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Thrusts of Justice (Chooseomatic Books Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Matt Youngmark
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 320 pages
  • Collection: Chooseomatic Books (Book 2)
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Book Description

You're just an unemployed reporter until a cryptic warning and an explosion outside your favorite bar send you down the road to becoming one of three superpowered heroes (or, potentially, villains - we're not here to judge). Dark vigilante? Armored space ­cop? Wisecracking mutant? Whichever path you choose, ­ you'd better get busy, because a mysterious plot is afoot and - like it or not - you're the only thing standing ­between the forces of evil and ­utter annihilation. Thrusts of Justice is an action/comedy ­reimagining of the choose-your-own-path books you grew up with. There are 90 possible endings (81 of which result in your ­humiliating death).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1409 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Atherton Haight (8 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #298,315 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great solo adventure game! 6 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A brilliant second outing for Matt with his Solo adventure books. Not just one character path choice, but four! I've re-played this dozens of times without getting bored or taking the same choices.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 15 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this. It starts off giving you the 3-way choice to be either a Batman type, a kind of Iron Man/Green Lantern mix, or a "gloopy" villian teamed up with an Ox-head partner. The stories are hillarious all the way through, especially the friendship with the Ox bad guy who is a real "Ben Grimm" style basher.

The paths are all full of clever references for comic fans, such as when your "Batman" hero is being lifted up to have his back broken by a villian and thinks about the nice rest he will have recuperating in his cave.

The zombie one was good too but I could read this one loads of times.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great "choose your path" superhero adventure 22 April 2012
By Ed Pegg Jr - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked the author's previous Zombocalypse Now a lot, and bought this one once I learned about it.

At the start, you are a recently fired reporter, having drinks with other fired reporters, when you hear a voice. "Heed my warning." And from there, things start to happen in front of the bar. From there, you can
a) investigate an ox-man supervillain
b) follow the retreating Nightwatchman
c) track down a guardian that just deflected a meteor.

With each of these choices, you'll eventually become a superhero of some kind. But it's not just superheroics -- the author is deconstructing the genre to make things more interesting, and to add a few more dimensions to the characters. There are many, many wry lines in this thing. "If you think you can find more answers by harnessing the powers of journalism, click here for page 40". Usually, the more wry a suggestion, the better the chance is to lead to an amusing bad end. And there is at least one infinite loop in the novel, which was fun.

Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superhero glory (or more likely an unseemly death) awaits! 25 Jun. 2012
By Cathytg - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A choose-your-own adventure book for grown-ups, about superheros -- this Kindle book could easily have coasted on its high concept to suck people in, then served up a half-assed sloppy experience and called it a day. Instead, Thrusts of Justice was genuinely funny and clever, and the branching plot paths are really well thought out. I'm not a super-hero fan, and even so this was really fun to play with!

We get our set up in the first segment -- we are a disgruntled unemployed journalist, commiserating with former colleagues in a bar, when super-villain mayhem breaks out right outside the door. From there we can choose three possible paths, each of which branches like crazy. Depending on our choices, we can die horribly, die horribly, die horribly, save the world, die horribly, and so on. I think I found only three or four outcomes that did NOT lead to a gruesome death -- but it's worth exploring them all, because they really are clever. Also, the universe and backstory remain the same no matter what you choose (unlike the actual Choose Your Own Adventure books, which if I remember correctly involved a lot of mutually exclusive events depending on your choices), and if you don't explore every branch you will miss information that helps to round out what is happening and why.

It's "for adults," but really there's no reason an older kid couldn't enjoy this. There's some swearing, and many of the deaths are cartoonishly gruesome and violent, but it's really fairly tame stuff. It also demonstrates important life lessons, such as the virtues of not vaporizing your annoying neighbor, and why getting falling-down drunk is not such a great idea (especially if you're wearing alien robo-armor you haven't quite mastered yet). I liked the fact that "you" are never identified by gender, so it's easy for any reader to step into the story and start his or her super misadventures.

Youngmark manages to juggle the complex plot over all his branching storylines, which is impressive enough; but even better, the writing is good and the humor is actually humorous. I was really pleasantly surprised by how accomplished and polished the whole thing is. I definitely plan to pick up the zombie apocalypse companion volume!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, hilarious genre parody 13 April 2012
By Clinton J. Boomer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I'm a die-hard fan of Matt Youngmark's work, going back to 2009's hysterical "Zombpocalypse Now" - the sheer, bloody joyous concept of choose-your-own-adventure books for grown-ups is too wonderful to pass up.

But in this newest work he knocks it out of the park, delivering on every bit of promise he showed with his first book.

If you delight in profane super-heroic comedy, there simply is no choice. Buy this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My boss was wrong: there is such a thing as justice! 27 April 2012
By Melodie N. Ladner - Published on
There was this time, a couple of years ago.

I was walking to work, and as I passed this one particular building, ten or fifteen pigeons took wing at once, like they do when they're startled.

Only they were so startled that they all evacuated their bowels in unison, just as they were passing over me, effectively hosing me down with their personal leavings. I was already late for work, so instead of backtracking a couple of blocks to clean up, I walked the rest of the way, hair and shirt and backpack all painted with this stuff.

To me it seemed like an origin story in the style of comic books: surely, having weathered this ordeal, I would acquire some sort of super power. Perhaps I'd be able to see through the eyes of pigeons in future as they cavorted and soared above this concrete jungle, this city of glass... or at least persuade them not to take their sweet time getting out of my way when we crossed paths on the sidewalk.

Alas, I remained as powerless as ever. And so I seethed.

Obviously, Thrusts of Justice was my personal balm in Gilead.

In its depths, you have the option to shoulder several different super powers, ranging from technological to biological, each offering its own benefits, each exacting its own terrible price. With great power comes great responsibility, etc., so take a page from RuPaul's diary and don't F*** it up.

Or do, if it means so much to you.

The magic of Chooseomatic books is you can always take it back and try again even if you die horribly, destroy the universe and bring Tila Tequila back into the public consciousness.

(NB: No you do not actually have the opportunity to bring Tila Tequila back into the public consciousness in this book. Matt Youngmark is a good person.)

This book offers a general attention to witty dialogue and magnificent narration, which would've been good enough for most of us.

But you know that time you were on the bus for what felt like four days with a bunch of weirdos, creeps and goobers and you thanked your lucky stars that they were no more powerful than you?

Pretty much every single supporting character in this book is a weirdo, creep and/or goober who can kick your buns from here to eternity, and lied about losing their bus pass because they didn't feel like paying and they knew the driver didn't give a care either way.

Going by what I've said, you might suppose that these characters are shallow, cartoony, one-dimensional weirdos, but like any real fan of comic books (or any form of media, really) Mr. Youngmark has given them lives and hearts and souls that will endear them to you even if they appear only briefly as you make your choices.

He's also pretty great with the world-building. It makes up only one small part of the book, really--mostly it adheres to the "here for a good time, not a long time" philosophy--but that small part is a lot more poignant and affecting than you might expect from a book with dueling mutants on the cover, and absolutely worth working through its many different storylines.

Thrusts of Justice is strange and funny and considerate (When they told you you could be anything, they didn't tell you you could be THREE things!) and also it appeals to what I would just hope is the impulse we all have to change the world for the better, or at least to give it a try.

Look, just buy it, okay?

Jeez Louise.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shameless nostalgic pleasure 1 Jun. 2012
By J. Zimmerman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thrusts of Justice by Matt Youngmark plugs deep into childhood nostalgia with this choose-your-own-adventure book written for adults. Set in a unique (and slightly tongue-in-cheek) superhero universe, this book gives a laid-off journalist from Cleveland the chance to step into the role of superhero just in time to save the world from certain doom. The journalist, of course, is "you."

The book opens with you and your fellow unemployed journalists drowning your sorrows while discussing the possibility of launching your own news website. Your drunken plans to form a startup are thrown off course when a disembodied voice warns of impending doom just before an explosion draws your attention outside. There you see a smoking crater in the middle of the street where three figures are visible. The supervillain known as the Ox has just broken through the wall of a bank with unmarked bags of cash. The dark and ominous hero known as the Nightwatchman slinks off from the scene. And at the bottom of the crater is the legendary Cosmic Guardian who had disappeared in the 90s. You know any one of these three could be a great news lead, but where could it lead?

If you like strange powers from radioactive meteorites, continue on to the next paragraph. If you like brooding antiheroes like Batman, skip to the paragraph after that. If you like interstellar police forces, like the Green Lantern Corps or the Nova Corps, continue on to the third paragraph after this.

Trying to find out what Ox is doing in Cleveland, you sneak closer to the scene of the crime. But rather than finding clues, you fall into the crater and black out. When you wake up, you have strange goo-like powers that allow you to change shape, walk on walls and hurl goo. Does great power come with great responsibility? Or a great opportunity for profit?

Trying to follow Nightwatchman leads you to one of his secret lairs. There you find Nightwatchman's suit abandoned. Donning it, you find yourself able to pose as the dark hero. Though you lack his martial skill, you have access to his wonderful toys and can use them to figure out what happened to the real Nightwatchman.

Trying to follow the Cosmic Guardian, you find him dying. He passes on his armored superhero suit to you, Can you figure out what the Cosmic Guardian was doing? Can you figure out how to operate the suit? Can you do this before the other Cosmic Guardians catch up with you?

I went through the effort to read every branching path in the book I could. I think I got all 90 of them, but I might have missed some. The timeline and cosmology of the book remains the same throughout, it is simply the course you chart through the narrative that changes how things unfold. The story is told with a dose of snarky humor and regular nods to comic book tropes.

As said before, this is a choose-your-own-adventure book for adults. This mostly means that it uses some strong language, though nothing that you couldn't hear on prime time television. It also has no qualms about giving the reader a hard time about some of their choices. My favorite was when you avoid being a superhero and the section opens with, "You're reading a choose-your-own-ending book about superheroes, and immediately decide not to become one?"

All told, the book is just plain fun. I read the book through the Kindle app on my phone, which added hyperlinks and a "back" button to make navigating the different branches much easier. And, in fact, the author encourages you to do so. The primary risk I could see for readers is that they just don't find the author that funny. I laughed pretty hard through the book, but humor is subjective and this might not appeal to everyone. The Chooseomatic website offers a free 70-page sample of Youngmark's previous book, Zombocalypse Now, so you can decide for yourself if you enjoy the style.
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