Book Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K Rowling

The Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the Harry Potter franchise, it was written by J.K Rowling and released in the summer of 2003. This will have spoilers so if you don’t want to see those you may want to skip this

In the book Harry is facing the ministry of magic in a wizarding court after he casts magic outside of school to save his cousin Dudley from the dementors kiss.

Before the hearing Harry is collected by a group of wizards and witches known as the Order of the Phoenix who take him to number 12 Grimmauld Place the childhood home of his god father Sirius Black. The Order of Phoenix is a secret organisation created by Headmaster Albus Dumbledore with the goal to fight against Lord Voldemort and his Army. The order has gained many members over the years but some of the most recognisable names are Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Abefore Dumbledore, Mad Eye Moody, Lily and James Potter, Arthur and Molly Weasly and Nymphadora Tonks.

After the trial a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher called Delores Umbridge was hired at Hogwarts, as a member of the Ministry of Magic she believes herself to be of a much higher hierarchy and while she puts on a sweet natured appearance she is actually one of the most sadistic and evil characters in the franchise.

Of course Harry does eventually manage to get his name cleared when evidence that he was defending Dudley is brought to light but its quite clever how this trial plays into the beliefs and emotions of other characters. Some students start to believe that Harry may have killed Cedric Diggory during the Tri Wizard Cup and due to strange dreams he is having which all end up becoming true even Headmaster Albus Dumbledore keeps his distance for the majority of the school year even though it was for good reasons explained much later into the novel.

Delores takes a particular dislike to Harry Potter during detentions she make him write lines that would then cut into his arms and wrists leaving him bleeding and in pain, she even goes as far as to attempt the cruciatis curse but is quickly stopped. For those who don’t know the cruciatis curse is one of the most dangerous illegal spells due to its intense pain and eventually turning its receivers to insanity, the most famous case was how it was used to torture and destroy the minds of Alice and Frank Longbottom.

Another character worth mentioning here is Grawp the half brother of Hagrid, Grawp is a full blooded giant but is still considered short in stature for the species, in the book he lives in the forbidden forest and is being taken care of by Hagrid, Grawp has some serious communication difficulties and struggles with understanding his own strength and peoples personal boundaries.

Of course the book also very sadly gives us the murder of Sirius Black who was killed by Bellatrix la strange in the department of mysteries. This death always hits me quite hard since Sirius Black is easily one of my favourite characters in the franchise.

Some of the differences to the movie worth highlighting are that once again in the movies I think the fact that in the book both Ron and Hermione become prefects is worth mentioning, of course Sytherin gets Prefect Draco as well giving the bully even more power than hes ever deserved.

In the film Neville steals one of Dobby the House Elf’s biggest moments that being the discovery of the Room or Requirement where Harry eventually teaches students how to produce protronuses and other difficult spells as he build Dumbledores Army.

A change that really caught me of guard was that in the book Cho Chang is not the person who told Umbridge about Dumbledores army and infact it was actually another Ravenclaw student called Marietta Edgecombe.

Another detail left from the movie was the reveal that Umbridge sent the dementors after Harry Potter as the Ministry didn’t want the return of Voldemort to become public knowledge, just going to show how evil she really is and how messed up the Ministry can be as well.

Overall I did enjoy this book but so far it has been my least favourite and it just never grabbed my attention like previous titles in the series. Coming back to Harry Potter from the last book this was disappointing in the sense that it just kinda drags in places and is a little hard to follow, it just seems like so much is going on and its hard keep track at times. It does have some great action sequences and one of my favourite villains being Umbridge, also the scenes that show Snape’s past with Lily Potter are very well written and show the potions master in a much more sympathetic light. I also think its important that James Potter was shown to be a bully to Snape as it does really explain his hatred towards Harry since his birth practically brought on James death along with Lily leaving Snape heartbroken.

I would argue that this is a really good book but I just much preferred the Goblet of Fire and just hope that the 6th book in series manages to become a new favourite of mine.

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Book Reviews: The Devils Whispers by Lucas Hault

I was very kindly sent this book by the publisher TCK Publishing.

Here is a link to their website and a link to purchase the book on Amazon

A famous Lawyer Gerard Woodward is requested to visit Lord Mathers to discuss his final affairs as he lays upon his deathbed.

This professional visit quickly becomes a nightmare when Gerard notices odd behaviours around the castle, he is locked in his room every night and is forbidden to explore without supervision.

After climbing across the castle walls from his window Gerard finds access into the castle and soon realises that he has been trapped amongst some of the most despicable and evil creatures he has ever come across.

These creatures are called Xana and originated from Asturian Mythology and often disguise themselves as a woman to lure in lonely young men.

This book is very heavily inspired by Dracula and has a lot of similarities it begins in a castle with the protagonist, a professional man trying to sort out legal affairs and in both books this protagonist soon realises the sinister activities that are at play.

In Dracula the vampire cannot stand garlic and in this book the Xana cannot stand onions, both stories also use diary entries to tell the story from the perspective of various people.

In light of the author this diary style is a lot harder to write than you would expect, it takes a lot more planning than a standard book due to the fact of having to focus on various writers you need to change styles in order to fit said person and their perspective of events. Also making sure that everything that is written makes sense while always ensuring that you can consistently switch narratives without getting mixed up or lost in your own explanations and story telling.

Lucas Hault actually writes these diary entries really well, it was actually quite nice to read another book in this style as I think a lot of authors are intimidated by it, personally I haven’t read a book like this since Dracula so I appreciated to go back to this style and to see it written so well.

The book has not had the best reviews, I did a bit of research and found that a lot of people were complaining that it was so similar to Dracula and while I do agree that it definitely needs to be looked at for a re-write in this aspect, I also think a lot people are not giving credit where it is due.

The book comes across like a fan re-write of the Bram Stoker classic but it is creative in a lot of areas, first of all the choice to use a folklore creature is a very unique idea and not what I expected, also when the story gets interesting it does get you hooked. The problem I have is that the beginning and ending of the book completely held my attention but the middle segment really seemed to drag and quickly became uninteresting, I found myself enjoying Gerard’s character and even though I enjoyed the writing when other character were telling their diary pages I just wanted to go back to Gerard’s again and see what he was doing.

So this leaves me at a bit of an awkward moment because I cant really say that I fully enjoyed this book, I read it twice just to make sure and my opinion still stands that Lucas Hault is a good writer, his writing style is fine he is a new author and will get a lot better over time. This book could have been something really unique if it had a little bit more originality the Xana being the creature is great but it definitely feels like Lucas Hault read Dracula and then decided to have a crack at it himself, he had a somewhat original story but its structure is too close to a much more better written and historically beloved book which The Devils Whisper does not in anyway come close to even competing with.

I will end this with a message to the Author, Lucas you have talent and clearly you are creative but if possible I recommend a re-write of this so that it can have a much clearer identity and wont be compared to what its inspired by. If you decide to write another horror I would recommend trying to do something different than is expected, try and write something which does compare to other stories and one day you very well could find yourself a very successful author.

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Book Review: The Hunger Games – MockingJay

Lets finish this trilogy

Checkout my Review of Hunger Games  https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2018/01/23/book-review-the-hunger-games-by-suzanne-collins/

Checkout my Review of Catching Fire  https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2020/05/11/book-review-the-hunger-games-catching-fire/

The Hunger Games – MockingJay was written by author Suzanne Collins as the final chapter in the story of the heroine Katniss Everdeen in her quest to destroy the Capital and shut down the Hunger Games. The book was released in 2010.

Katniss and her family are slowly adjusting to life in district 13, The district has been turned into a hidden headquarters for survivors of the Hunger Games and members of the rebellion which wants to help tear down the capital scum who have imprisoned other survivor’s of the games including close friend and love interest to Katniss Peeta, unfortunately for Katniss Peeta’s imprisonment and torture is used as a weapon against her since the capital now realises that she is a serious threat to President Snow.

I loved this book, it might be my favourite entry in the series due to the fact that it really puts the stakes up for Katniss, the previous book did as well this but now that Peeta is captured and tortured, it makes her even angrier towards the capital. His mental health deteriorates so badly that he changes as a person. This causes Katniss to question her love for him which goes against what the capital expects, they start to panic and become more violent as the plot progresses.

In the previous books President Snow is really sinister and quite scary but I feel that is the first time he begins to show fear by stepping out of line with his threats, I don’t want to spoil too much but a great example of this is when he blows up a children’s hospital just to send a message to Katniss.

There are a lot of deaths in this and some of them are really upsetting, I honestly feel that Suzanne Collins handled the characters she kills off very well compared to some other authors who feel like they kill people off just for sake of it without it having much narrative on the protagonist or the story.

Definitely a great ending to what is a fantastic trilogy of books, I would highly recommend reading these but I think you should consider how violent they are when deciding if your little ones are old enough to enjoy these stories themselves.

With that I am done with the Hunger Games books, I might discuss the movies one day but for now I am just happy that I managed review all three books.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Hunger Games: MockingJay by Suzanne Collins

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Book Review: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire

Only two years late on this one, here is my review of the first book

https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2018/01/23/book-review-the-hunger-games-by-suzanne-collins/

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, it was written by author Suzanne Collins and was released in 2009.

After successfully winning the 74th Hunger Games Peeta and Katniss return home to District 12 where every seems back to normal until she recieves a surprise visit from President Snow who was unimpressed with Katniss actions against the capitol and now wants her to convince the districts that it was out of love for Peeta.

Without spoiling too much of the plot I will say that I vastly enjoyed this book more than the first, there is a lot of intense and emotional moments in this story and I would argue that this is the book that really shows how messed up the Hunger Games truly is and how sinister and psychotic behaviour is the source of its creation.

There are a lot of deaths in this book that definitely did not need to happen but were necessary to show the immense power the capital has over the districts of Panem. In the first book it didn’t really show an emotional and human side to the other competitors but in this story you really feel for everyone that is involved and are left not only rooting for Katniss and Peeta. There is also a look into past hunger games which helps show us how the characters such as Hamish survived in previous games.

Overall this is an emotional book that is at times scary and even gruesome but you really feel sorry for the characters almost as if you are watching the games yourself, I do wish that I never waited so long to read this one but the third and final book I am going to finish at some point this year so look forward to that.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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Book Review: God’s Timing by Janet. E. Green

A huge thank you to the Publishing Push for sending me a review copy of this book.

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I was one of a very lucky group of people to be sent a copy of this book which has not yet been released so I cant give away too many details however I will explain things the best way that I can.

I will start by saying that I really enjoyed parts of this book more than I did others. The main focus of the story is on a young girl who is suffering with anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness which I feel in this day and age is very relatable and some people will connect with this character and feel their pain.

To be honest all of the characters in the book are really interesting and are extremely likeable, some are love interests or family to other characters in the story but some are there to help the young girl in this story to overcome her problems and become a much healthier and happier person.

The settings are really well described and it helps the reader to picture the various locations of the story and some of these places are dull and depressing which works well for certain parts of the book and others are full of wonder and creativity which I personally really enjoyed.

So for the most part I really enjoyed this book however I like to be honest even when I get sent stuff to review and a recurring theme of this book really did not work for me and that was the Bible stories.

Before I continue I want to elaborate that I have no issue with religion and I feel that it can be worked into any story if done in a way that is more subtle and a little less forced.

In the book the main character meets a person that wants to understand their mental illnesses and help them to overcome those problems but a lot of the time the way this is done is with Bible stories being told to the main character.

These sections really dragged on more than I felt was necessary and while I will admit that I have not read the original stories it seemed as if the entirety of those stories were being told.

On top of this I struggled to understand some of the morals of these stories and how they were meant to help the main character.

Perhaps if I did know the Bible stories it would make more sense but you shouldn’t need to know material from one thing to understand another thing and that is why I think the book didn’t keep my interest.

I also felt that it really affected the story because for the most part the book was great and I wish it kept its focus on the original characters and ideas instead of bouncing between that and the Bible.

I think that 60 percent of this book is great but the other 40 percent really holds it back, my biggest issue was the constant jump between this story and the Bible stories, I think a religious theme could of worked extremely well if it was executed a little bit differently, for example the main character could have joined a church or made friends with a pastor among other ideas like that but the stories were just too much because in the nicest way I can put this if I wanted to read Bible stories I would just read the Bible.

Again huge thank-you to the Publishing Push for sending me another book.

I feel a little bad for not enjoying this one as much as other books I have read but honesty is a huge part of my job and it would not feel right to pretend I enjoyed something that I didn’t.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Gods Timing by Janet. E. Green

If you would like to help support the website please use the donation button at the top of the page, your donations will help to improve the website by allowing me to afford products to review and to be able to execute any costly updates and changes, any amount in donations are welcome.

Thank You for all of your support.

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Book Review : The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L.Frank Baum

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was the first book in a series of stories by L.Frank Baum, later reprints of the book took the name the Wizard of Oz instead which was the title of a highly beloved Broadway musical adaptation of the story.

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In the story a young girl called Dorothy who lives a grey and boring life in Kansas gets transported to the colourful world of Oz when she and her dog Toto are picked up in a cyclone.

The house they were in lands on the Wicked Witch of the East and kills her, an event which attracts the Good Witch of the North, Dorothy explains how she wants to go home and is encouraged to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald city and seek the help of the Wizard of Oz.

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This all sound very similar to those who are familiar with the 1939 film starring Judy Garland, however I was surprised with how different the book was to this film adaptation.

I don’t want to give away too many of differences but I would like to talk about some of them with as few spoilers as possible.

The biggest surprise is the lack of a Wicked Witch of the West, she is in the book but only appears in one chapter half-way through the story so after her demise the groups journey is still not over.

There are various different lands and species in this book that do not appear in the film, one area that stands out is a land that is completely made out of porcelain china.

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A pre-warning that the book carries quite a heavy body count of various creatures that are slain by the four heroes of the story (Scarecrow, Lion, Tin-Man and Dorothy), these are not too graphic but younger readers may find them a little bit disturbing.

I love the 1939 film but I think I prefer this version as I felt that this adventure was so much more interesting and intense. I loved the character developments and the conversations they would have, one of my favourite moments in the book was when the Tin-Man and the Scarecrow were debating whether its better to have a brain or a heart, the characters have back stories in this too explaining how they became the way that they are, the Tin-Man’s backstory is particularly quite tragic.

This is a wonderful book and to be honest I was expecting to read a story I already knew and was pleasantly surprised when I read this and it was almost completely different and that reason alone is a great reason to pick up a copy and check it out for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L.Frank Baum

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Book Review: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

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A Whole New World is the first of Disney’s Twisted Tales book series, It was written by Author Liz Braswell and was released on September 1st 2015. The book follows the story of Aladdin if he had never kept the lamp after the cave of wonders.

magic-lamp-from-the-story-of-aladdin-with-genie-appearing-in-blue-smoke-concept-for-wishing-luck-a_u-l-q103irw0Readers will be taken deep into Aladdin’s past which is something that wasnt really touched upon in the Disney animated movie. The book teaches the reader about Aladdin’s mother and his younger days. Author Liz Braswell describes Agrabah in a way that older readers can connect with, its a tough city that is rough and at times dangerous, the poor people are dying every day because of a lack of food and un-sanitary living conditions. The city has been neglected due to the Sultan being selfish and caring more for his toys than the people he vowed to protect.

The book at first follows the story of the movie but after the scene in the Cave of Wonders Aladdin is left without the lamp and the story of Aladdin takes a very different and much darker turn. This version of the story has scenes of Death, Pain, Suffering and Violence, beloved characters from the film are met with a lot of misfortune and some of them are left to an even worse fate, so for younger readers I would suggest reading the book with them and making it clear that only the Disney movie is canon and the events in the book are not to be taken to seriously.

But with all this in mind I really enjoyed this book, I felt it dragged on at times but all in all it was a good read for fans of the movie and it can still be enjoyed if you are yet to see the film.

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was the first book in a long and beloved series of books written by one of the greatest authors of our generation JK Rowlingshot-a-014n

I cant imagine that anyone one on the planet doesn’t know the story of Harry Potter but just to be safe the first book is about an eleven year old boy who suffers tremendous abuse from both his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon who legally became his guardians after his parents Lily and James were killed by an evil Wizard known as Lord Voldermort, Voldermort tries to kill Harry as a baby but Harry survives hence why he is known as the boy who lived, while he grows up with the Dursleys who make him sleep under the stairs, praise their other son Dudley for hurting him and are genuinely terrible people, the only surviving memory Harry has of his parents is a lighting bolt shaped scar on his forehead that he was left with after the attack.

After receiving countless mysterious letters in the mail all of which are destroyed by his Uncle, Harry eventually finds out that he is a wizard and is sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry so that he can learn to become the legendary hero he was born to be, by now we have been introduced to one of the most important characters of the franchise Hagrid the grounds keeper and not too long after that we meet some of the other very important characters including Hermione Granger an intelligent but rather bossy young witch, Ronald Weasley who is very clumsy but has a good heart, Draco Malfoy the snobby school bully who thinks that his family is better than everyone else, Neville Longbottom who is the most important character in the franchise other than Harry but we will get to that another day, Severus Snape a potions master who really dislikes Harry, Albus Dumbledore the Head Master of the school and most importantly in this book is Professor Quirrell a seemingly nervous wreck of teacher who stutters every sentence and is constantly on edge.

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Hogwarts has four school houses Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor each student is placed in one these houses depending on their personalities the bravest and most courageous students are placed in Gryffindor, the most knowledgeable and witty students are placed in Ravenclaw, the most caring and loyal of students are placed in Hufflepuff and the most ambitious students are placed in Slytherin but a clever detail JK Rowling has hinted at in the series is that Gryffindor is the only house you can choose to join since you have to choose to be brave and if you have seen the movie or read the book then you know that this small detail plays a very important part in the Harry Potter story.

While on break after learning new spells and how to make potions Harry, Ron and Hermione accidentally enter a forbidden area on the fourth floor corridor and what they find behind the door is what leads them to start trying to unravel the mystery of the Philosophers Stone and who they believe may be trying to steal it.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is one of the most important books in existence, not only was it the start of Harry’s journey into becoming a wizard but more importantly it was the start of JK Rowlings journey of becoming one of the most influential writers of all time.

This is a fantastic book, its well written to point where JK Rowling doesn’t explain things in a lot of detail so the reader is able to use their imagination to create a vision of the magical world in their own minds instead of how the author sees it, the characters are perfect you will find Hermione annoying just like Ron does but you will learn to warm up to her through out the book, Draco Malfoy and Dursleys are all really unlikable and you will hate them which is great because you are supposed to dislike them and Albus Dumbledore really does seem like a very wise old wizard who has a unique perspective on life,however there are one or two plot holes in this first installment but obviously due to spoilers I won’t go into them, if you are unsure as to whether you want to check out the Harry Potter books this is a really good place to start because not only is it the first of the franchise but its also the shortest and in my personal opinion one of the very best.

Thank you for reading this review of Harry Potter and Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

and yes Christmas reviews are coming, I promise 🙂

Book Review: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of the most famous books of all time and its also one of my personal favorites, please follow me down the rabbit hole as I review this masterpiece of classic English literature.

So if you dont already know the book follows the adventures of a curious young girl called Alice through a magical world of weird and unusual things.

Alice is a very mature person but she is also very naive and she has unrealistic views on how the world should work.

One day she is sitting on the bank with her sister who is reading a very boring book with no pictures, Alice complains about this and talks about how in her perfect world books would be nothing but pictures, she ends up seeing a white rabbit in a waist coat run past the bank, this makes Alice curious and so she follows the rabbit down a rabbit hole and into the unusual world of Wonderland.

Without giving away any spoilers I will say that the novel is very different to the Walt Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, where the Disney film is very light hearted and comical, the book has a bit more of a darker tone and it also tackles a lot of adult themes including Puberty (Even though its written as a metaphor, its still obvious what the book is trying to portray)

I’m not saying that the book isn’t kid friendly but I would say that you may want to read this one with your child.

There are a lot of new characters in this book that you wont recognize from the film, the most memorable for me are the Mock Turtle and Gryphon.

Alice is a lot more bearable in the book as she is more independent and she is able to think for herself almost all of the time.

This is a fantastic book and overall I think it spreads a good message, that there does come a time to grow up and that life wont always go as we plan, the book is great way of showing people that living in a world with no rules and no consequences can be just as bad if not worse than living in a world that does have rules and consequences that follow.

Whether you like the film or not, I think everyone should read this book at least once, I have read the book multiple times and I’m not planning to stop any time soon.

Perhaps one day I will get around to reviewing the movie or better yet maybe even the second book.

I hope you enjoyed this Book Review of Alices Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

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Book Review: Kingdom Keepers Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

There will be Spoilers !!!

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That’s right I’m reviewing a book and if your wondering why its taken me three years to get around to book reviews that’s because I have never really been a huge reader but I have recently decided to try and delve into the world of literature and too give you my opinion on some popular and obscure book titles.

The first book I am going to be reviewing is Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson, this title is the first in this very popular series.

The book focuses on the lives of five teenagers (Finn, Charlene, Philby, Maybeck and Willa) who have been offered the opportunity to become virtual Disney Hosts, if you have ever been to Walt Disney world you will have noticed cast members walking around and offering help and guidance to the guests.

These teenagers are becoming DHI’s (Disney Hosts Interactive) allowing them to have holograms of themselves walking around the Magic Kingdom as virtual cast members, all five of them agree to have virtual versions of themselves created and afterwards they part from each other and get on with their lives.

Or at least that’s what they wanted to happen but unfortunately every time they go to sleep they wake up as their holograms in the Magic Kingdom, they learn that they have no control over this ability from an old man named Wayne who they meet every night while they are in hologram form.

Wayne explains to the teenagers that a great darkness and evil is trying to take over the Magic Kingdom and possibly the world, these evil entities have been code named the Overtakers, Wayne also explains that all five of them have been chosen to be the heroes who will eventually save the day.

The Overtakers seem to be famous Disney Villains who reside in some of the parks more famous attractions, The villain in Book 1 is Maleficent the evil witch from Sleeping Beauty, she is very spooky  in this book and she tends to talk in a whisper like and raspy voice which definitely makes her character much more creepy.

She uses a lot of magic throughout the book although most of time she is using to try and kill the five heroes and at times the book takes a very dark turn because of this, by far the scariest part of the book for me is when all of the dolls in its a small world come to life and start trying to bite the five main characters.

The only character I really connected with in the book was Wayne and that was because he was very mysterious and a lot of time I personally felt that he had a very ghostly vibe to his character which often allowed me to see him as a guardian angel watching over the heroes, unfortunately he was also the only character that i found remotely interesting as a lot of the other characters were a bit too normal and boring for my tastes.

I was very impressed that the way Ridley Pearson described the layout of the park and the attractions was very accurate to the layout of the Magic Kingdom in real life, this is a nice touch for people who visit the parks often as they can visualize the descriptions in the book to those areas in the real park.

In conclusion Kingdom Keepers Disney After Dark was a fun book to read but overall it wasn’t that interesting and at times I felt that it overstayed its welcome, if your a fan of Disney then this book is definitely worth your time and even if your not a fan of Disney this book is fairly cheap to pick up and is worth giving a shot especially if your a fan of adventure and fantasy.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Kingdom Keepers Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

By Padawan

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