Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998)
Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) — no. 6
Choose Your Own Adventure Reissues (Australian Versions) — no. 6
Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 3 (11-15) (Collection)
La casa del peligro (Spanish)
La casa del pericolo (Italian)
Fasornas hus (Swedish)
A mansao fantastica (Portuguese)
Peligro en la casa (Spanish)
Rædslernes hus (Danish)
Tehlikeler evi (Turkish)
House of Danger (Board Game)
House of Danger (Graded Reader) (Gamebook)
Montgomery, R. A.
(Australian edition - cover)
Reese, Ralph (Original edition; Original version, book fair edition)
Sundaravej, Sittisan (ChooseCo reissue edition; Australian edition; ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
Thongmoon, Kriangsak (ChooseCo reissue edition; Australian edition; ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
September, 1982 (Original edition)
2005 (ChooseCo reissue edition)
2006 (Australian edition)
0553225413 / 9780553225419
1865049271 / 9781865049274 (Australian edition)
1933390069 / 9781933390062 (ChooseCo reissue edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
109 pages (ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing, ChooseCo reissue edition)
115 pages (Original version, book fair edition, Original edition)
|Number of Endings:||
|User Summary:||You are an amateur detective and psychic investigator. After receiving a mysterious phone call, you end up investigating a modern house built on the site of an old prison.|
This isn't a very good gamebook; it lacks internal consistency and doesn't cover much new ground for the series. It's notable only because it introduces the recurring characters of Ricardo and Lisa.
I think that this story could serve as an interesting learning tool for an aspiring writer, as it demonstrates a very wide range of possibilities. I only read through several different endings, but they were so different it was almost insane... but I enjoyed that!
|Enigmatic Synergy's Thoughts:||
This review pertains to the 2005 reissue of this title.
This book starts out promising--you, a young and inspiring detective investigating the source of a strange phone call. However, the book quickly becomes very random and unfocused. I do not necessarily mind randomness if it works in relation to the story being told. While many of the Give Yourself Goosebumps books are criticized for their random and unnecessary events, I feel that some of them work on certain occasions. (And that is a big certain). This title almost feels like a Give Yourself Goosebumps book gone terribly wrong. Many threads of the book seem to have the potential to give the reader a somewhat satisfying ending/experience (or one that makes sense), but ultimately, the majority of them do not deliver in providing the reader a consistent read.
While it seems that R. A. Montgomery is known for his sort of random, almost trippy writing, I wanted to believe that this title did not fall into that category of randomness. Unfortunately, I am afraid that it did, and because of that I did not enjoy this book as much as I could have. Had the random elements of the story been taken away and the threads of the story been more focused and coherent, I would have most likely enjoyed this one. Ultimately, I cannot recommend this book to the average CYOA reader/fan, and I will even go as far as to say that it is worth skipping.
Wow, what a disappointment! Over the past two decades, my memory built this book into something it clearly is not, namely an exciting Choose Your Own Adventure. While I like the ideas in this book, re-reading it reveals that there are very few choices to be made and a whole lot of turning to other pages only to then be told to turn to yet another page. Not one of Montgomery's best. On the plus side, the illustrations by Ralph Reese are enjoyable.
Haunted, and good.
While the tendency of some gamebook writers to ignore internal plot consistency and logical sequence in their stories is unpopular with many fans of the genre, I actually don't mind when gamebooks deviate from perfect internal continuity to expand the perimeters of the story and allow for a greater variety of experiences and surprises. House of Danger certainly does not strictly adhere to a single path of continuity; once you step foot inside the mysterious glass house from which you received a desperate call for help at your detective agency headquarters, there's no telling what sort of adventure awaits. Will you run up against counterfeiters armed with clever technological diversions designed to afford them cover from the roving eye of the law? Or might the bad guys be a lot more bizarre than run-of-the-mill human desperadoes, showing themselves instead to be not fully human in one respect or another? Is the person of Harry Marsden--an obscure local figure linked to horrors of the Civil War era that center on atrocities of the prison system--somehow still alive, or could his ghost still be haunting the House of Danger? And whether Marsden is man or ghost, are his intentions toward you benevolent... or is his jaundiced eye cast only toward doing you evil?
The Choose Your Own Adventure series has its share of books that feature You as a young detective operating your own agency, with or without the help of friends such as Ricardo and Lisa. These detective books often present some of the more intriguing story scenarios (see Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey? as a prime example), and House of Danger is no different. When a short but panicked telephone call leads you to investigate a strange, modern-looking glass house that historical records inform you was once the site of a particularly treacherous Civil War prison, you're not sure what to make of it. What's more, the man your state-of-the-art call tracing technology identified as the caller, one Harry Marsden, is believed to have died in a fire about a hundred years ago. Could you be dealing with ghosts here, or is the solution to what's going on in the House of Danger less esoteric than that? What will be lurking in wait once you've crossed the threshold of this menacing house built on land that has seen so much death and suffering, as the front door slams shut behind you and contact with the outside world is severed?
Whether or not you choose to enlist the help of Ricardo and Lisa in investigating this mystery, you will find that little makes sense inside the House of Danger. Many threats stalk you within the walls of this peculiar mansion, and you must remain on high alert and think through all your choices carefully if you wish to remain alive. What would be worse, confronting a ghost who wishes you harm and is set on trapping you inside the House of Danger, or coming up against angry, ravenous primates whose fear instincts and razor-sharp teeth could end your adventure and your life in a matter of seconds? And is it better to at least have an intellectual superiority to your animal opponents... or to find they aren't quite as simian as you expect? The twists and turns in the House of Danger are seemingly endless, but you have more than just getting out alive on your mind. You also have a responsibility to solve this case and erase the threat the house and its eerie history pose to the community surrounding it. You have a duty, as well, to the man who called and begged for your help, whoever he may be. Can you help bring peace at last to a place that hasn't known anything of the kind in more than a hundred years?
While House of Danger is undeniably an odd story, filled with events that often feel randomly constructed and are at times confusing, especially when one compares multiple major paths in the narrative, I liked this book. There's a certain inherent suspense to the way a haunted house story works in the Choose Your Own Adventure format, and while House of Danger may not be another heart-stopping thrill ride like The Curse of the Haunted Mansion, it's a good book that provides some enjoyable moments.
I was expecting this book to be a horror-mystery built around the story of the old prison. What a disaster it turned out to be! All you have to do to find out this is a bad book is flip through the illustrations - you have aliens, monkeys, nutty professors, venus flytraps, crystalline beings and Civil War soldiers all cohabiting on the pages. The writing itself is even more incoherent and disjointed. Without question, this is not one of Mr. Montgomery's better works. In fact, it's probably one of his worst.
|Special Thanks:||Thanks to Ken G. for the Australian cover scans.|
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