I found this to be surprisingly entertaining. I expected a hamfisted Hunger Games knock-off... and I'll admit, in some ways that's exactly what I got....moreI found this to be surprisingly entertaining. I expected a hamfisted Hunger Games knock-off... and I'll admit, in some ways that's exactly what I got. The premise is ludicrous, the idea that any level of peace or control in the world could be obtained by segregating people based on their personality is absolutely foolish. Also, the main character, Tris, is often just as annoyingly naive, if not more so, than HG's Katniss.
But it was a nice, light, easy read. In the moments where they weren't being too teeney-boppy, the characters were interesting, although several of them went basically under-used, or under-developed.
Regardless, of whether or not it seemed too hokey, or too young, or too... I don't know... formulaic?... I found myself interested in the world, and what was going to happen to these characters.
I'm not that interested in the sequel, though. I found myself more interested in the workings of the factions, and their purpose. So the set-up for the next novel doesn't really have me rushing out to get the next one.(less)
I first picked this up in Audio Book format at a thrift store. Turns out the 3rd cassette had some issues, and wouldn't play. I saw it on the shelf at...moreI first picked this up in Audio Book format at a thrift store. Turns out the 3rd cassette had some issues, and wouldn't play. I saw it on the shelf at another store this week, and picked it up.
While I definitely missed the fantastic voice of John Glover, it was still his voice I was hearing in my head as I read along myself.
The book itself is a fantastic work of Young Adult fiction. I'm honestly surprised I hadn't ever heard of it before, because 12 year old me was very much interested in Clive Barker's The Hellbound Heart and Cabal, having read them both after watching the movies that had been made of them.
The story itself is a fresh take on the whole "Pleasure Island" arc of Pinocchio's story. I think it really worked well, because, although you feel like you know what's coming, you're still interested to read it.
Obviously, since the target audience is pre-teens, it is a very easy, quick read. It's well written, and just dark enough to interest that age group.
I give the audio book 5 stars, because adding John Glover into the mix just made it that much better. I wish I had been able to finish the audio book. The book itself is a solid 4 stars, but I'm fairly sure had I read it when it released in '92, when I was the target age, it would have been the full 5.(less)
A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure featuring the Mario Brothers? How the hell did 11 year old me not find this at Coles Book Store back in the day?
This book...moreA Choose-Your-Own-Adventure featuring the Mario Brothers? How the hell did 11 year old me not find this at Coles Book Store back in the day?
This book was released in October 1991, just about a year and a half after Super Mario Bros. 3 hit North America, and just a couple of months after the NA launch of the Super Nintendo and Super Mario World.
At the hands of the mysterious Dr. Sporis Von Fungenstein, Mario and Luigi must work their way through the video game worlds of several of their pre-Super Mario Bros. 3 adventures, including Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. and Super Mario Bros. 2. Along the way they meet several old friends and adversaries, solve puzzles, and--if they play the game right--save the day.
The book is wall-to-wall puns and puzzles. The puzzles were old hat even back in '91. And the puns are what you'd expect from the early 90s. Also, as required by the Cali-Valley Surf Linguistics Act of 1989 (which would finally be repealed in 1998) one of the books game worlds has been consumed by "Woah Gnarly Dude" 90s surf culture.
The most enjoyable thing about the book for me, the thing that tells me 11-Year-Old-Me would have really enjoyed this book, is that there are tons of references to levels, enemies and characters from Mario's older adventures. If you were a video game playing pre-teen in or around 1990, who loved to read the instruction manuals on the shitter, you'll probably still be able to recall the references.
Unfortunately, that means the window of opportunity to thoroughly enjoy this book has past. Hardly any kid today will get the references, even if they do play the old games, because most won't know the names of the enemies. Unless they've parents who force them to read .pdfs of old game manuals on their smart phones while deuce dropping.
Regardless of the fact that I'm waaaay too old for this book now, it was a fun nostalgia trip for me.(less)
The illustrations in this book are fantastic. I didn't care much for the story itself. Charlotte seemed to like it well enough, though, and that's wha...moreThe illustrations in this book are fantastic. I didn't care much for the story itself. Charlotte seemed to like it well enough, though, and that's what's important.
I just read this book to her for the first time. The whole time it seemed familiar. I kept thinking of this whining annoying voice saying, "But I'm a sailor dog."
This is why. My younger brother constantly watched a VHS tape that had a video adaptation of this story for a while. That voice still cuts right through me.(less)