Sunday, March 12, 2023

Book Review: The Shimmer by Ridley Pearson (Kingdom Keepers Inheritance #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Action and Disney magic
Cons: Characters, and their connections, could be a little stronger
The Bottom Line:
Magic in future
Facing evil once again
Good start for saga

Danger Shimmering into Disney Parks

When Ridley Pearson announced he was returning to his Kingdom Keepers world with Inheritance, a new series that looks at what happens to the kids of the characters we know so well, I naturally paid attention.  After all, I enjoyed those earlier books.  What Disney fan wouldn’t love spending time in the various Disney parks at night?  The first in this new series is The Shimmer, and we are off to a fun start.

If you haven’t read the original series, it involves young teens who were hired to be holographic hosts.  But they discovered a weird side effect – they would cross over into the Disney parks as they slept.  In reality, they had been unknowingly recruited to fight against Disney villains who were trying to take over the Disney parks.  They are fun and imaginative filled stories that appealed to the Disnerd in me.

In the near future, Eli Whitman lives in the newly built EPCOT.  It is outside the original park and been designed to fulfill Walt Disney’s original dream for a community that live, work, and play together.  His birthday coincides with a solar eclipse, which will be passing right over Walt Disney World.  Naturally, everyone is excited.

However, Eli’s party doesn’t go as planned.  First, his parents are called away for a secret meeting the day before, and they aren’t back in time as promised.  Then, the video game he is playing with his friends comes to life and he is pulled through a shimmer in the air.  Who took him?  And where did he wind up?

I’m going to leave the teaser there since there is so much fun stuff to discover in this book, and it is best to find it on your own.  The book twisted in a couple of places I wasn’t expecting it to, and I enjoyed that.  I’m still a little unclear exactly where the threat is ultimately coming from, but the characters aren’t sure about that either, so it is okay.  The plot has a couple of nods to the original Kingdom Keepers stories but forges its own path.

Part of that is the time.  Since our new heroes are the kids of the original Kingdom Keepers, these books are set a couple of decades into the future.  That allows Ridley Pearson to have some fun imaging how technology will change in that time, and I loved living in those dreams.

I was a little overwhelmed when the book started with all the characters we were meeting.  Fortunately, there are a core cast who step to the front of the action once the story gets going, and I was able to remember who they were easily.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite connect them to their parents as easily; it’s been too long since I read the earlier Kingdom Keepers books.  But that doesn’t impact the story that much.  The characters could be a little stronger, but that’s a minor complaint.

Speaking of the original characters, they are minor characters here who have more than just a cameo, which I appreciated.  I get that it isn’t their story any more, but I enjoyed getting to see them in action a little.

And yes, there is plenty of action here.  You’ll be turning pages quickly several times as you read this book.

While the action here is resolved, this book obviously serves to introduce a larger story.  And I will be here for every book in the new saga.  If you fell under the spell of the original Kingdom Keepers books, you’ll be glad you started the Inheritance series with The Shimmer.

Enjoy all the Kingdom Keepers books.

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


  1. Sounds intriguing, I have yet to read Kingdom Keepers but will check and see if it is available at the library. Happy MMGM

  2. I'm a big Disney fan and park goer so I will definitely be reading this series. Thanks for featuring your review on this week's MMGM.

  3. Haven't read the original Kingdom Keep saga, but this new series sounds like an exciting read. Will have to check out the first books. Thanks for the great recommendation, as I do believe I have a grandchild who'd love this series.

  4. I've never seen this series before, but it sounds like such an original and compelling premise! Thanks for the wonderful review, Mark!

  5. This sounds like a fun series. Although I am not a big Disney fan, I can see their appeal! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I've never seen either series, these look like so much fun.

  7. I was not aware of this series. I have some young friends who would really enjoy these. Thanks for the heads up.


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