Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998)
April 15, 2015 (reissue)
|Length:||121 pages, plus index|
|Number of Endings:||14|
|User Summary:||You are offered a summer job working the night shift in a strange warehouse, and you soon find out there is something odd going on inside....|
|charlesdaniels's Thoughts:||A real page turner this one! The writer is obviously aware of the adult audience joining in on the fun. This has to be one of my favourite Choose Your Own Adventure books. There are a lot of occult and horror references, but they don't overwhelm the story and turn it into a laundry list or checklist of references. It's very compelling. And I'd love to see more books with this sensibility.|
For several years, legend had it that this book had been planned for release as part of the original Choose Your Own Adventure series, but had never made it to the market. Unless I missed something, for a long period of time the only source on this supposed "lost book" was an unsourced Wikipedia page. I have also been unable to find any of the promotional copies that some people claim were released in the late nineties. In any case, if the earlier existence of this book is nothing more than an urban legend, Chooseco has certainly done its part to perpetuate it; when the book was finally released in 2015, it was given the number 185 in order to fit into the numbering of the original Bantam series (despite the fact that Chooseco has released a few original CYOA titles since Mayday! by Edward and Andrea Packard came out in 1998). They also included the phrase "From the Lost Archives" on the book's cover in order to build an aura of mystery around it (and hopefully, to increase sales). Still, whether the book was actually written in the nineties or not, Anson Montgomery clearly tried to rework it for new audiences by updating the technological references and some other minor details.
But does the book actually live up to the publicity surrounding it? It certainly does have several interesting features. For starters, there is no single plot; the story and situations change significantly depending on the choices the reader makes (similar to the Plot-Your-Own Horror Stories series). The book also has a considerable amount of text between choices (following a trend among later books in the series, or so avid CYOA readers have told us), and no path through the book lasts longer than 3-4 choice points. While these features may not be to everyone's tastes, I liked the fact that the book is well written and the story moves at a fast pace. Also worth noting is the hidden ending which can only be reached if you solve a riddle included in one of the storylines (a feature which is unusual for the CYOA series). While the riddle is rather simple, I found the introduction of this game-like element to be a nice touch.
Overall, however, the story is not as gripping as that found in the best horror gamebooks (such as The Horror of High Ridge or House of Hell). While I was not as engaged by Escape from the Haunted Warehouse as I was by the aforementioned books, I must admit I was never bored, either. Hopefully this unexceptional but decent book will serve to introduce newer generations to interactive fiction, and its references to the Bantam series will motivate people to rediscover great gamebooks from previous decades.
|Special Thanks:||Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the plot summary and cover images.|
|Users Who Own This Item:||charlesdaniels ((2015 edition)), pinkfloydechoes (2015 Print Edition), ThaRid|
|Users Who Want This Item:||AlHazred, barryattles, horrorbusiness, KenJenningsJeopardy74 (This is the only book I still need from the original series. It's supposed to be released by Chooseco April 1, 2015, so I'm waiting for that. ), killagarilla, Kiyanayah (Maybe it will be published under R.A.'s new company Chooseco.), kleme, Madeye, Malthus Dire, Mr ?, nelsondesign, Nomad, ntar, Nym90, Pseudo_Intellectual, strawberry_brite, The Mystery Squad fan|
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