I realize this one came out several years ago, but I’m pretty sure I never reviewed it. If you haven’t heard of it, have you heard of those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? Where you’d get to the end of a page and it would say things like, “To talk to the pirates turn to page 19, to hide and hope they don’t catch you turn to page 25”? It’s that. The great thing about the ebook form is that everything’s just clicks now, which makes the format that much more flexible. You can go crazy with the different paths through the book and not worry about producing a paperback that’s 500 pages.
You have to know, right from the start, that this is going to be mostly original material, rather than follow the plot. How can it be otherwise? Every time you choose to do something that a character didn’t do in the original, North has to supply his own version of events.
With that in mind, you can “play” as Hamlet, Ophelia, or even Hamlet Senior. I first chose the latter thinking it to be a joke – you get one page in and find out you’re dead – but the author’s better than that. You’re now the ghost, and you get to play the book that way, going on adventures, checking in periodically to see how your son is doing on his quest, all that good stuff.
It’s actually quite fun. There’s a lot of the author’s attitude in here, and the fourth wall is just a pile of rubble. He is speaking right at you the whole time, asking you to double check your choices, scolding you if you don’t follow directions. It’s great fun.
I don’t know that you’re ever really finished with a book like this. Since it is technically a book and not a game or app, your reader will give you page numbers. Mine tells me that there are about 1200 pages. In theory, you should visit all of them, but I’m not so sure. I’m fairly convinced that the author has written one or more entirely separate stories as easter eggs for people who just randomly flip through the pages (because, since it is a book and not an app, he can’t stop you).
If you haven’t read it yet, you might want to give this one a chance. I see on his author page that he did a Romeo and Juliet as well, I think I might have to add that one to my collection.
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