Weathervane's Reviews > TENOPIA ISLAND #1

TENOPIA ISLAND #1 by Edward Packard
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Apr 06, 12

bookshelves: childrens-young-adult, fantasy
Read in March, 2012

Not half bad. I think the one big problem with "gamier" gamebooks like this one is that there's a lot less attention paid to the characters and story. The writing effort has clearly been directed towards the interactive element. Sometimes this turns out rather poorly, as in the case of Fighting Fantasy, a series whose formula I am not fond of -- but in Tenopia Island it works well, mainly because Edward Packard seems to have an instinctive understanding of what makes a gamebook satisfying to the reader. The author simply has to play fair. In so many gamebooks I've read, death is always one unlucky choice away, but Packard almost always gives you clues as to which choice is best. When reading an Edward Packard book, an attentive reader can usually discern the difference between a path that will lead to his death, and a path that will lead to victory. The best part of Tenopia Island is that Packard left out death entirely this go around. The challenge lies in successfully finding one's way around the island, using maps and a variety of clues given to him by the local inhabitants and the surroundings.

It's a game, and it has challenge, but it's fun rather than frustrating. That's what I like to play.
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