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Item - Kidnapped!

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 116
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 1 (115-119) (Collection)
Author: Packard, Edward
Illustrators: Johnson, Kevin (cover)
Bolle, Frank (interior)
Date: 1991
Jordashebasics's Thoughts:

I'd have to agree that this is not a very notable book, but it has a few things going for it.

First, it's nice that you aren't the target of the kidnappers. You just happened to befriend a rich kid. This has a nice effect on the rest of the book, and switches the focus a little from "save yourself" to "save your friend... and yourself."

Second, it's pretty quick. There aren't an abundance of choices, and only 11 endings, but it feels like it moves pretty quickly. Most of the pages aren't very dense. It's not much of a time commitment to fit it in.

The book does have an odd failing, and it's that there are too many positive endings! I usually don't pay attention to this, since the cleverness of the ending outweighs if it's positive or negative. In this case, there are very few endings where you don't escape.

There are a few amusingly dated references to money. You try to persuade a captor to let you go so he can claim the reward money. "With a hundred thousand dollars, you could live anywhere you want, do anything you want."

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PeterCSM's Thoughts:

The plot of Kidnapped! finds you and a wealthy friend being kidnapped(!) by a pair of murderous thugs who plan on making their getaway by boat on the ocean. Like a lot of Edward Packard's books that I've read after the 100 mark in the series, this one really dragged and felt uninspired.

My reading of the book went as follows. It took eight pages before coming across the first choice. And this book really jumps around so you go from page 5 to page 70 to page 6 to page 53, etc. It's a little irritating and unnecessary. Anyway on my first choice I tried to escape, succeeded (after being asked if I was really, really sure I didn't want to stay kidnapped), and the book ended. A little underwhelming. So I went back and did the other path. It was another seven pages until my second choice. Again I decided to escape and again immediately succeeded thus ending my reading. A little perturbed at the author's insistence that I either stay kidnapped or stop reading I went back again and chose the other path. And it was another six pages until my third choice. Of course I escaped again and of course the book immediately ended. Going back and again choosing the stay-kidnapped path it was another five pages before the next choice and I had had enough.

A few random thoughts:

The second time I escaped, the hospital I recovered in was insanely insistent on not letting anyone visit me. Visitors weren't allowed to see me for a week while I was in bed with some broken bones and internal bleeding. And then when my kidnapped friend does come to thank me, the nurse angrily kicks him out.

The art by Frank Bolle is fine and mostly consistent (from what amount I read) except for one scene being drawn at night when it took place in the day. None of it really caught my eye, but that seems to be more to do with the redundant nature of spending most of the book on a little boat then anything else. I think his drawings of nature and vehicles are better than his drawings of people (except for maybe one sinister face in a dark car interior).

It's unusual for the series to reference actual companies but there's a UPS truck both mentioned and drawn in this book. Unfortunately it inadvertently helps the criminals elude the police. FedEx would never have done such a thing.

More reviews by PeterCSM

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