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Item - Journey to Stonehenge

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 35
Translated Into: Dikilitaşların esrarı (Turkish)
Patuvane do Stonehenge [Пътуване до Стоунхендж] (Bulgarian)
Das Rätsel von Stonehenge (German)
Viagem a Stonehenge (Portuguese)
Viaje a Stonehenge (Spanish)
Viatge a Stonehenge (Catalan)
Author: Graver, Fred
Illustrators: Reese, Ralph (cover)
Morrill, Leslie (interior)
Date: August, 1984
ISBN: 0553244841 / 9780553244847
Length: 111 pages
Number of Endings: 19
User Summary: You are a young reporter assigned to write about a group of teenagers investigating the history of Stonehenge.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is one of the weaker entries in the series. The plot is aimless, the characters are vaguely defined at best, and the continuity is poor. There's one point in the book where a character is mentioned when it's possible that you haven't yet met him; this makes an already confusing book even more disorienting. Considering its potentially interesting subject matter, this book should have been a lot better.

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Good's Thoughts:

Ahh! No, no.

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

Predating the release of R. A. Montgomery's Forecast from Stonehenge by more than twenty years, Fred Graver's Journey to Stonehenge is a more adept and interesting story about one of archaeology's great mysteries. As a juvenile reporter for Tightwire, a newspaper created by and for kids, you are intrigued to receive a cablegram from P. J. Engleton, a fifteen-year-old archaeologist working on a project at the Stonehenge monument. P. J. convinced the government to allow his team access to the ancient site, where massive stones are piled in seemingly impossible ways. Mankind has long been puzzled by Stonehenge, but P. J. claims he's on the cusp of learning secrets about the place that will transform the modern world. After jetting off to England and meeting the plump young archaeologist, you're eager to get started on your story. What do the next several days hold in store?

P. J. invites you to stay in his tent, but whether or not you accept his offer, strange things occur the first night. In a trance, P. J. leaves his sleeping bag and wanders toward Stonehenge. Disembodied chanting rises from three small stones at its center, awash in rainbow color. Depending on if you follow P. J.'s lead or hang back, you are transported through time to one of two eras. You may find yourself among the Moon Tribe, which is led by a beautiful, intelligent Priestess. You and P. J. seem to have assumed the identities of two boys who already lived among the tribe. The Priestess's people are concerned by the recent military encroachment of the Huntsmen. The Moon Tribe has been hard at work building the Ring of the Moon—which you recognize as an early version of Stonehenge—but the Huntsmen want to steal the site and exterminate the Moon Tribe. You must help defend the Ring of the Moon and guard the Priestess, for only she realizes you are from the future and can tell you how to return. The best chance you and P. J. have of regaining your former lives is if the Moon Tribe defeats their enemy.

Just as easily you might land in another era of Stonehenge's construction, centuries after conflict between the Moon Tribe and Huntsmen. In this time, there's an impasse between the Beakers and the Huntsmen, who long ago slew the Moon Tribe and seized control of Stonehenge. These marauders demand that every tribe acknowledge their sovereignty with food offerings, but the Beakers desire to live and worship as they please, and are gearing up for combat with the Huntsmen. It's painfully obvious to you that the Beakers are no match for their warlike foes, but should you suggest a few modern military techniques, or distance yourself from the coming battle and search for P. J.? You don't want to die in an ancient tribal conflict, but helping the Beakers may be your best hope for making it back to your own time. Besides the Moon Tribe and Beaker eras, you may find yourself in an entirely separate era if you declined P. J.'s invitation to stay in his tent. You are visited in your dreams by a young man who urgently summons you to Stonehenge. After awakening and going there as requested, you learn the young man is Merlin, not yet in full command of his wizardly powers. He informs you that he, as a member of the court of Aurelius, Lord of Northern Britain, is the master planner behind Stonehenge. His concept for the monument was to channel the universe's powers to a single point on Earth for mankind's benefit, but now Aurelius wants to abuse that power. Merlin has brought you to the distant past to help him survive Aurelius's attempts on his life, and to show you the secrets of Stonehenge as encouragement to the future world. An extended voyage through time with Merlin before you go home is your reward if you aren't killed by Aurelius's men. People of your time won't believe everything Merlin revealed to you about Stonehenge, but you can use the knowledge to help shape civilization going forward.

Journey to Stonehenge has a few weaknesses of continuity, but it's a pretty good book. Once you realize there's a chronological progression to the eras you visit back in time, you'll better appreciate the importance of your intervention. You can help prevent the Huntsmen from conquering the Moon Tribe, preventing future war between the Huntsmen and Beakers. You are in constant danger among these various groups that want control of Stonehenge for reasons good and bad, but braving the perils to change history for the better can yield rich rewards. The story is by no means perfect, but if you're looking for a gamebook about ancient mysteries and magic, Journey to Stonehenge isn't a bad option.

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