- File Size: 1154 KB
- Print Length: 140 pages
- Publisher: Fairytale Factory (February 15, 2014)
- Publication Date: February 15, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00IHC3ZIC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,947 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$7.95|
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Lost in Lion Country (You Say Which Way) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 140 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 8 - 12|
|Grade Level: 3 - 6|
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First off, I should say that while some "Choose Your Own Adventure" books can be gimmicky, with more attention paid to the novelty of multiple story options than the actual story, characters or writing, this book does not fall in to that trap. The option of making choices that lead you through the book adds some novelty, and helps to engage the reader in the overall reading experience, but it is the actual adventure that really sustains interest.
Here, our hero is never named. Our hero is "you". This is emphasized by the narrator's use of the second person singular throughout the book. "You" do this and then "you" do that. When used properly, as it is here, I think this adds a detached tone and yet an immediacy, to any narrative. "You" are there, right now. You must make decisions.
"You" have been left behind in the middle of the Serengeti by your tour bus, and you have to survive and find your way to safety. At the end of each chapter you are presented with a choice between two options. POSSIBLE MILD SPOILERS. As a general rule one choice is a bit more sensible than the other. You can take the apparently safest course at each decision point, (i.e. always turn left at the corner of the maze), or the the riskiest course, (turn right), or you can mix it up. The book bears multiple readings because there are many paths through to a variety of endings. Indeed, since different paths lead through different adventures you will want to go back a few times and make other choices so that you don't miss any of the possible adventures.
In "In the Magician's House" the narrative proceeded at a dreamy pace, with spare but carefully crafted sentences that gently carried you deep into the magician's house. All of this was presented in slightly formal and oddly stilted language that felt like it was being whispered in your ear. In "Lost in Lion Country" the language, structure and pace is much more in the tradition of Boys Own adventures, so "you" get to be a fit, rough and ready sort with a square jaw and a determined glint in your eye.
As a bonus, the actual scene setting, interactions with the Maasai, (heh, heh, if that is your choice), descriptions of the wildlife, and so on, are well done and ripping. Again, all of the care has not been lavished on the "choosing" part; however you choose it is also always a good adventure. This is just fascinating and compelling stuff, and this book is a remarkable and satisfying find. It will justify all of your previous Kindle freebie searches. (By the way, I have an old Kindle Touch and the choose-you-own option worked very smoothly on it; I wasn't sure that would necessarily be the case.)
So, all in all a nice find and a nice choice. Please note that I found this book while browsing Amazon Kindle freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
The design built into this book is nicely done to complement the story - each chapter represents a choice made after the first. So, you do not have to worry about being in the middle of the action and having to stop, think, choose, and then figure out where you were. (I've run across a few of those in the paper editions when I was younger - much less enjoyable!) This one, you choose, the action happens, and then you get to choose again from the results.
There is a limited amount of character building, since "you", the reader, are the main character. An intriguing way of bringing the story up close and personal. Along the way there is a large amount of information stuffed into each encounter, which gives the overall story the same depth and interesting texture you would expect from a heavily character driven book with well developed, complex characters.
For the world building - umm... where to start? Fantastic isn't strong enough, but I don't know anything stronger that doesn't get into hyperbole. Reading through this, I could almost smell the grass (which wasn't described - just the way it looked), feel the heat, taste the dust, hear the sounds, see the animals off in the distance, and know that what ever I decided could mean a grisly death if it wasn't the right one. Definitely an immersive experience for this vivid imaginer, and I'm sure it's not too much less for someone able to stay that one step removed.
This was a very enjoyable and informative read. Our 11 year old son made all the "right" choices the first time through so he was excited. We also learned a lot about the different animals and the Maasai etc.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from our house to yours!
The protagonist, you, are dumb enough to jump off a land rover while on tour in the Serengeti. Surprise Surprise. It leaves without you and you're stuck in the jungle, literally. Now you have to survive and find your way back to civilization. I read this on my kindle, which made traversing between my decisions real easy. I recall having to fold the pages on the paperback novels, leaving me with a crumpled up book. It's much more convenient this way.
The author has a whole slew of choose your adventure books. For kids and kids at heart, I recommend them all.