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Item - Alone in Snakebite Canyon


Series: Give Yourself Goosebumps — no. 26
Translated Into: Alene i Slangenes dal (Norwegian)
Der Fluch der Klapperschlange (German)
háo huá yóu lún bàn shòu rén / bǎi biàn mó lì shé yǎn [豪华游轮半兽人·百变魔力蛇眼] (Chinese)
Solo en el cañón de la Serpiente (Spanish)
Author: Stine, R. L.
Illustrator: White, Craig
Date: March, 1998
ISBN: 0590399977 / 9780590399975
Length: 137 pages
Number of Endings: 24
User Summary: While camping in the desert you find a shop and can buy one of two valuable items: a pair of magic snake eyes that will allow you to transform into different animals or a map to an old (and deadly) gold mine.
deleted-user-12219's Thoughts:

An overall good addition to the series. There is a colossal continuity error caused by Mr. Stine (or whoever wrote this) trying to tie the animal transformation to the gold mine section. SPOILERS AHEAD! BEWARE!

Allow me to explain. The book clearly states that you are naked following an animal transformation. Well, in one plot thread, you fly to a mountain and turn back into a naked human. In that same thread, you encounter your older brother (who somehow doesn't comment on your nakedness) and later, something clamps onto your sleeve. Well if the character was really naked like the text stated earlier, your character wouldn't have a sleeve to clamp onto.

This is an above average entry that I enjoyed.

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Demian's Thoughts:

I quite enjoyed this book... The animal transformation part of the book offers a lot of entertaining possibilities and the gold mine features a fun little riddle that actually requires a few moments of thought to solve. This is definitely one of the better books in this series.

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

Eventually the quality of the Give Yourself Goosebumps series fell off a cliff, but it still had plenty of pep at book twenty-six, Alone in Snakebite Canyon. You are vacationing at Lonestar National Park with your parents and older brother, Pete. A week of camping in Snakebite Canyon could be fun, but the real intrigue begins at the Visitor's Center gift shop. The man working there offers to sell you two supposedly magical items: a pair of "snake eyes" that can transform the owner into any animal, or a map leading to a gold mine filled with riches. You can afford to buy only one item. On the off chance the shopkeeper's claims are true, which adventure do you prefer?

At first glance the map looks ordinary, but soon you notice that its contents change depending where you are. In the middle of your first night in the canyon, you and Pete sneak out of the tent and go treasure hunting while your parents sleep. The map tells you to go to the chapel of San Vicente and peer into the reflecting pool at dawn. You and Pete take a bus to San Vicente—you can head right to the Lost Mine, but do you dare defy the map?—and the reflecting pool reveals a cave on a steep, craggy mountainside. The route through the mine seems easy, but ancient treasure is bound to be guarded well. The Watchers of the Mine—three creatures covered in eyeballs—demand you solve a logic puzzle in order to enter the Golden Chamber. If you do, they award you a golden key, which makes accessing the treasure considerably easier than in any other story path. The gold is protected by a vicious panther, but will you recognize how to properly use the key to earn your prize without losing your life? Alternative routes to the Golden Chamber don't require you to do and say all the right things, but you might have to battle a giant spider, evade a mouth full of razor teeth, or face a ghost killed centuries ago while extracting gold from this very mine. Your best hope for success is to perfectly obey the map.

Maybe you couldn't resist the snake eyes the storekeeper offered you. The glowing stones are accompanied by a legend: long ago there was a rattlesnake with enchanted eyes, who could morph into any animal. But an eagle stole the snake's eyes and presented them to the Quezot Indians. The Indians have possessed the eyes for hundreds of years, but beware: according to the story, the rattlesnake still lives, and will stalk anyone who uses the eyes to turn into an animal. The transformations are temporary, but you must keep hold of the snake eyes or you'll be unable to return to human form. That night in your tent, you look deep into the stones and see two images: one of a falcon in flight, the other of a black bear. Rubbing the stone containing the falcon soon sees you soaring high over the canyon, but a thousand heartbeats is all you're allotted before the magic wears off. That's easy to forget, but the snake eyes offer additional transformation options if you get into trouble. You could become a mountain lion, surefooted on the rocky terrain; a bat, capable of seeing in dark caverns; a kangaroo rat, able to hide underground among a vast colony of others of your species; or a Mojave rattlesnake, hard for humans to spot but deadly if you want to be. These are only a few of the animals you can change into, but as the legend warns, the ancient eyeless rattlesnake obsessively chases you. Maybe you chose at first to be a bear instead of a falcon, but controlling your ursine aggressiveness isn't easy. You might face an army of park rangers armed with tranquilizer guns, and they won't take kindly to a bear harassing campers. The rattlesnake pursues you all the while, demanding in a sibilant whisper that you return its eyes. You might wind up turning into a mouse, flying squirrel, hummingbird, fish, dog, owl, jackrabbit, or wild pig, but outrunning the rattlesnake is impossible. Could you make peace with your blind tormentor? There aren't many completely satisfying endings, so congratulations if you find one.

This is an enjoyable book. The variety of story paths is impressive, and the two main branches intersect in clever ways, occasionally too clever for their own good. The internal continuity is almost perfect, though a couple of endings go off the rails. Alone in Snakebite Canyon is one of the better gamebooks credited to R. L. Stine; your vacation to Lonestar National Park isn't what you had in mind, but if you survive, you'll have proven yourself smart and resourceful, and had a wild ride you're not apt to forget. I fondly recommend this book.

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