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Item - Secret of the Royal Treasure

Series: Time Machine — no. 13
Platform: Microsoft Reader
Translated Into: El secreto del tesoro real (Spanish)
Skrivnost kraljičinega zaklada (Slovenian)
Author: Gaskin, Carol
Illustrator: Colón, Ernie
Date: August, 1986
ISBN: 0553257293 / 9780553257298
Length: 126 pages (plus data bank and data file)
Number of Endings: 1
User Summary: You must travel back in time to find out the source (and ultimate fate) of a gold and sapphire ring worn by Queen Elizabeth I on her deathbed.
DavidSky's Thoughts: I thought this book was pretty well-written, although at time a little too aimed at the kids. There were also some pretty good time machine mechanics story-wise. Loops almost always move you forward, so it's easy to reach the end, but the book also rewards re-reading more than the average book in this series. There is one choice that leads you way forward, skipping much of the last half of the book! There's also one weird moment where you change history a little. You can see my map of the book here.

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Demian's Thoughts: This is Carol Gaskin's first entry in this series (and her first gamebook to follow the Forgotten Forest books). It shows the same love of rhyme and wordplay displayed in some of those books, though the context of Elizabethan England makes these tendencies feel considerably less jarring. The book is also notable since it rather unambiguously suggests that the reader's character's gender is male (though at one point you can successfully impersonate the voice of a female ghost). This lack of gender neutrality is particularly interesting considering the book's female author. On a whole, the book isn't exceptional, but it is good, and its final revelations are definitely satisfying and, to a degree, thought-provoking; Queen Elizabeth's life certainly wasn't simple....

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