So today I am a stop for the book blog tour of ‘Treasures of the Forgotten City’ by Danny McAleese and David Kristoph!
Now this book isn’t your average page 1 to end sorta book. Oh no. You’re moved through the book through your choices (and this is the first time I am saying this) but this book was definitely better to read electronically as clicking the links to where the choice led saved time and was much more satisfying.
So you’re given a brief overview at the beginning of who you are, because you as the reader are the main character. This was really interesting because this instantly immerses you more into the story. You don’t need to be hooked because the adventure lies with you. Now I am a major fan of RPGs and video games where they rely on your choices to move the game onward in either direction- so this adventure book instantly grabbed my attention as something I definitely wanted to experience. The setting at first definitely reminded of either The Mummy (desert, tombs, treasure) or Indiana Jones. You are an adventurer, a would-be treasure hunter and you’re trying to fill the shoes of your great-grandfather in finding the city of sands, Athraharsis.
I had my dice ready and was really pleased that the chapters were so short! This kept the adventure fast paced, and you didn’t run the risk of losing yourself in information. When the decisions started coming up I tried to play it safe but clever and most of the time I seemed to choose okay – what with the comments at the bottom of the chapter (GOOD JOB! SOLID CHOICE! etc)
Because the chapters were so short, we were jumping around the plot at an alarming rate so for my first go the other character who you were with (Waif) was really just a cog in the grand scheme of the game. Now, the concept for which the story is told is fantastic, I am definitely going to play it again. It certainly reminded me of dungeons and dragons – I was pleased that you didn’t go in order of the pages, you literally had no idea where you were going. Because the concept/game works so well, this is where the story/character(s) lack. Now as we, as the readers/participators are one and the main one, we only progress as far as we allow ourselves – whether that is writing information down, or studying maps longer. As for the other characters, we don’t really (from my experience so far, as there are naturally so many different paths through the text) need to worry about having much time with them. The main focus is choosing your next move to find either more treasure and work yourself deeper into the city (and of course stay alive) to find clues, solve the riddles and solve the ultimate puzzle.
Which I would like to add I failed to do on my first go because I simply turned the cog the wrong way. I did laugh as I was faced with The End because I didn’t see it coming!
To summarise, it was definitely an entertaining piece of immersive and interactive fiction! As a digital fiction it is a refreshing change to the normal physical book, and the interactivity really makes it stand out. Fiction is a loose term but it definitely had some mystery to it with the riddles to solve! I will be having a few more turns to gather more information and it’s definitely something to do with friends for a laugh to see how far you get – and it means one person can be on taking notes, one on the dice and one taking down symbols or map locations – it definitely allows you to be more than just ONE reader – which is lovely and unique and also would create a great sense of team work and satisfaction once the ultimate ending was reached.I definitely think this something which can be built on – I would love to see more like it!
Enjoyable for all ages 12+ depending on how descriptive it goes with the animals, and as a young adult at 23 I definitely think it works for adults too!
Many Thanks to Sage’s Blog Tours for inviting me to host this review. I hope you enjoyed it!