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This review is from: Virtual Reality: Heart of Ice (Virtual reality game books) (Paperback)
This gamebook is considered to be, in gamebook aficionados circles, one of the best ever written.
The experience of reading it is in itself something special.
* the setting of the gamebook is original, exotic and attractive. It is rarely used in gamebook: a post-apocalyptic setting where the author did try to distinguish his universe from the classical mad max one, not using cliches and out-of-the-box characters and situations.
* the book is well written, and original too! The characters are very well described (I have never seen such a level of character personality description, for a gamebook). The hero talks a lot with them, and you can really feel their different personalities, and reckon, or try to guess, their particular objectives. This is a psychological gamebook!! The book conveys very well an ambiance of dying world, where human race is on the verge of disappearing. Laws and customs doent mean anything anymore, survival is, for most men and women, the only concern.
* the book uses no dices or others randomizing elements. Before starting the books, the reader must choose 4 skills, and these skills can be used during the course of the adventure. Of course, a lot of times, the reader has the choice between different actions. Even if these actions may deeply affect the story, they do not always trigger the exploration of a different story arc, because the author has designed the gamebook wirth the aid of code keywords, which keep trace of given choices, and are checked later in the story only if there is a need for.
So, to sum it up: this gamebook is well written, with an emphasis on story and choices made by the reader.
There is no randomness: no dices, etc. are used.
I, and a lot of other gamebook connaisseurs too, think that this is one of the best gamebooks ever written: buy it, read it, and enjoy it :-)
P.S.: it is a mature gamebook, and it may not be appropriate for young children and/or "sensible" ones to read it.
There are mature talks about death, trahison, human flesh eating, mutant children killing, madness, fear&terror, drunkness, cold-blood assasination, ...
If you are a parent, maybe you should read the book before passing it to your children.
If you are a child, please, ask for your parents if it is ok for you to read it.
My guess is that the book is OK for pre-teens and more.
For younger children, the story will not even be interesting.