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From the Strange Loves series, volume 2

by Lacy Wilson & illustrated by Ash Beevers & developed by Tin Man Games

Age Range: 14 - 18

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 2013
Publisher: Tin Man Games

An electronic choose-your-own adventure story with multiple dark twists and turns that will hook readers as they attempt to avoid being eaten.

Readers are warned from Page 1 that this is “not a normal book,” an admonition that is underscored by opening prompts to input a name and select both a gender and a college major. These prompts personalize the experience and set off the adventures at Mountain State College. No matter the path selected, they seem to include potential boyfriends and black magic that conjure deadly creatures, which readers must outsmart based on their selections and the spells they collect along the journey. Although there’s plenty of fun, there are a few quirks. For example, regardless of the sex selected, the text does not change, so the narrative “you” will always be engaging with men. Black-and-white images in a gritty, graphic-novel style are sprinkled throughout, and blood soaked pentagrams are prevalent. Extras include a campus map, opportunities to Tweet progress and bookmarking capabilities that enable returning to marked points. Although the text, which is generally presented in two- or three-page chunks, can feel hokey, it fades into the background as the challenge to choose wisely and stay alive dominates.

A great mix of black magic, hot boyfriends and bloodthirsty beasts makes this interactive app an addicting read. (iPad game app. 14-18)