of Disney even though you are just reading about them.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2011

    book of a thousand centuries

    This book is great. You will get sucked into it like it is a black hole. It should get all the awards posible to get.

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Excellent

    I love this series and cant wit for book five i just dont see how anyone cant like this book

    10 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Great!!!!

    I read the sample and was immetiatly hooked in!! I cant wait to read the rest of the book and maybe even the series too! I would DEFINETLY recomend this book based on what i have read so far.

    7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2011

    You know...

    This is almost the same thing as kimgdom heart!KYA~!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Kingdom Hearts! Go Kingdom Keepers!

    7 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    Best series ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This book was awesome, but with every book, the quality goes down. If I could give 10 stars, I would.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Review 1335206430165

    This is a really nice book! 1335206430165

    6 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Gummy bear

    I'm a huge disney fan, and the kingdom keepers series is my #1 favorite!!!!!!

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Awesome

    I read this book a couple weeks before going to Disney and when i got there I couldn't help but try and find everywhere the Keepers had been. This was an awesome book and it's turning into my new favorite series!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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