Book Review: The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Rating: 4.5/5

A surprisingly thrilling read that I finished within a day.

Book CWs

  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Character death
  • Abuse
  • Manipulation
  • Animal death
  • Animal cruelty

Premise

The Kingdom is a fantasy theme park that offers its guest their own happily ever after. As part of the experience, The Kingdom “employs” seven android princesses known as the Fantasists designed specifically to make people as happy as possible.

When a new (human) employee named Owen shows up at the park, Ana, one of the Fantasists, begins to feel things androids aren’t supposed to feel. Things like love.

Being one of the oldest Fantasists, Ana knows that she must keep her mouth shut or risk being destroyed and replaced. But when Owen is suddenly murdered and with all evidence pointing to Ana, she may have no choice.

Review (No Spoilers)

Honestly, I don’t remember why I picked up this book. My partner tells me that it was during the Barnes & Noble #bookhaul so I must have read the flap and liked it. I mean, a book about princess androids and murder sounds pretty darn interesting, doesn’t it?

The books timeline jumps between Ana working at the park as a Fantasist and Ana on trial for Owen’s murder. The pre-murder chapters count down to the trial which really worked for me in creating suspense. There were also several sketchy things happening even before Owen’s murder that made this book a lot more thrilling than I thought it would be. If I were an audio book narrator, I feel like I’d be tempted to say “dun dun dunnn” at the end of several chapters.

One thing that I thought was weird about Ana was that she was pretty bad at putting things together. It took her a lot longer than it took me to understand what was happening but I can blame that on the fact that she was probably programmed to be naive. I think the ending had a lot more potential but I still very much enjoyed the story.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

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