The Kingdom is an amusement park far in the future. It is a complete fantasy land, and can make any dream come true. (It’s Disney on steroids.) To help with that, there are Fantasists, who are half human, half android hybrids. There are seven ‘princesses,’ and they have been developed to be perfect. They are designed to learn and grow, and of course things start to go wrong.
The girls have strict rules and schedules, for their safety, they’re told. They cannot access the internet to see anything disturbing, therefore they cannot access the news or the outside world. They can see images of what the oceans used to look like, for example, but not live shots of the polluted oceans that they have become. They do not know about the slums, the crime, the war, the pollution, the devastation outside the perfect bubble that is the park. They cannot leave the park, because they know what happens to Fantasists in the outside world – they know because it happened to one of their own, and that is one bit of unpleasantness that they are told.
Hybrid animals that have been developed live ‘naturally,’ including killing other hybrids by instinct for ‘food.’ Animals that are killed are ‘recycled’ and the salvagable parts are reused in the next project. Creepy.
We revolve around a murder. One of the park employees is dead, and Ana, one of the Fantasists, is being put on trial for his murder. We bounce back and forth between the trial, interviews, and the events leading up to the night in question. We see how Ana is evolving, and we also see how events unfold. As a reader, we think one thing, but then something will be revealed in the trial transcripts or interviews. Then we go back and we have to puzzle out the truth. What actually happened vs. what was expected vs. what was said are all different things.
This fulfills the CBR 11 Bingo category of “Youths!”