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Item - Accept the Royal Challenge

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Series: What If Books — no. 4
Author: Clifford, Laurie B.
Date: 1984
ISBN: 0830709401 / 9780830709403
Length: 114 pages
Number of Endings: 36
LC Cataloging in Publication Summary: The reader chooses the development of the plot while dealing with a difficult neighbor lady. Can she possibly be royalty?
Demian's Thoughts:

Like the rest of the series, this book is a mixed bag. It's kind of amusing at times, and it's probably the most unusual book of the series plot-wise (which is not to say it is free of cliches). At the same time, though, the decision-making is meaningless as usual; most of the time, it's obvious which choice is the one needed to move forward (there are way too many "give up and back out of the adventure" opportunities), but when the right answer isn't obvious, it doesn't necessarily make any sense. It seems pretty clear that no real effort was made to make this story truly interactive. Perhaps even more disappointing, though, is the book's near-total lack of closure. The entire story feels like the very beginning of a much longer tale, and not a single ending is satisfying; at least it can be said that the author was consistent in this regard! As in the previous book, the reader's character is assigned an identity (well, just a name this time) which has no particular bearing on anything but manages to dissociate the player from the protagonist. In any case, I have to say that it's kind of a shame that the series ended here. What with the linear nature of the stories, it would have been easy to create a sequel and continue this storyline, thus achieving something that was rarely done in books as mechanically simplistic as these.

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