3 out of 4 stars
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With three separate storylines and fifty different endings, the Click Your Poison book Murdered, written by James Schannep, is so much fun to read. The story centers around the reader as the main character. You are in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to attend Carnaval when you become separated from your group. While wandering around, you stumble across a dead woman. This is where the adventures begin. From this point, you choose what happens next with options that are given at the end of each chapter. Schannep allows us to either follow the classic murder mystery plot or delve into heavier topics such as corruption and greed. Whichever decision is made, it is sure to be an unforgettable ride.
This is a nostalgic take on the children’s “choose your own adventure” books many of us grew up reading. Schannep took this popular concept from the 1990s and turned it into a fun read for adults. The storylines are unique with an exotic setting not typical to the classic murder mystery. As a character in the book, I felt more involved with the story and more invested in its outcome.
Murdered follows the tried-and-true format of the “choose your own adventure” books, but it has been updated for the twenty-first century. Because it is an ebook and flipping to specific page numbers would not work well, Schannep decided to add links for the choices at the end of chapters. This way, it was simple to follow along with the specific storyline I had chosen during my reading. If the story ended too abruptly and I was forced to click “the end”, I was taken to the end of the book where a link to all of the chapters could be found so I could either start over or go back to a specific chapter and make a different decision to keep the story going. This book was set up for easy use so I could just enjoy the story and not become confused.
Although this book was a lot of fun, it is an extremely fast-paced read which does not allow for much character or setting development. As a result, I found myself wanting more details about where I was and who I was with as a character of the book. I never got to know the characters and I could not “see” much of the setting. In short, the whole book felt rushed. This is a shame because if those details had been added and everything had been slowed down, this book would have been absolutely amazing.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I love the concept. A “choose your own adventure” book for adults is a breath of fresh air and kept me going back to discover new storylines and endings. Despite the fun I had reading, I found myself wishing there was more character development and setting detail. If you like reading about murder and conspiracy, you will enjoy this book. However, if you prefer a more character-driven story with descriptive details, this is probably not the book for you.
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