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Item - Mystery of the Maya

(Original edition)
(Original edition, later printing)
(ChooseCo reissue edition)
(Australian edition)
(Australian edition)
(ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 11
Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) — no. 5
Choose Your Own Adventure Reissues (Australian Versions) — no. 5
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 3 (11-15) (Collection)
Choose Your Own Adventure Epic Collection (Collection)
Choose Your Own Adventure Reissues Box Set (1-5) (Collection)
Translated Into: Die Geheim van die Majas (Afrikaans)
Kieta Maya Teikoku no himitsu [消えたマヤ帝国の秘密] (Japanese)
Mǎyǎzú zhī Mèi [瑪雅族之謎] (Chinese)
El misterio de los mayas (Spanish)
El misterio de los Mayas (Spanish)
O mistério dos Maias (Portuguese)
Le Mystère des Mayas (French)
Zagatkata na Maite (Macedonian)
Zagonetka Maja (Serbo-Croatian)
Adapted Into: Mystery of the Maya (Graded Reader) (Gamebook)
Author: Montgomery, R. A.
Illustrators: Anderson, Richard (Original edition; Original edition, Grey Castle Press hardcover; Original edition, unknown printing; Original edition, later printing)
McBride, Marc (Australian edition - cover)
Pornkerd, Vorrarit (ChooseCo reissue edition; Australian edition; ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
Yaweera, Sasiprapa (ChooseCo reissue edition; Australian edition; ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
Donploypetch, Jintanan (ChooseCo reissue edition; Australian edition; ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
Dates: May, 1981 (Original edition)
June 1, 1988 (Original edition, Grey Castle Press hardcover)
2005 (ChooseCo reissue edition)
September 1, 2006 (Australian edition)
ISBNs: 0553146009 / 9780553146004 (Original edition)
0553226207 / 9780553226201 (Original edition, unknown printing)
0553231863 / 9780553231861 (Original edition, later printing)
0942545001 / 9780942545005 (Original edition, Grey Castle Press hardcover)
1865049263 / 9781865049267 (Australian edition)
1933390050 / 9781933390055 (ChooseCo reissue edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
Length: 131 pages (ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing, ChooseCo reissue edition)
134 pages (Original edition, later printing, Original edition, unknown printing, Original edition, Original edition, Grey Castle Press hardcover)
Number of Endings: 39 (ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing, ChooseCo reissue edition, Australian edition)
44 (Original edition, later printing, Original edition, unknown printing, Original edition, Original edition, Grey Castle Press hardcover)
User Summary: You are assigned to discover the reason for the end of the ancient Mayan civilization.
auximenes's Thoughts:

A strange mix of realistic historical exploration, time-travel, UFO's, and even some acid-trip endings. This book has an interesting set up, placing you as a journalist trying to discover the reasons for the collapse of Mayan civilization. One path has you exploring the present day which has a subplot about a revolution. The other path involves time-travel, and involves frightening encounters with slave-raids and human sacrifice. Illustrator Richard Anderson brings a unique perspective to the story with spaghetti-limbed characters and hulking, menacing villains. A scattered and mismatched effort. 2 out 5 stars

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charlesdaniels's Thoughts:

I went on holiday to exactly this part of Mexico. Stayed in Merida and nearby villages. Went to see Chichen Itza, Uxmal, etc. So it's great to be able to read about this adventure happening there. Especially the nunnery which is a beautiful and truly mysterious building.

But there are far too many endings.

The reader is at one point mildly tutted at for making a decision which seems sane and sensible. The book is all over the place. It lapses into totally jarring baffling nonsense at many points, and this leaves many of the endings feeling extremely unsatisfying.

However, if you stick with the book and explore all the paths, some of the lesser travelled passages are very fun.

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Demian's Thoughts:

This book is slightly below average in quality. For the most part it's not too bad, but it occasionally becomes a bit incoherent.

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Good's Thoughts:

Version 1: YOU must figure out what happened to the Mayas. 6.5/10 44 ends

Version 2: The search for Tom! Rating: 9/10
Awesome! Randomness is what Choose Your Own Adventure® is about baby! You can learn A LOT from just this book about the Mayas, except—I think the Mayas were giants. Time travel sure adds a great touch to this. Without it, the book would grow dull. You travel back to the Mayas, and get many choices. (It starts with drinking the potion.) Manuel is mostly a helper here. Great book on the Mayas.
39 ends

More reviews by Good

yunakitty's Thoughts:

I read the reissue of this book last night. I haven't read the original in about 15 years, so I can't tell you what's different (other than the line "In this age of computer animation" - I'm pretty sure that wasn't in the first issue!) This book is just another shining example of R. A. Montgomery's poor writing style. If I get one more sudden ending "Don't want to do that? All right, fine. Just give up. THE END" I am going to scream! (Alright, I made up that ending. But it's very similar to what he does.)

Often, whole story arcs (going to Uxmal, for example) all lead to bad endings. And that's just the problem - almost all of the endings are bad. You rarely ever reach your goal in this book. Even when you get something good or find your friend, it's so abrupt that you're left wondering if it was really a good ending or not. "Your friend Tom is walking towards you. THE END" I know we're looking for him, but, um... is he walking towards me to stab me? Has he lost his memory? I don't know. I think that "good" endings should have summaries of what happens from there, like "You have found your friend safe and sound. You return home together, and you always look back on your time with the Maya with fondness. THE END" OK, I'm sure he doesn't want a writing lesson from me.

Anyway, I agree with the assertion that this is a below average book. I just didn't find the characters engaging. this is one of the perils of cramming 39 endings in a 130 page book - over a quarter of your pages are endings, so that leaves you with a ratio of 3:1 for story to endings. Doesn't leave much room for character exposition!

More reviews by yunakitty

Special Thanks:Thanks to Ken G. for the Australian cover scans.
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Users with Extra Copies: avatartoph
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Known Editions

ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing
Original edition, later printing
Original edition, unknown printing
Original edition
Original edition, Grey Castle Press hardcover
ChooseCo reissue edition
Australian edition

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