Escape from a Video Game: Mystery on the Starship Crusader by Dustin Brady, Illustrations by Jesse Brady

Escape from a Video Game: Mystery on the Starship Crusader by Dustin Brady, Illustrations by Jesse Brady, Published by Andrews McMeel , 9781524858841, 2021

Format: Soft cover, 189 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Adventure Fiction

What did you like about the book?  Although not the first book in this series, this title can be read out of order as the plots are independent of one another.  As the reader, you are given instructions on how to use the book, “game” and then told that you have been sucked into the computer game as the character, Doctor Iz.  As with the other stories in this series, the end of each section will give you options to choose your course; these dictate where your next adventure lies or will kill you.  With numerous choices and adventures, this title could be read multiple times with multiple plots.  Sections are short and will be a hit with struggling readers.  The setting for this book takes place on a spaceship, with crew members who have also been sucked in to the game from a middle-aged mom to a six-year-old.  Each character has their idiosyncrasies which correlate to their age, the sixteen year old cannot deal without her cell phone.  Humorous with multiple twists and turns that keep readers turning pages, this book will be a hit with young gamers.  The book begins with information on how to read the text and gives the readers hints.  Solutions are provided at the end of the work.  A website is given that will help readers decode the clues given throughout the text.  A must have for fans and lovers of puzzles.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Not a negative, the plot could seem erratic and disjointed depending on reader input; this could be confusing for some readers.  Corny humor and working out puzzles may not be alluring to some readers.  Characters, although engaging, are two dimensional.

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers, in grades 3 and up who enjoy adventure books with puzzles, or enjoyed other titles in the series, would like this title.  

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for upper elementary and middle schools or public libraries that cannot get enough Choose-Your-Own-Adventure titles.  

Where would you shelve it? Adventure Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the top of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: June 3, 2021

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