Sunday, November 29, 2015

Interactive Junior Fiction Adventure book

Dragons Realm (You Say Which Way) by Eileen Mueller, Fairytale Factory Ltd

Eileen lives in Wellington and writes for children and teenagers, as well as doing editing work (she is one of the editors of the popular Twisty Christmas Tales anthologies). Visit her at

Here she turns her hand to interactive adventure – similar to the Twistaplot and Choose Your Own Adventure series published a couple of decades ago. The book comes in electronic and paperback versions, and I read it on my Kindle. The interactive capabilities (click on a link to make your plot choice) made it a very easy process compared to the old “turn to page 56” setup that I remember. The basic plot involves the hero (you – it’s written in the second person) fleeing from some bullies and ending up in a different world where dragons and other supernatural characters abound, some good, some evil. I didn’t follow all the plot strands, but read enough to get an idea of how it works. Most strands involved at least half a dozen choice opportunities, and when you reach the end there’s a brief summary that more or less wraps up that particular story. Navigation is carefully explained, and there’s a link to a summary of the choices available if you get confused.

Evaluating characterisation, setting, plot and style as per an ordinary book is pretty well impossible for this genre, so all I can say is that it would probably be most enjoyed by boys of about 8 to 11 who find reading a full-length, sequential chapter book to be fairly daunting. The interactive game-type element should appeal to readers who’d rather look at a screen than a printed page – they’ll have heaps of fun and develop their reading skills at the same time.

ISBN (print version) 9781519288363 RRP (print, Amazon) $9.95; (Kindle, Amazon) $2.97; 214pp (print version)

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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