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Item - Secret of the Ninja

(Original edition)
(Original version, revised cover edition)
(ChooseCo reissue edition)
(ChooseCo reissue edition, fifth printing)
(Australian edition)
(Australian edition)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 66
Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) — no. 16
Choose Your Own Adventure Reissues (Australian Versions) — no. 16
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set (63-67) (Collection)
Choose Your Own Adventure Martial Arts Box Set (Collection)
Translated Into: Rahsia ninja (Malay)
El secret dels ninja (Catalan)
El secreto de los ninja (Spanish)
El secreto de los ninjas (Spanish)
El secreto del ninja (Spanish)
Sekret ninja [Секрет ниндзя] (Russian)
Tajemství ninjů (Czech)
Tajemstvo ninjev (Slovakian)
Adapted Into: Secret of the Ninja (Graded Reader) (Gamebook)
Author: Leibold, Jay (pseudonym used by Montavon, Jay)
Illustrators: Freymann, S. (Original edition; Original version, revised cover edition)
Marron, Jose Luis (ChooseCo reissue edition - cover; Australian edition - cover; ChooseCo reissue edition, fifth printing - cover)
Nugent, Suzanne (ChooseCo reissue edition - interior; Australian edition - interior; ChooseCo reissue edition, fifth printing - interior)
Dates: April, 1987 (Original edition)
2005 (ChooseCo reissue edition)
2008 (Australian edition)
ISBNs: 0553264842 / 9780553264845 (Original edition)
0553275658 / 9780553275650 (Original version, revised cover edition)
1741690722 / 9781741690729 (Australian edition)
1933390166 / 9781933390161 (ChooseCo reissue edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, fifth printing)
Length: 115 pages (plus glossary and special note) (Original edition, Original version, revised cover edition)
124 pages (plus glossary and special note) (ChooseCo reissue edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, fifth printing)
Number of Endings: 29
User Summary: Something mysterious and disturbing is happening in your friend Nada's dojo, and you have to help her figure out exactly what is wrong.
Demian's Thoughts:

This was the first of several books in the series featuring a martial arts theme. As a result, it's one of the most popular and frequently-reprinted entries. Since I've never been especially interested in martial arts, I actually didn't read this book as a child; this is too bad, as I actually might have liked it. It's more about legends and spirits than about beating people up, and the pace is quite fast. Although the writing isn't nearly as good as what was displayed in Jay Leibold's previous book and credibility is far too frequently stretched, it's a decent adventure, featuring numerous references to Japanese folklore and good plot consistency in the tradition of Louise Munro Foley's better work. Unlike Foley's successes, though, the tale doesn't reveal new facets with each read, instead tending to repeat the same small handful of revelations again and again. This is too bad, as it seriously inhibits replayability. The reader's motivation to stick around is further diminished by rather mediocre illustrations and a number of frustratingly abrupt endings (a Leibold trademark?). Still, for all its flaws, this is a fairly respectable entry in the series, and worth at least a handful of read-throughs.

More reviews by Demian

Dtar's Thoughts:

An interesting adventure for the young martial arts and time travel enthusiast. One interesting thing to note is that the main character is in fact a female. This could possibly make the story much more meaningful to the young female reader.

More reviews by Dtar

Guillermo's Thoughts:

(Review based on the Chooseco edition.)

Count me in as another fan of this book (perhaps even more so than the reviewers before me). If you avoid CYOA books because you think they don't allow you to play heroes like the ones in martial arts films, you should definitely give this one a shot. This book has quite a bit of martial acts action coupled with excellent gameplay. Unlike its sequel Return of the Ninja, the content here is less based on historical fact and more on Japanese mythology, making this a great fantasy adventure (not unlike Kung Fu Masters in the Twisted Journeys series). Oddly, while the Bantam edition apparently has you playing a female character, in this one you play a male (the reissued Return of the Ninja, on the other hand, is ambiguous about the protagonist's gender). This means that the strong female role now rests on your companion character Nada. I didn't find this to be off-putting, but some people might disagree.

As Demian mentions, the fact that there is a single underlying plot may make replay feel a bit repetitive (though I found enough variety in the different paths to hold my interest to the end). Unfortunately, both the cover and interior illustrations of the reissued edition are abysmal. If you can overlook these flaws, you'll find both this book and its sequel to be among the best CYOA books out there.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Adam Osman for the Australian cover scans.
Users Who Own This Item: aline, Amat, Andys80s, Ardennes (original & reissue), bigcobra, bookwormjeff (original & reissue), Chanticrow, CSquared, Darth Rabbitt, dave2002a, Demian (sixth reissue printing), Erikwinslow (Revised), exaquint (2005new, Chooseco 3rd HB), firefoxpdm, fushek, Garrick Muttley, girtablilu, Gurvo (reissue cover), Himynameistony, hoops4ever, horrorbusiness, iolly666 (Well, i'd like to have this since it's missing in the Italian version), jeremydouglass, jharvey79, JoshW, JunkyBoy, katzcollection, KenJenningsJeopardy74, killagarilla, killagirilla, kinderstef, kleme (original, original reissue, Gareth-Stevens large-print hardback, PDF), knginatl (orig., '88 reissue, large print HB, 2005 reissue, cover craft, turtleback ) (orig., '88 reissue, large print HB, 2005 reissue, cover craft, turtleback ), Lambchop, Madeye, marcfonline (Reissue version), mattender, mlvoss, NEMO (Reissue), novelist1982, ntar, Nym90, plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, Radical347, rolipo26, RonaldFrobnitz, Ryuran333, SeventhSon, SherlockHolmes, stonemason, strawberry_brite, SuperAM2, ThaRid (2 copies), ThisIslandEarth, toadhjo, waktool (Original, US 1st printing ($2.25); Original reissue, US 17th printing ($3.50)) (Chooseco, large edition, AU 1st printing) (Australian, 1st printing), wonderfly, Yalius, YourSoundtrack, yunakitty, zat
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Users with Extra Copies: jeremydouglass
kinderstef

Known Editions

Original edition
Original version, revised cover edition
ChooseCo reissue edition
ChooseCo reissue edition, fifth printing
Australian edition

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