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Item - Darkness on a Foreign Shore

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(Paperback)
(Paperback)
(Paperback)
(Paperback)

Combined Summary

Series: Unravel Your Destiny — no. 1
Author: Jordan, G. R.
Dates: December 20, 2019 (Hardback)
December 20, 2019 (Paperback)
ISBNs: 1912153513 / 9781912153510 (Paperback)
1912153556 / 9781912153558 (Hardback)
Length: 489 sections
hadlee73's Thoughts:

Unravel Your Destiny: Darkness on a Foreign Shore by G R Jordan is a unique piece of interactive fiction in that it forgoes the typical gamebook setting of either fantasy or science fiction and instead roots itself deep within a historical context, this being World War II. The reader takes on the part of a female spy working for the allies who must infiltrate occupied France and perform several varied missions to support the war effort.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this book, and some of that is due to the use of a setting not typical amongst gamebooks. The book is devoid of any type of combat system, focusing instead on choice-making and note-taking. There are some portions of the book that rely on a timer recorded in the back of the book. There are opportunities for death and capture aplenty in this adventure, and while some readers might be put off by the almost constant threat of instant failure, I believe this enhances the tense feeling that spies and resistance members must have felt during the war; one mistake and it can be all over. With this in mind, the author makes sure several different paths can be taken towards success, making the book very replayable if you're searching for that 'optimal' way. The stories are also exciting and well written, so reading the book a second time will remain a welcome diversion.

Some brief notes on possible (and definite) Errata:

  • In section 141 the option to row towards the cliffs points to 161 whereas it should point to 181.
  • Section 429 mentions the resistance also gets the airman out, but on this path, he didn't actually accompany the main character all the way to freedom—a minor thing which doesn't affect much.
  • There is an area where a key is mentioned as an option to unlock 3 different doors, but as much as I searched and re-searched the room that the book says the key came from, I could never locate it (even after mapping the book out fully). The key doesn't seem to be in the book, but in the end, it doesn't matter as the doors can be opened by another obtainable item.
  • 213 says turn to 77 for meeting room, but then says it is the comms room even though it is the meeting room when you get inside. Probably just a minor typo.
  • 434 if you chose to tell the Gestapo officer that you intend to go to a bar, the next section has you immediately entering the bar and referring to people following you who haven't been mentioned previously. Other options lead you to sections which correctly explain when the people begin following you. I mapped the book out fully and so can confirm there is no bar-related section other than this one. Maybe a bit of a continuity gaff, but in the long run, it doesn't affect the story or ability to get through it.

I highly recommend this book for anybody who doesn't mind not having any dice to roll during their gamebook. The encounters are tense and exciting, and you're always kept on your toes. And the setting is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

More reviews by hadlee73

Errata:Section 141: Option "161" > 181.
Users Who Own This Item: Demian, hadlee73, mir1812 (Paperback-#24/29), mlvoss, Sir Olli (hardback (signed and numbered 15/19))

Known Editions

Hardback
Paperback

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