Thursday, July 19, 2012

Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Mars!

I'm at the beach this week, and there's two things about taking books on vacation that it's important to keep in mind. First, you can't take nearly as many books with you as you wish. Second, you want something that will both suck you in, but is also easy to pick up and put down, because somebody somewhere is always telling you to do something other than what you really want to be doing--especially reading!

This week, I'm bringing one of the new "choose your own adventure" -type novels from the people who wrote the Worst-Case Scenario books, and it is perfect for a vacation read-- I'm sucked in, I've got multiple reads all within one cover, and it's got lots of places where I can stop, but, with about a bajillion cliffhanger choices to make, I can't wait to pick it back up again.
If you ever read a Choose Your Own Adventure book, then you know the style of book this is: you are the hero, and you go on the adventure, choosing which action to take in order to complete your mission or quest or story. Sometimes it leads to success, but sometimes you end up dead as a doornail, or lost in space, or worse.

This book is set in the near future, on the first manned mission to Mars, and you're aboard. What makes this title, and the other books in this series, different from most run-of-the-mill CYOA knock-offs, is two things. First, there's sections that are told in comics: quick passages of action where you zip through it in interesting, well-drawn, fast-paced visuals. The second is where the Worst-Case Scenario part comes in.

In the back of each of the titles (I read the Mars mission one, but there's also an Amazon adventure one, and an Everest climb one) is real-life relevant scientific information you would really need if you were doing what your character does in the story, so it behooves you to read up on the information so you can make informed choices as you make your way through the book.

I am having a blast reading this, and so is my oldest kid, who's pre-teen and has never seen a book written like this before. So whether you're looking for a beefed-up CYOA read, or you've never read a book where you pick what happens, I think these are great, whether you're on vacation or just holed up at home looking for adventure.

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