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Reviewed by Matt Lebois for Readers' Favorite
If you were born any time between 1970 and 1990, you probably remember Choose Your Own Adventure-style books and countless other lines riding that popular wave; if born at any other time then either your children or your parents enjoyed them. I adored those pulpy, replayable reading adventures. With Select Your Superpower, David Blaze summons that nostalgia and updates it with the first of what will hopefully be an ongoing series of adventures starring “You”. The setup: you are visiting some new friends at their home when their enigmatic scientist father rushes through the room. You get a brief glimpse of his secret experiments. Before you know it, you are thrust into a tense standoff, with enemies pounding at the door and you holding multiple vials in your hands that may grant you special abilities. Which will you choose to drink? Who will you try to save? Who will you trust? Multiple storylines full of twists and turns lie before you, providing hours of thrills.
Although written for a middle-grade audience, there’s no reason for readers of any age not to pick this up and try their luck at a heroic outcome. I appreciated that the not-so-good endings give you the page number to return to if you want to make just one different choice. Otherwise, you can start over from the beginning and enjoy something completely different. The writing is sharp, creating tension with every choice while keeping the material appropriate for young readers. There is excitement, suspense, and thrilling action without any inappropriate violence. Every section provides substantial new material for your story and never gets boring. I love that the very first choice point has several different options, creating a wide array of story paths immediately. Black and white comic-book illustrations with a Manga vibe pepper the book and really punch up the action. This self-select adventure brought back a lot of memories, and the best part is that it’s a clear step up in story quality from the similar type of books I remember from my youth. I think it’s time to share this guiltless pleasure with my own kids.