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Infected (Click Your Poison) (Volume 1) Paperback – November 17, 2012
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★★★★★ "INFECTED is quite simply a welcome evolution to an old format that just begs to be enjoyed. The zombie apocalypse is an instantly identifiable and enjoyable setting to many, especially us gamers who have spent hours in conversations with friends about the topic. ...the e-reader bringing even more accesability, and the more mature theme; James Schannep has truly managed to bring choose your own adventure into this generation. The future looks bright for this subset genre of books..."-Daniel Flatt, TheParanoidGamer.com
★★★★★ "If the world were to fall to a zombie apocalypse, who you let into your group of survivors would be very important. While I may lack the physical prowess required by some sets of rules (cardio and I DO NOT get along at all), I do have extremely good critical thinking and reasoning skills that are vital in any group. That is my survivor's resume cover page, the resume itself comes in the form of this book."-Andy Ross, Zombies & Toys reviewer
From the Author
What is a Click Your Poison book?
Do I need to read the series in order?
Are there more coming soon?
INFECTED -- Will YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?
MURDERED -- Can YOU Solve the Mystery?
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The first time I read it, I decided to choose as authentic to myself as I could. This was a little bit boring, honestly, but I survived and helped bring about the end of the zombie apocalypse. Perhaps it was just a bit boring to me because I'm not really into zombie stories. I think this is actually the first time I've read one. (I picked it up free on the Kindle shortly after I got it.) But it's certainly not bad.
Then I chose as opposite to myself as I could, and died pretty quickly.
Then I followed the third possible path, and ended up being the cure for all humanity, which was fun.
Then I just chose random paths, trying to see what else could end up happening. I enjoyed that in some of the paths, even if you got turned into a zombie, you get to keep on having an adventure.
One thing I enjoyed was that you could see how all these events still happened even if you weren't there, but you had the chance to play a role in them. And sometimes your choices really did effect how it would turn out, such as whether Lucas survives the ordeal. Sometimes this was weird because Angelica dies in one version basically solely so that the other version can lead back to the same story path, and her death in the first version is a little contrived, but generally I thought it was fun.
Another thing to note is that the Kindle is a great medium for this. You don't have to worry about accidentally turning to a page that will spoil the story for you. You can bookmark a particular choice of path if you want to go back and see how the other path would turn out. It feels a lot more fluid than the original paper version.
P.S. As a great bonus to this gamebook,there is an included game on page 346 designed for true partying Zombie fans!
My wife enjoyed our first storyline so much we picked up a hard copy as well, and even though the story is designed to be ereader compatible it also translates well as a paperback.
In the end Infected brings back the delight of the classic "choose-your-own-adventure" that you grew up with, but in a way that is geared for adults. Plus with the multitude of endings, some things seem to be an end but are really just beginnings.
If you've like to read my full review check out indiebookreviewer.blogspot.com
I first cracked this book on a four hour road trip while my wife was driving and I read the book to her and we made choices together as the story unfolded. We managed to get through about half of one of the three storylines and completed another during the trip. We then finished the other half of the first story line that night and I finished the other storyline in an afternoon back home. Overall, a very good read to the point that I picked it up on my Kindle and took some options I hadn't tried before using the linked feature available in the electronic medium.
The book has three main storylines with at least one "successful" ending in each. Some endings are quite satisfying, while others leave you feeling as if your victory was somewhat hollow. Many of the situations are not unexpected by anyone that reads zombie fiction, with the exception of one of the three storylines which I'll elaborate on next.
While most zombie survival stories end when you get bitten, this particular book opens up a new story when YOU get your character killed. Rather than a "The End", you get to experience a new story arch as, you guessed it, a shambling mass of flesh. This was quite a surprise to me when I first stumbled upon it and after I made it through to the conclusion of the zombie storyline, I went back through and tried several different paths to enjoy the scenery.
One of the other scenarios places your character at the center point of the events that caused and later cure the infection and is well thought out and manages to interlink itself with events you saw as a zombie, which is an interesting and entertaining twist.
The third storyline starts out with you alone and working to get yourself through the fall of society. It also manages to twist its way back into the other story lines as you "play" through the book.
Overall, the writing is nicely paced and contains pop culture references and humor. I especially liked a possibly overly detailed description of the "digestive" process of zombies, from a first person perspective. It was definitely "new" in my genre experience.
While that was refreshing, I did find the theme of "group and survive" was perhaps a bit overplayed as there seemed in some cases to be no fair chance for thsoe that might feel people are a bigger threat than zeds and might try to go their own way. In some cases I felt that a choice made would lead down a multi-choice path that all lead to failure which became frustrating to go back through and realize.
In conclusion, I highly recommend the book if you like zombies, like humor, and enjoy guiding a story along. I do recommend picking it up on the Kindle (if you have one, or use the app) as the bookmarks and links make exploring storyline options much easier.