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Item - The Lost Ninja

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(Original edition)
(Reissue edition)
(Reissue edition)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 113
Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) — no. 48
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Martial Arts Box Set (Collection)
Author: Leibold, Jay (pseudonym used by Montavon, Jay)
Illustrators: Nugent, Suzanne (Reissue edition - interior)
Utomo, Gabhor (Reissue edition - cover)
Kukalis, Romas (cover)
Bolle, Frank (interior)
Dates: 1991 (Original edition)
October 1, 2019 (Reissue edition)
ISBN: 1937133354 / 9781937133351 (Reissue edition)
Length: 127 pages, plus glossary, "About the Artists", "About the Author", and "The History of Gamebooks" essays, and Choose Your Own Adventure historical timeline. (Reissue edition)
Number of Endings: 14 (Reissue edition)
Special Thanks: Reissue edition:
Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the cover images.
User Summary: A few months after the events in Return of the Ninja, you have returned to the United States and now live and practice martial arts in San Francisco. One day, a mysterious fellow student is kidnapped by gangsters, and you set out to rescue him from captivity.
CGally's Thoughts:

This is a book I happen to have owned since I was a kid. It's a sequel to the previous "Ninja" entries by the same author, but I had barely read those.

The hero is unable to get in touch with her friend Nada, from the previous entries, and this is a running plot point that is never resolved (we never see Nada). Aside from that disappointment, there are a lot of things I like about this book.

You get introduced to Yakuza! They play a major role in the plot, and your character learns about them from a friendly Japanese man she meets in a bar. Shortly afterward, you witness them kidnapping someone, and they become a major plot point. It's a seamless way of teaching readers some interesting facts by dropping them into the plot, and then making them important. I'll admit it worked on me - I found the Yakuza in the story quite interesting as a kid.

The aforementioned Japanese man in the bar has some family problems, it turns out. That creates another plot point - you can try to get involved in his life to some degree.

The final plot thread involves a kidnapping and human trafficking ring that you can unwittingly become part of - as the kidnapee, of course.

The way the plot brances out in interesting, but sometimes unrelated, directions is quite fun and makes for an interesting read. No consistency problems here.

More reviews by CGally

Guillermo's Thoughts:

(Review based on the Chooseco edition.)

This is the third in a series of CYOA books by Jay Leibold with a martial arts theme, and a direct sequel to both Secret of the Ninja and Return of the Ninja. While the earlier books dealt with Japanese mythology and history, this is a contemporary tale focused on dealing with a group of yakuza (Japanese gangsters). The different adventures presented here are rather uninspired, and the mythological and historical backdrop from previous martial arts-themed entries is sorely missed. While the supporting character Nada plays a major role in the earlier books, she only has minimal participation in this one, a factor which also works to the detriment of the story. There are some interesting choices here and there, but they are only dashes of good craft; most of the book feels either very random or very predictable. Overall, this is a disappointing effort from Jay Leibold, who has shown himself to be capable of doing much better.

More reviews by Guillermo

yunakitty's Thoughts:

This is another fairly interesting "martial arts" book, although I found it much more interesting than Master of Tae Kwon Do. In this book, you try to help out a friend from karate class with his personal problems. Of course, he doesn't want your help, but does that ever stop "YOU" from making choices? Of course not. This is worth a read.

More reviews by yunakitty

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Known Editions

Original edition
Reissue edition

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