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Item - Vampire Invaders

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 118
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 1 (115-119) (Collection)
Author: Packard, Edward
Illustrators: Mattingly, David B. (cover)
Wing, Ron (interior)
Date: 1991
tonylachief's Thoughts:

This book is a sequel to Space Vampire. You have well-defined goals in this book and the internal consistency is great. Dr. Vivaldi makes a cameo appearance in this one as well which, at least for me, is always a thrilling Easter egg. As can be expected, the Vampires' victims, which occasionally includes you, suffer some pretty gruesome deaths in this book. I also quite enjoyed Ron Wing's illustrations. It can get scary for stretches at a time albeit more so along the lines of a scary X-Files episode than, say, Nightmare on Elm Street. Edward Packard is a superior storyteller and he definitely brought his "A" game to the writing in this case. Rating: 9.5/10.0

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yunakitty's Thoughts:

I was initially turned off by the cover with what appeared to be a scene on a spaceship, because space CYOAs bore me. But I was pleasantly surprised. It's a direct sequel to Space Vampire (which holds a fond place in my heart as the first book that restarted my passion for gamebooks when I found it in a used bookshop 5 years ago). However, very little of the story takes place on a spaceship or in space; in fact, only one small thread of the story does. I know that the idea of space vampires seems silly beyond belief, but written by Edward Packard, it's actually quite an enjoyable story. In this book, a small scout team of space vampires has invaded Earth to see whether it's suitable for a large scale invasion. You can investigate where they landed, or check out New Orleans where a vampire murder has happened. In typical Packard fashion, the story loops into itself so that it is possible to read a full quarter of the book in one go through before you reach an ending.

This book also makes use of a few inventive ways to make choices. One relies upon whether or not you know which pole of the earth is in 24-hour daytime in May. Another depends upon your knowledge of time zones, and yet another makes use of number patterns. (I'm happy to say I got them all right the first try!) They're equally challenging for an adult or a child, since a child may or may not have learned these things yet, while an adult may or may not remember!

The artwork is pretty gruesome, as was Space Vampire's, and it might scare small children (I was a little frightened by a few of the pictures! But then, my husband laughed for several minutes at them, so maybe I'm just a scaredy cat!)

All in all, a very good gamebook. I recommend it, especially if you enjoyed Space Vampire.

More reviews by yunakitty

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