Author: Ridley Pearson
Copyright: 2005, Disney Hyperion Books
Finn Whitman and 4 other Orlando teens were chosen to become DHIs or Disney Host Interactive, hologram projections that guide guests in the Magic Kingdom of Disney World. But DHI also stands for Daylight Hologram Imaging and it has some side effects. For one, when the kids go to sleep at night, they are transported into the Magic Kingdom in DHI form. But what happens to them as DHIs happens to them in real life. It wouldn't have been so bad if the Disney villains weren't plotting destruction of the Park and the world. It's up to Finn and the other kids to stop them, but the villains wouldn't stop without a fight.
It's a very interesting book, well researched and imaginative. There is something I didn't understand and was detracting.
Maybeck, an African American kid, was taller than Finn by a full head and had the big-guy attitude to go along with it. For some reason he made a point of telling Finn that he was a Baptist. Finn, who wasn't terribly religious, wasn't sure what to do with that information, nor even what it meant. (pg18)In a way it provided background information and character depth to both Maybeck and Finn, but any other description would work too. Do Baptist kids go around telling their peers they were Baptist?? Even if that was a character choice, it didn't drive or influence Maybeck's choices later on.
Also, the other kids were not described in this way.
Charlene was described as very pretty, a knockout, "Not many girls looked like Charlene," sandy blond hair, blue eyes, pale skin
Willa, the other girl: a little geeky, extremely smart, sweet, not knockout gorgeous like Charlene, moody, hooded brown eyes, dark & braided hair, might have been Asian or Native American
Philby, the last boy: looked older than all of them but the same age, had a British accent or something close to it
So like Finn, I don't know what to do with the information of Maybeck's religion or what the author means. Maybeck's description could have ended after the first sentence. But instead, it was like the author "made a point of telling" us that Maybeck was a Baptist, and proceeded to play up Maybeck's "big-guy attitude" and uncooperativeness.
And white girl Charlene was so much more beautiful than Willa, whose ethnicity was indeterminate. Asian and Native American are not exactly close to each other. Even though the story was in the first person point of view of white boy Finn, wouldn't this Orlando teen who frequently visits Disney World be more exposed to the many different people all over the world in the form of tourism?
Anyway, it's a good adventure story. I was swept up in the dangers they faced and really rooted for them. There are more books in the Kingdom Keepers series, so though loose ends are tied up in this first book, there are hints for the second.
To read or not to read? For the description of Disney World you wouldn't get from visiting the park (like the trash evacuation system) and for an interesting plot, read. If you don't want to get caught up in a series, don't read. Haha! They're good sized books, 300-400 pages. Disney fans would enjoy it though. It caters to our imaginations. Who wouldn't want to roam an empty Disney World and see the characters come to life?