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‘Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan Book 1’ (review)

Written and Illustrated by Jason Shiga
Published by Amulet/Abrams Books


Remember when Choose Your Own Adventure books were all the rage for young readers?

Along with a dozen or so copycat series, they were huge for a number of years in the 1980s and 1990s. I never read a single one, but as a bookseller in that period, I sold thousands of them!

The reason I bring that series up today is that the book at hand, Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan Book 1 is sorta/kinda the modern kids’ graphic novel equivalent of them.

You don’t read it from the first page to the last.

You follow widely scattered page numbers as instructed and most often those numbers represent the choices you make nearly every step of the way.

Jason Shiga’s simple drawing style makes it hard to tell if the main character is meant to be male or female, which makes them more relatable to every reader.

On page 5, this character steps into a pub. Everything that happens after that is completely different every time you read the book. The character can choose this path or that path and a different adventure awaits, with different twists, different turns, different characters, and different outcomes.

Hundreds of possible variations! I admit I only tried a few.

I have to say that this kind of book is not my thing. By the time my own son came around in the late 1990s, those original books were past their prime so I never even read them then.

I also have to say, though, that if I picked Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan Book 1 up at the right age, I would easily have been hooked. It’s cleverly and creatively done, it’s cute, exciting, and at times it’s actually funny. It’s not made for me.

If you know or have a kid who likes to be challenged by books, here is a book that is right up their alley.

I envy them.

Booksteve recommends.

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