This review marks the debut of SingleEyePhotos, formerly of Red Adept Reviews, as one of BigAl's Pals. Please give her a warm welcome.
Reviewed by: SingleEyePhotos
Approximate word count: If you manage to find every route to the end of the book you’ll read between 100-105,000 words. In this book, your mileage can and will vary.
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I was unable to find any detailed information about the authors. The information on their Amazon author page was written tongue-in-cheek. They also co-authored another “Choose Your Own…” story (The Adventures of Whatley Tupper) which is geared towards a somewhat younger audience than this book was. Both authors are residents of Canada and have ‘day jobs’, with writing being more of a hobby. You might find a little information about Rudolph Kerkhoven on his blog.
Mr. Sturlubok is very proud of his elevation to acting assistant principal at an elementary school. He is prepared for every eventuality except the one that occurs. What should Mr. Sturlubok do? You decide!
It’s very difficult to give just one appraisal of this book because there are so many options. Since it’s literally a choose-your-own-story book, there are a myriad ways that the story can play out. Some are funny, some less so, others not at all. I tested about 6 different variations for this review. There were a couple that really didn’t seem to go anywhere with the story; there was one that got a little ‘naughty’; and there was one that ended up being a fairly substantial, although still ‘fluffy’ story. This is most certainly not a book that you sit down and read straight through, nor will it be the same for any two people. There are multiple options throughout the book to choose (and change) the storyline, which makes for a fun diversion, but definitely a non-traditional read for an adult.
The characters are relatively two-dimensional – most likely due to the constraints of the choose-your-own format – and almost come across as stereotypes. I personally didn’t find that a bad thing in this particular case, though I wouldn’t like it in a more traditional novel format. The whole point of this book is to have fun with the story, rather than to engage with the characters or the plot.
None noted. The links to select the next part of the story work well, although they tended to be on a separate page – one section would just end, with Mr. Sturlubok needing to make a decision on how to proceed, but the links to actually select his decision and move the story forward would be on the next page, which was a little confusing at first. Also, there are apparently random words and phrases underlined throughout the story. I found those annoying and distracting until it dawned on me that they were links too – then I started checking those out, and discovered that they led to humorous little ‘asides’ by the authors or to a tidbit of additional information.
Rating: **** Four stars