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Más allá de la frontera (Spanish)
Més enllà de la frontera (Catalan)
Return to Dorado (Graded Reader) (Gamebook)
|User Summary:||The year is 2041 (or 2051, if you read the reissue edition). As the Chief of Operations for Turtalia, you face two immediate problems: the disappearance of two valuable agents and the escape of a dangerous Doradan spy.|
This sequel to the twentieth book in the series is probably an improvement. I say "probably" because, although I've read it several times, my memories of the original Escape are very dim. This book seems a little more likely to stick with me, and it's also written with more skill than earlier R. A. Montgomery works, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. My biggest complaint is actually with the artwork. It really doesn't match the text too well; it portray's the reader's character as a fairly young child. This makes sense considering the book's audience, but it doesn't fit with the text of the book, which takes place quite a few years after the original book and which gives the reader some very authoritative dialogue that I can't envision coming from the figure in the book's drawings. Actually, the entire book, not just the main character, is surprisingly mature, not in terms of potentially offensive content, but rather in tone. The descriptions of the post-apocalyptic landscape and the frequent examinations of the Turtalian-Doradan political situation seem more likely to resonate with an adult than with a child -- I think I would have found this book unspeakably dull when I was ten years old, though I can't recall if I actually read it at that age. Having read it now, I can't say that I found the book thrillingly creative, but despite being about as ridiculous as any book in this series, it does have a number of effective moments that balance the usual handful of meaningless choices and frustratingly abrupt endings. This was better than I expected it to be, and it's probably worth a read.
If the original Escape was about World War II, then its sequel is about what happened afterwards. The description of the setting here is certainly an improvement from before, but it can't carry this book. It's just not a good entry in this series.
This is not a coherent adventure. There are two independent plot strings you can follow, and both consist mostly of random events. Nearly all of the endings are stupid and abrupt.
This book contains what is perhaps the stupidest thing I've seen R. A. do yet – when Haven, clearly established as a human in the previous book, reveals he is an alien! What the heck is going on? I don't know, but can say that no matter what he tries, R. A. Montgomery writes like a fifth grader.
If the first book was merely below average, its sequel is much worse. All in all, this is a characteristically poor effort from R. A. Montgomery. Stay away from it.
|Special Thanks:||Thanks to Adam Osman for the Australian cover scans.|
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