The Kingdom Keepers
|Genre||Fantasy, young-adult fiction, mystery, thriller|
|Publisher||Disney Editions and Disney Hyperion|
|Published||2005 - 2014|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)
The Kingdom Keepers is a series of children's novels written by Ridley Pearson. The New York Times Bestselling series is published through Disney Editions and Disney Hyperion, and the first book was released on August 29, 2005. Its plot follows the adventures of five teens who, by day, are holographic hosts in the Disney Theme Parks. By night, they battle Disney Villains for control of the parks, the Disney entertainment empire, and the world. The series franchise also includes several other elements such as an online game and an interactive educational tour provided for school groups through Disney's Youth Education Series.
Disney after Dark
Five young teens; Finn, Willa, Charlene, Maybeck, and Philby, have been selected to serve as holographic theme park guides, Disney Hosts Interactives (DHI), in Walt Disney World. Thanks to a glitch in the DHI technology, they find themselves transported into the Magic Kingdom each night and pitted in a war against various Disney villains, called the Overtakers, to save both Walt Disney World and the world at large. They are helped by Wayne, who tells them about a riddle called "The Stonecutter's Quill."
Disney at Dawn
Things have been relatively quiet for the past few months, until things go wrong at DHI day at the Magic Kingdom. The Overtakers are back, and this time the stakes are even higher. Jez, a friend of the Keepers and Amanda's sister, has gone missing. The group searches for clues to her disappearance while also trying to keep the Overtakers at bay in the Animal Kingdom, where the Overtakers have accessed the computer servers with the intent to wreak havoc. It's a race against time when the Keepers realize that the Overtakers also control the DHI server, which means that if the hosts fall asleep they could stay asleep forever. The Keepers must find Jez and destroy the Overtaker's server, all before falling asleep.
Disney in Shadow
After Wayne, their friend, mentor, and head Imagineer, disappeared during the events at Animal Kingdom, Finn, Philby, Willa, Charlene, and Maybeck suspect the worst. The Overtakers would like nothing more than to eliminate Wayne, or worse, to use his power to their own ends. Their search takes the Keepers, plus Amanda and Jess, into Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot, where they must fight through puzzles, giant snakes, and deal with Maleficent while discovering new truths about themselves that could tear everything apart.
As the Keepers start their freshman year of high school, Philby receives a strange video warning him that the Overtakers are once again trying to cause trouble by trying to rescue some of their captive leaders. The stakes are raised as the Overtakers begin to spread their influence outside of the parks, recruiting the Keeper's friends and classmates to their side. Curses are cast, friends are betrayed, and the Keepers are in a race to get one step ahead of the Overtakers.
Spring Break for the Keepers means a DHI cruise from Florida through the Panama canal to Los Angeles, with stops in exotic locations including Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. However, for the Keepers the vacation may not be as much of a break as they'd hoped. With an ongoing battle for Walt Disney World's engineering base back home and Overtakers aboard the ship plotting something catastrophic, the Keepers are in a battle for their lives and the lives of the guests aboard the ship.
The five Kingdom Keepers and their core friends have uncovered a startling truth: Maleficent and the Overtakers (Disney villains) are plotting a catastrophic event that could have repercussions far beyond the world of Disney.
The Keepers have enjoyed three years of relative quiet, but as they get ready to graduate high school, the Overtakers, and a nightmare they left buried in an ancient temple in Mexico, are rising again. This time they are headed to Disneyland; the park where it all began. The Overtakers are done playing games, and the Keepers are in more danger than ever. The only one who may be able to save the kingdom, is none other than Disney's most beloved icon; but he's been missing for years and time is running out.
- Disney after Dark (August 29, 2005)
- Disney at Dawn (August 26, 2008)
- Disney in Shadow (April 6, 2010)
- Power Play (April 5, 2011)
- Shell Game (April 3, 2012)
- Dark Passage (April 2, 2013)
- The Insider (April 1, 2014)
Pearson announced at the 2013 D23 Expo that he's working on a three book follow-up series, the first installment of which is scheduled to release in Spring 2015. Pearson also stated at his St. Louis book signing for the seventh book in the series that the series is to be titled The Return and he would not reveal the location of the books. At his tour stop in Coral Gables, Pearson said that he is planning on making two more novellas one from the point of view of Amanda, and the other from the POV of Mattie, another Fairlie who is a friend of Amanda and Jess.
Kingdom Keepers Online
On April 6, 2010 Disney released an online game entitled Kingdom Keepers Online. The game is collaborative, as all players control one of five selectable characters through 2,500 levels. Each level is procedurally generated and game play is action based.
Kingdom Keepers Insider
On March 24, 2013 Disney and interactive tech company Coliloquy launched Kingdom Keepers Insider, a website and mobile app that enables readers to interact with Pearson and impact how the final book in the series will be written. Users can vote on elements such as potential plot points and may also submit ideas for character dialogue. The site features other elements such as chapter outlines posted by Pearson.
The Return (Sequel)
The author of the Kingdom Keepers Series, Ridley Pearson, is making a sequel trilogy called The Return. The first book, Disney Lands, takes place after the original series, as it shows Jess and Amanda at Disney School of Imagineering (a fictional place) where they assist the Keepers in getting files for Philby. The Kingdom Keepers go back to the opening day of Disneyland in California where they see Wayne in teenage form.
- "The Kingdom Keepers; by Ridley Pearson ages 10 and older". Washington Post (subscription required). December 11, 2005. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Maria, Moncaliano. "Ridley Pearson: Writing is an adventure". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Best Sellers April 24, 2011". NYT. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "The kid lit rock star behind 'Kingdom Keepers'". 9 News. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Bevil, Dewayne (April 1, 2011). "Disney details are key to 'Kingdom Keepers'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Ayers, Jeff (Nov 2010). "A writer of many parts". The Writer 123 (11): 18. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "The Kingdom Keepers (reviews)". School Library Journal, Horn Book Guide. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "The Kingdom Keepers (review)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn (review)". Booklist. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Kingdom Keepers II (review)". Horn Book Guide. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Kingdom Keepers III (review)". School Library Journal. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game | Disney Publishing Worldwide". Books.disney.com. 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Kingdom Keepers VI: Dark Passage | Disney Publishing Worldwide". Books.disney.com. 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Kingdom Keepers VII | Disney Publishing Worldwide". Books.disney.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Ridley Pearson & the Kingdom Keepers Quest". YouTube. 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- Brown-Worthington, Elizabeth. "Author Ridley Pearson: Prolific writer involving his readers for his last 'Kingdom Keepers' book". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Werris, Wendy. "Coliloquy Adds Ridley Pearson, Rock Bottom Remainders E-Books". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Henderson, Jane. "Ridley Pearson welcomes readers aboard". St Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Official website
- Official author website
- Video interview with Ridley Pearson about Kingdom Keepers 3
- Radio interview with Ridley Pearson