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Item - The Antimatter Universe

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 147
Translated Into: A través de la puerta electrónica (Spanish)
Author: Mueller, Kate
Illustrators: Huerta, Catherine (cover)
Brigman, June (interior)
Date: 1994
drereichdude's Thoughts:

I did not like this book. The writing style was boring and uninteresting, and the premise of the USA and the former USSR combining to rule the world may seem like a good idea on paper, but of course, it would never actually happen in the basis of reality.

On that note, I'm reminded of a Homer Simpson quote: "In theory, Communism works. In theory!"

The other reviewer was correct in identifying the plot of this book as being one of the worst CYOA cliches. I totally agree!

Also, I wonder what the author, Kate Mueller, is doing these days, and if she ever wrote anything else. She sure did not do a good job with this book!

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

There are a couple of things that I quickly noticed about this book. First, its pages contain much more text than average for the Choose Your Own Adventure series. Kate Mueller has constructed a story of significant scientific and mathematical complexity, and without the extra writing in the book, explaining the plot in full would be nearly impossible.

The second thing that I noticed is the number of choices in the book that depend on pure luck, oftentimes predicated upon whether or not you'll decide to trust a particular person when you have little or no way of knowing if he or she should be trusted. I guess that this is a lot like real life, though, where ethical dilemmas such as the ones set up in this book are never clear-cut and heavily depend on your ability to discern the greater good.

The Antimatter Universe begins with you acting as assistant to the brilliant theoretical scientist Dr. Eisenbaum, who has spent years trying to figure out a way to cross over into the antimatter world that corresponds to your own. Dr. Eisenbaum has finally hit paydirt and is now ready to try his experiment on a living human being. That human being is you!

The scenarios that you face in the antimatter universe differ vastly, but the majority of the book deals with your finding the antimatter Dr. Eisenbaum, who has used his mental prowess for evil and now spearheads the efforts of scientific improvement on behalf of the tyrannical government of the antimatter world that wants to rule all people by force and intimidation. You must disrupt this government's ability to take over your own world and universe, or the life of freedom that you know and crave will be lost forever.

Along the way you encounter multiple underground resistance groups dedicated to overthrowing the despotic regime of the antimatter world. These groups often conflict in their methodology, which adds additional peril to your already dangerous situation. What's worse, not only is the evil antimatter Dr. Eisenbaum and the government he works for trying to locate and capture you, your antimatter self is also deeply involved in the interworld experimentations that have been happening, and if you meet up with him in the flesh... you both will be instantly annihilated.

This book has some very good moments, as well as more than a few choices that will really make a person think hard and wonder what the right decision might be. In general, I appreciate the book as an interesting technological exploration of the adventure possibilities inherent in the plot, and I thought that author Kate Mueller did a pretty good job of executing the idea.

More reviews by KenJenningsJeopardy74

Stockton's Thoughts:

The story here is the quintessential example of one of the series' worst clichés: parallel universes and crossing between them, particularly ones that are diametrically opposed to each other. The reader's universe is the world as we know it, but the "antimatter" one has followed a path where the USA and the USSR decided to join together and rule the whole world. Although they're not exactly inspired by any means, the descriptions and characterizations in this book are definitely above average.

Although I normally don't have much patience for pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo, it actually didn't detract too much from this book. There is one odd scene where you participate in a cult-like ritual, but it's relatively minor. Some of the choices are actually logical and story consistency is fairly good. This is definitely one of the better science fiction CYOAs.

More reviews by Stockton

Special Thanks:Thanks to Stockton for the cover scan.
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stevesterling - This copy is in very good condition.

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