Friday, May 4, 2012
Captured By Pirates
Justine and Ron Fontes, illustrated by David Witt
Lerner Publishing, 2007
February 24th, 2012
Genre: Horror, Adventure, Choose-Your-Own Style
Description: You accompany your father on a high seas adventure. But how will you fair when pirates attack the ship?
Opinion: The Twisted Journeys series of the Graphic Universe line published by Lerner is a new digitally art-rendered take on the 1970s popular Choose-Your-Own-Adventure titles but these are half novel/half graphic novel/half flipping pages back and fourth. The pages are super glossy and trimmed in black edges which add to the atmosphere of creepiness. Each book has you, the reader and main character, begin reading a page or two of text. When you read a “twisted journey” page (one with a special icon) you get a series of choices (usually two or three). You then pick which one you want to follow and begin flipping pages to follow your story. These are great choices for reluctant readers who might be more inclined to read not only a graphic novel combination but also like the idea of controlling how a story goes. While reading #1 I actually probably read a really lengthy tale in context of your usual CYOA books because I probably spent more than the average 10 minutes following one path. I actually probably read this one for a good 30 minutes and I never ran into the pirates! I must be too logical as every choice I encountered lead me to good events so nothing bad ever happened which was a little disappointing. The problem with CYOA type books is that you don’t want the story to be so short the reader is done in five minutes and has no energy to bother trying another route but you don’t want a story to go on for ages too as Captured by Pirates did because then nothing ever seems to happen. It takes a lot of skill to make a CYOA story engaging and clever.