Book Review: Ridley Pearson’s Disney in Shadow

Posted March 10, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Ridley Pearson’s Disney in Shadow

Disney in Shadow


Ridley Pearson

action & adventure, fantasy that was published by Disney-Hyperion on April 27, 2010 and has 547 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Insider

Third in the Kingdom Keepers fantasy adventure series revolving around a group of middle-schoolers charged with preventing the Overtakers from taking over Disney World.

My Take

I don’t know if I’m getting used to the story or if Pearson is easing up…

The story is about an initial group of five kids, the Keepers, who play detective in the Magic Kingdom foiling the plots of the Overtakers. There is something in the hologram code that allows the kids to dream their way over to Disney World and into their holographic counterparts. The kids have the usual issues with school and their parents, although the whole running around in hologram bodies while their physical bodies are asleep is a bit different from the usual. Even as they have terrific adventures on various rides in the Kingdom.

And it’s not just the Overtakers the Keepers have to avoid. According to their DHI contracts, they’re not allowed to walk into the park any ol’ time. And getting caught could void their contracts and stop the flow of all the college money! They also have to get out of the park before day breaks or suffer Sleeping Beauty Syndrome!

Interesting little talk Philby has with Maybeck about the chip on his shoulder. Philby makes a good point.

I do like the challenges Pearson comes up with for the kids. Uh-ohhhh, Finn’s mom, the NASA scientist, gets really suspicious! Poor Philby! Getting ready to dream one night, he gets caught out in his underwear!!

For the film-geeks, Pearson includes information on how Disney coordinates Soarin’ and the big show that is the denouement for the story.

The Story

Finn and the gang are desperate to find Wayne. The Overtakers have kidnapped him, and the kids desperately need him back. For himself. For the knowledge he has of the Kingdom.

The Characters

Wayne Kresky is the old Imagineer who started them on their original adventures, but the Overtakers have kidnapped him.

Finn Whitman is turning into a natural leader for the Kingdom Keepers with increasingly better control of turning himself into light. Charlene Turner is the “clean cheerleader” type with uncanny physical ability who has finally found her niche in the group. Isabella “Willa” Angelo. Dill Philby is the geeky sports enthusiast with a major talent for computers and he, Maybeck, and Jess finally manage to do Whitman’s light trick—in the nick of time. Terry Maybeck is the oldest of the group and is starting to consider others.

Amanda Lockhart and Jezebel “Jess” are Fairlies, something more than human. Amanda has some magical ability while Jess dreams the future. After their last adventure, their refuge was discovered and now they’re in fostercare with Mrs. Nash. Finn and company need their help and Philby is determined to film them and create DHIs of Amanda and Jez. Wanda Alcott is actually Wayne’s daughter and plays a very useful part in this installment. I’m hoping she or one of the other parents will help out with Amanda and Jess.

Aunt Bess “Jelly” Maybeck is Terry’s aunt with whom he lives. Gladis Philby is Philby’s very worried mother. Maleficent, the nasty witch from Sleeping Beauty is the chief villainess and she’s fronting for an even bigger villain, Chernabog.

Greg “Lousy” Luowski, a fellow student at their school, has a thing for Amanda, but bullies everyone. His “pilot fish” friends are Mike Horton and Eric Kreuter.

The Cover and Title

I do love these hologram covers! In this one, Finn is flying through the air hanging onto the snake’s tail while Spaceship Earth does a good job of imitating that holographic effect. Charlie and Willa are running to yet another disaster.

The title set-up drives me nuts. Again. The series name with its number are huge while the actual title of this book about five times smaller…almost a nonentity.


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