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War of the Trolls

Series: Scream Shop Pick Your Path #8
Author: West, Tracey
Illustrator: Dow, Brian W.
Release Date: October, 2004
ISBN: 0448435578 / 9780448435572
Length:144 pages
Number of Endings:23
LC Cataloging in Publication Summary: When Sean, a devoted bookworm, buys a strange-looking fantasy novel from Sebastian Cream's Junk Shop, he ignores the book's warning and reads it after midnight, when he is drawn into a world of terrifying trolls.
Demian's Thoughts: With this volume, the series has decided to take the very familiar path of the "young hero transported into a fantasy world" story. The end product has some interesting characteristics, but it is not one of the better entries in the series, even though things work pretty well in terms of gameplay. The scenario gives the reader a clear sense of purpose -- the hero wants to go home, and he is sometimes given side missions that can be accomplished along the way. There is also one path which requires the reader to solve a series of riddles and puzzles; even though these are not outstanding examples, they should still entertain readers looking for a more game-like experience. The book is not without problems, though; there are a couple of the ever-annoying "should the hero chicken out?" choices, which are generally a waste of space, and more significantly, the whole thing is rather forgettable. Like the rest of the series, the book has a more detailed protagonist than most gamebooks. However, even though Sean the bookworm and his distracted tendency to run into trees may stick with the reader for a while, most of his adventures in troll-filled Liasa will probably fade away pretty quickly. This story has been told before, and this particular telling lacks creatures and locations fantastic enough to outshine the competition. It's not an unsatisfying read, but it's also not an outstanding one.

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