June 20th, 2011
One of my favorite authors has a new series coming out where it’s a your choose-your-own-adventure story (CYOA) of yore, except all grown up.
I used to really love those stories because I enjoyed how a shift in thought could bring about entirely different endings and how you didn’t have just one story in your hands, but many.
I’ve read Lauren, Riding off Trail, and so far I think that Mima has well harnessed (pun unintended) the power of modern e-readers to flip back and forth at will to create an interesting new take on my old favorite.
I’m undecided on whether or not I like that I never really saw anything coming. When I picked a decision, thinking that I’d be sending the plot twisting this way, I found myself careening down an entirely different path more often that not. To a certain extent, I like being surprised. But to another extent it was slightly frustrating because it poked holes at the illusion that you’re in charge rather than the author.
Oh well, now that’s out in the open, I guess I’m just feeling sulky. Never mind me then. I’m just being my usual control freakish self. I had a ton of fun even when I sat there, mouth agape, whining: “But I didn’t intend for that to happen!”
However, I did notice that a couple of the ways the story went meant that certain plot elements weren’t resolved. Although the very nature of the beast means that I could flip around and find out what I wanted to know from other plot-lines, I would have preferred if everything was eventually tidied up within the same story. Some threads went in not only entirely unexpected lines, but it almost seemed as if the original idea of her going to the ranch to settle things with Sorrel was entirely thrown out of her mind and this was very slightly frustrating. That said, I can also see how it would have been difficult to wrap that many different and disparate threads up.
If this idea takes off, I hope that Mima will write more of these DIY adventures, but perhaps with more of her trademark character development and the rich and engaging in-depth plotlines I’ve come to love from her. Lauren’s adventures were fun and engaging, but I’ve come to expect more from her as a result of her full length novels.
For her first foray into this genre, this is a solid offering. I expect that if she ventures further into this territory, they will not disappoint.
I have to admit: this is making me want to turn Estyria I into a CYOA…