Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: Disney at Last by Ridley Pearson (The Return #3; Kingdom Keepers #11)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun climax for the Kingdom Keepers (and friends)
Cons: The ending glosses over several things
The Bottom Line:
Past and future fights
As Kingdom Keepers battle
Magical climax

Will the Kingdom Keepers Return?

We have arrived at another climax for the Kingdom Keepers.  After defeating the Overtakers in The Insider, they’ve had to travel back in time to set up their victory in 1955.  And now that trilogy is ending in Disney at Last.

Does that preceding paragraph make no sense to you?  Then you shouldn’t even think about reading this book.  Yet.  You see, this is the eleventh book about these characters, and the second battle they’ve been waging against the Disney villains, dubbed the Overtakers, who are trying to take over the Disney theme parks and destroy the Disney magic forever.  It’s rather impossible to jump in here and fully understand everything that is happening.  However, if kids fighting Disney villains in the parks at night appeals to you, you definitely need to jump back to Disney After Dark and read the series.

As this book opens, the Kingdom Keepers plus Jess and Amanda are trapped in 1955.  Philby and a very young Wayne are attempting to figure out how to reverse the time travel and get the group home to the present day.  Meanwhile, Jess and Amanda have arrived with news.  1955 is when the Overtakers were being created.  If the Kingdom Keepers can stop that from happening, maybe the bad things that have happened during the fight would be erased from history.  Of course, there is the possibility that the group would never be friends as well.

Meanwhile, in the present, Jess and Amanda’s friend Mattie is fighting a battle of her own.  A group of Fairlies are in the park and plan to use their powers to destroy it.  Can she stop them?  Are Overtakers behind the attack?  Will Mattie get any help in her fight?

Again, everything I’ve just teased above makes perfect sense if you’ve been following the series.  Some of the revelations from the previous couple of books are expanded on here, and it is interesting to see how this new picture all fits together with what we already know.

But let’s be honest, we read these books for the magical fights with Disney characters.  We get several intense scenes yet again, including a dueling climax that will have you turning pages.  I’ve often wished the Disney heroes got more page time in this series, and that wish was granted this time around.

As an adult reading these books, I’ve often said the characters could be better developed.  That’s true yet again here.  However, after all the page time I’ve spent with them, I’ve become attached, and a few of the scenes had me trying to discreetly wipe tears since my roommate was home.  The idea that this might be the end of the line for these characters certainly makes me sad.

Not to say that the ending was perfect.  A few things got glossed over.  I’m not saying I don’t like how things ended, but I’m not sure I understand how we got there.  That’s probably because any time you really start to think about time travel, my brain blows up, so we’ll just blame it on that.

That’s certainly no reason to skip Disney at Last.  Not that I could keep long time fans away from this book if I’ve tried.  And anyone who enjoys Disney will get caught up in the magic that is this series.

Need the background on these characters?  Here is the full Kingdom Keepers saga in order.

This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays.


  1. I had the first four or five in the series, but my students were not reading them. As much as I would be interested in 1955, my students aren't. 11 books is too long! My students weren't even born when the first one came out!

  2. I remember you reviewing previous books in this series. I love Disney characters, and I'm very interested in time travel. Thanks!
    - Vi

  3. I really wanted to read these but was so bored by this author's other work that I was hesitant. But honestly if I don't read them, I feel like I've got to turn in my MMC card. THanks for the honest review.