Ridley Pearson, Power Play

Posted May 8, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Power Play (Kingdom Keepers, #4)Power Play by Ridley Pearson
Series: Kingdom Keepers, 4
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fourth in the Kingdom Keepers children’s fantasy series about Disney World and a team of six children who battle the evil Overtakers out to free their evil leaders.

My Take
Oops, I think the kids are getting tired of saving Disney World over and over. Certainly they are losing the magic they used to see in it even as many of the Disney characters in the amusement park are pledging their faith in the Kingdom Keepers—and it’s about time!

Primarily, this story is about loyalty and honor. Being there for your friends. It may be scary, but being reliable and responsible take precedence. And slowly, the pool of parents in the know grows.

The Story
The adventures had settled down since the kids, the Kingdom Keepers, managed to get Maleficent and Chernabog imprisoned, but now, somehow, something is stealing them one at a time in their sleep. Bringing them over to the Kingdom. And it’s not Philby’s doing.

There has to be some reason the Overtakers are stealing them one by one and it’s only together that the Kingdom Keepers will learn the reason and, hopefully, foil their plans. But the Overtakers have thrown in some twists: they’re monitoring the kids’ computers, recruiting students, and using spells to coerce the Keepers.

It’s up to the kids. They’ll have to explore the park, play the games, deduce the clues, and protect each other. Even as they’re chased through the park, crawl through the garbage chutes, steal into the server room, and paddle downriver.

The Characters
Wayne Kresky is the original Imagineer who came up with the idea of the DHIs and created their ability to come over to the Park in their sleep.

The Kingdom Keepers are the kids and their DHIs. Disney Host Interactives, a.k.a., Daylight Hologram Imaging. The DHIs are light-generated holograms of the original five kids who act as guides or hosts at Disney World. In return for the use of their images, the kids receive royalties for their college funds and have a perpetual pass to the Parks, HOWEVER, they may only visit at certain times as Disney doesn’t want to confuse visitors to the Kingdom with the real kids and their DHIs.

Finn Whitman has become the Kingdom Keepers’ leader while Charlene Turner is the “clean cheerleader type’ who has finally become comfortable in her role. Finn’s mom had to be admitted to their secrets and she’s been a big help with transportation and eluding Finn’s dad. Isabella “Willa” Angelo is brilliant with words and has a secret passion for Philby. Philby is their computer guru with a backdoor into Disney’s data banks who secretly likes Willa. Terry Maybeck is the oldest of the group. Amanda Lockhart and Jezebel “Jess” are Fairlies and still stuck in fostercare with Mrs. Nash. (As fairlies, they had been in a group home where they were constantly tested and probed to explore their powers. Unsurprisingly, they ran away…) Finn and Philby managed to turn them into DHIs so they can utilize their special skills. Wanda Alcott is Wayne’s daughter and works for Disney. Aunt Bess “Jelly” Maybeck is Terry’s aunt with whom he lives; she runs a paint-your-own-pottery shop where the kids can meet. Gladis Philby is Philby’s paranoid mother who has an epiphany.

Greg “Lousy” Luowski, a fellow student at their school, has a thing for Amanda, but bullies everyone and is perfect as a candidate for a takeover. Hugo Montcliff is a friend of Philby’s who finds refuge at his home. Spence Randolph likes Willa. Sally Ringwald is another student at Finn’s school. Dillard Cole used to be Finn’s best friend, before the DHI gig.

The Overtakers are “a group of fanatical Disney villain characters in the Parks” who are determined to steal the magic and expand their world into the real world. In this installment, the active evil ones are Snow White’s Evil Queen and Cruella De Vil. Suddenly more characters are stepping in, some threatening, some helping. Judge Claude Frollo is also on Willa’s trail, but she gets help and a lot more from Ariel. Minnie also helps out, but fears for Mickey. Jafar creates a small problem. Mulan and Pluto are much more helpful.

The Cover
The cover only uses the holographic effect in the title this time. Willa is fleeing the Queen who is preparing to throw a spell at her. The huge sorcerer’s hat is in the background with arcs of glittering lights on either side.

The title is what it’s all about, a Power Play to bring Maleficent and Chernabog back.

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