10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great Read, Great Idea,
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This review is from: Booksurfers: Treasure Island (Kindle Edition)
Reading David Gatward's Booksurfers series was a new experience for me: not only is this the first time I've read an e-book on a mobile device, but it's also my first encounter with Treasure Island, which is one of those classics I've always wanted to read but have never got around to. But despite my lack of familiarity with RL Stevenson's tale of pirates and treasure, I never found this to be a disadvantage while reading Booksurfers, mostly due to Gatward's skill with storytelling. He knows exactly the right amount of detail to insert from the original texts to stop unfamiliar readers from getting lost, while at the same time preventing it from being needlessly explanatory for those readers who know the classic well.
Jake, Ryan, Harriet and Becca are four characters whose personalities are very defined, making their interactions with both each other and the books they are thrown into very enjoyable. There are plenty of laughs here, particularly from Jake's snappy one-liners and Becca's constant preening and pouting.
It took me a little while to get a handle on the significance of the hyperlinks in the text, though I suspect this is more to do with my own inexperience with e-books. Once I realised that certain parts of the Booksurfers story link to parts of the original work (and in some cases, quote it word for word with some clever changes) I found this a very novel introduction to the text itself. By doing this, Gatward allows us to dip into parts of the original book (in this case Treasure Island) before returning back to the main storyline.
The Booksurfers storyline in itself would be excellent as a standalone, but I think it's the hyperlinking with the classics that makes this series really shine. It's an incredibly clever idea, and I can see it being a sneaky way for parents to get their kids onto classics - because younger readers will latch onto the great characters and evil villain storyline of Booksurfers, they'll definitely want to explore the original that the book was based on after they've finished (or even while they read it). I love what the e-book format has been able to achieve which would have been impossible in a paper book, and while the concept is an inventive one, it never takes away from the fact that in the end, these are some extremely entertaining stories!