4 out of 4 stars
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Murdered: A Click Your Poison Book by James Schannep is an interactive story reminiscent of the series, Choose Your Own Adventure. If you were a fan of these books, I think you’d really enjoy this one! I must say, the potential fun to be had while literally “choosing your adventure” (or clicking your poison) is quite limitless.
This book opens in the decadent and colorful world of Brazil at the start of the infamous Carnaval Festival in Rio de Janeiro. Just like in the CYOA series, it is you the reader who is the main character of this story. It is you who makes decisions at every turn, and you who starts things off by finding a dead girl’s body in an abandoned building. The book has just begun, and you are already choosing how to navigate your way through this terrible discovery. What will be your reaction? Will you be implicated? Will you call the police for help?
There are many answers to these questions! Because at every turn, you can make a different choice, which will of course lead to a wide variety of consequences. As it turns out, there are more than 50 different endings. You could end up finding the killer, sent home to the United States, or even find yourself in danger of your own.
Thinking back to my own childhood, I loved the CYOA books so much. I would read every possible option until I had figured out every single path in which the plot could take me, and then decide which one (or ones) I enjoyed the most. I was able to do something similar with this book, and it felt so nostalgic and fun to do so!
I also found the author’s writing style to be realistic and attention-grabbing. Even though the story is obviously fiction, I still found myself picturing the adventures unfolding in Brazil as though they were really happening. The other characters were well-developed and additionally, the types of decisions the main character (you!) is asked to make seem plausible and interesting.
The only real issue I had concerned gender. Being a woman, it would’ve been nice if I had the option to be a female main character. Fortunately, this detail didn’t derail the story for me. I found the book to be professionally edited, because I found no mistakes at all (in my experience, this is quite rare!). I give this book 4 out of 4 stars and believe that readers who loved the CYOA books, fans of adventure, fans of thrillers, and fans of stories with well-developed characters will definitely get a kick out of this story!
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