Marshmallow has been reading a few “choose your own adventure” (CYOA) books in the last few weeks. Here she reviews the first book she read from the You Say Which Way series of Blair Polly and DM Potter: The Sorcerer’s Maze Collection.
Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books that allow you to choose which way you go, then this might be the book for you.
Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): The Sorcerer’s Maze Collection is basically a collection of games. You are the main character in the book. There are multiple ways to get to the end, if you get to the end. (That sounded too scary. You will most likely get to the end. Eventually.)
The Sorcerer’s Maze Collection contains three different stories: Adventure Quiz, Jungle Trek, and Time Machine. In all of the stories there is a sorcerer’s apprentice present, and in the third story (Time Machine) there is a girl named Matilda. (She is an Australian foreign exchange student and she becomes your friend before the time machine adventure happens.)
Adventure Quiz (book #1): This story starts with you sinking into a marshmallow floor. (Hey, I’m not a floor!) Signs pose questions for you to answer. There is a Sorcerer’s apprentice who asks you questions that are like a quiz or a test. The questions are kind of hard. (At least for a rabbit!) There are questions about space, science, history, and math. (You go back to the beginning if you mess up.)
Jungle Trek (book #2): You start out reading a book, and then you get transported to the jungle, and there are two people in the jungle. They tell you that they are the Sorcerer’s apprentices and are there to take you to the Sorcerer. To get through the jungle you have to answer the many questions they ask you, like “Which is bigger? The mouse or the rabbit?” (The questions are harder than the one I wrote.) If you get the question right, then you continue, and if you don’t, then you go back to the beginning. The questions in this book were the most interesting in the whole collection.
Time Machine (book #3): This story begins in an empty laboratory with your friend, Matilda. You see some weird gadget and Matilda touches it. You and Matilda are transported back in time to the age of Ancient Egypt. Once again you are asked many questions. If you answer a question correctly, you go closer to your real time, and if you make a mistake, then you go farther away from your real time or the time that you started in. Of course there is, again, a Sorcerer’s apprentice who is asking most of the questions.
Marshmallow’s Review: I enjoyed the first two stories more than the third, because I felt like the Sorcerer was cruel in the third book. And the companion, Matilda, was not terribly helpful.
I liked most the questions that came up naturally in my path through the maze, rather than the questions posed by the Sorcerer’s apprentices.
These were my first “choose your own adventure” books. I enjoyed the experience. It was like a game. I liked that I could impact the story because I sometimes get very frustrated when characters in books make foolish choices. In this book I could make all the decisions. I think I will read more books like this in the future.
Marshmallow’s rating: 95%