Grayson Hawkes's newly won job at Walt Disney World is full of secrets that will test his knowledge of trivia and storytelling. Racing against the clock to unravel the mystery of the man, myths, and fantasies behind the kingdom, can he protect the world he loves from those who seek to corrupt it? 272 pages, softcover from Deep River.
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I've been a huge Disney fan since the first time my parents introduced me to Disneyland. My first experience and even my more recent time in the park still possesses that magic I had when I was younger, only know I share a greater appreciation for the dreams of Walt Disney. He set out to create a place where kids and their parents could escape the ordinary world and escape into a world of make believe and this is just what I believe he accomplished.
In the second novel by Jeff Dixon, Unlocking the Kingdom is a fantasy fiction book based on the dreams of Walt Disney turning over the "key to the kingdom" to someone who would see his dreams and attempt to continue to fulfill them within the Magic Kingdom based in Florida. He created a master plan along with three of his most trusted Imagineers to some day find someone suitable to pass along control to managing the park and resort properties. Grayson Hawkes was that man. We learn more about how he came to possess the "key to the kingdom" in his first novel, The Key to the Kingdom, and in this one, the mystery begins to unfold once again.
Grayson Hawkes is still a part time preacher in his local church, Celebration Community Church, but now with time, notoriety and fame have pushed him into the media spotlight. Being a private man with a past he doesn't want to share with the world, he has been able to maintain that level of privacy until the day he meets with Total Access, an investigative television show, whose goal is to find out how a preacher at a local church is now suddenly the control interest in the Magic Kingdom. The one thing Grayson Hawkes didn't plan on was trouble within the park by those that want him to resign and to turn over the key to the kingdom to them. It begins by finding pirate figures from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride now in four different attractions just as the park is open for business. All Grayson can figure out, is someone with access into the park could be the only one responsible for these pranks. But its about to get personal when Grayson is confronted and attacked in the Hall of Presidents attraction by a man wearing a Jimmy Carter mask. He warns Grayson that if he doesn't relinquish control of the property and the key things will get much, much worse.
On top of all this is the ever inquisitive investigative reporter, Kate Young from Total Access who will be spending the next week shadowing him with her film crew in hopes of giving her television audience the total access to Grayson Hawkes. In the midst of all of this a new mystery begins with the second task Grayson must deal with, finding the next set of clues from the second Imagineer, George Colmes to unlocking a greater piece of Disney help from Walt Disney, himself to help Grayson continue in his efforts to manage the Magic Kingdom.
I received Unlocking the Kingdom by Jeff Dixon compliments of Deep River Books and Bring It On Communications for my honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is such an amazing series, Keys to the Kingdom, and my own disappointment is these novels are based in the Magic Kingdom in Florida and thus, I can't visit to check out some of the interesting trivia and Disney facts that Jeff blends into this amazing series. I didn't realize that there was a Mickey Mouse on the golf ball in the Soaring attraction and that Michael Eisner was the person who hit the ball that appears destined to hit the passengers on the attraction. The mystery that Grayson must uncover is truly remarkable and gives readers insight into the world of Walt Disney and the people he employed in his goal to make Disney theme parks a truly magical experience. If you love Disney and a great mystery, then you will LOVE this novel. If you haven't picked up the first one, The Key to the Kingdom, I would suggest you start there first and then venture into this one. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and plan on keeping this one on my personal library shelf.
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Review 2 for Unlocking the Kingdom
fun adventure story
Date:May 1, 2013
This is the second book in Jeff Dixon’s keys to Disney World books, and like the first, this one involves a treasure hunt concocted by an Imagineer to ensure the future of Disney World and all it stands for. It opens after Hawk has been the Chief Creative Architect, or boss, of Disney World for 18 months. Suddenly, pranks are being played at the park by a crew who seem to know their way around the park and how it operates. Then the threat is made. The bad guys demand that Hawk hand over the key to the kingdom and all the silver bars from the first book. They want his power and control of the company-or else worse things will happen. What if someone could disable safety features on a ride filled with people? What if no one is safe at Disney World?
The only way to stop the villains is to complete the second quest. Hawk and an investigative reporter prowl the park searching for clues, solving riddles, and being attacked by the bad guys. It was a fun, suspenseful, adventure story with likeable characters. The pace was fast, full of action, leading to a heart-stopping last 50 pages.
I liked the way the author was able to demonstrate Hawk’s sincere faith as an integral part of his character, making a Christian witness when appropriate without preaching. You have to like an ordinary guy who crawls through cemeteries in a thunderstorm, climbs out on a limb of a 90 foot tree, and hops on moving trains in search for some unknown “treasure” for the sake of keeping Disney World and Walt Disney’s dreams safe. Lots of Disney trivia and questions about the trivia at the end of the book.
I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.