Select Your Superpower

You Save The World, Adventure #1 (You-Save-The-World Adventures for Kids 8-12)

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
237 Pages
Reviewed on 11/29/2021
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    Book Review

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.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

You are celebrating your new friends' birthday, twins Kevin and Kim. It’s supposed to be a weekend full of fun and games. But the twins’ father is a mad scientist with a secret potion and he acts rather strangely. You get swept up in his game when you witness him applying the potion to the pet mouse. Danger arrives on the doorstep and the scientist-father pushes you, with the vials, into a secret room behind a wall with instructions to destroy all the vials before the enemy confiscates them. In the process, you drink one of the vials and that’s when things start to get really bizarre. But wait – there are alternate possibilities as to how this might play out. It is, after all, a game. And you have the best superpowers available to settle the score.

David Blaze’s game book, Select Your Superpower, is book 1 of the You Save The World Adventure series. Like video games, the author provides multiple scenarios on how the adventure might play out. Told in the second-person narrative, the author is directing you, the reader, as to what’s happening, how you fit into the plot and what possible scenarios you can choose to follow, all with the underlying theme of your very own superpower. This is a reading adventure mixed with gaming potential and will appeal to young readers who love to create their own plots, all while using magical powers of their own making. The Introduction provides directions on how to move forward. The initial setting, in the twins’ home, sets the stage for all the possible action adventures to follow. At the end of each section, the author provides suggestions directing you to potential follow-up plot developments. This is an interactive game book, well laid out with lots of exciting plot lines to create and follow.

Joe Wisinski

Select Your Superpower: You Save The World, Adventure #1 by David Blaze is an interactive adventure book for children. Readers control the arc of the story, with 46 possible endings. Not all of the endings are positive. The story begins with the reader’s new friends in trouble, and the reader must save them. The friend’s father has created a new remedy with the potential to help millions of people. But it has a side effect—it gives superpowers to children. The book’s antagonists want to get the remedy and use it to take over the world. Readers can choose their own superpower and use it to try to save the day. After each scene, readers must make a choice and then turn to the appropriate page in the book. The book is part of the You-Save-The-World Adventures for Kids 8-12, but Blaze says children as young as 7 and as old as 14 may also like it. Key scenes are illustrated.

Select Your Superpower: You Save The World, Adventure #1 is an entertaining book for children. Author David Blaze gets young readers involved by using the second person, for example, “you jump into action,” and “you tell them everything that happened.” The story is believable and one that children will readily get into. Best of all, readers will like getting to make a choice at crucial points. The book will also help kids develop their reasoning skills. This isn’t a book to be read only one time. Because not all of the endings are positive, readers can return again and again and make a different choice, hoping for a better outcome. But beyond children, many adults will also enjoy the book. Younger children may also like having it read to them. And everyone will enjoy the illustrations.