Book Review: Lost in Lion Country

Next generation storytelling, where YOU say which way the story goes.

Lions, zebras, baboons and hot air balloons.
You are on safari in Africa. But when you step out of the truck to take photos of a giraffe, the vehicle takes off without you. Now you are on your own and a pack of hyena are coming

The Serengeti National Park isn’t a safe place. There are lions out here … lots of lions. You wanted to see animals up close and now you’re getting your wish as you try and find your way back to civilization.

This is an interactive story. At the end of each chapter you will need to choose your path wisely if you are going to avoid getting eaten and make it back to your family. Oh, and watch out for the rhino poachers, they’re armed and dangerous!

Will you survive? There’s only one way to find out, so get reading.

 

This one is a fun book for children of all ages.  It is rated for children 10 years and up on Amazon’s site, which may be because of a few of the encounters that you can come across.

The fun thing about the entire choose your own adventure genre is that you have multiple books inside one cover.  These are all well done short stories, ensuring the pace of which ever path you choose is fast enough to maintain your interest, but not so fast you don’t have time to absorb the rich detail and information provided along side the story.  Though there are a few bad endings, I would guess it’s 2 or 3 out of a possible 10 or so.

The design built into this book is nicely done to complement the story – each chapter represents a choice made after the first.  So, you do not have to worry about being in the middle of the action and having to stop, think, choose, and then figure out where you were.  (I’ve run across a few of those in the paper editions when I was younger – much less enjoyable!)  This one, you choose, the action happens, and then you get to choose again from the results.

There is a limited amount of character building, since “you”, the reader, are the main character.  An intriguing way of bringing the story up close and personal.  Along the way there is a large amount of information stuffed into each encounter, which gives the overall story the same depth and interesting texture you would expect from a heavily character driven book with well developed, complex characters.  (Well, we are well developed, complex characters, right?)

For the world building – umm… where to start?  Fantastic isn’t strong enough, but I don’t know anything stronger that doesn’t get into hyperbole.  Reading through this, I could almost smell the grass (which wasn’t described), feel the heat, taste the dust, hear the sounds, see the animals off in the distance, and know that what ever I decided could mean a grisly death if it wasn’t the right one.  Definitely an immersive experience for this vivid imaginer, and I’m sure it’s not too much less for someone able to stay that one step removed.  Between the scene sketches, and the information provided though I’ve never been to Africa physically, I would feel confident in saying I’ve been there in spirit at least this once.

Definitely a 5 of 5 stars from me for this one, and a high recommendation of you’ve a youngster at home who is a reader.  Even an unenthusiastic reader may find enough engagement here to enjoy.

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