on 4 December 2014
This was the only one of the current list of Potter interactive stories that I hadn't yet read, and I was looking forward to it.
The setting for this adventure is truly magical. A house where you wake up to know anything can happen, and where a trip downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast can take you anywhere! Tread carefully, and be sure not to step on the red frog (or bump into the suit of armour)...
The story has great descriptions, allowing you to feel fully immersed in the sets of alternative story options. The different storylines are all imaginative, and intriguing.
Although written to be suitable for older kids, I really enjoy these books myself. Highly recommended
on 1 December 2013
The Magician's house is my dream home. It IS a children's book, but I've never lost my interest in magic. D.M. Potter has created an interactive magical world that anyone can enter. The reader takes the lead by making choices that reveal the secrets of the house. I'm still not sure that I discovered them all.
I admit that I didn't always make the right decisions. Being turned to stone was interesting but limited my activities. Once I was past that I went on to meet Charlie. I loved Charlie but dare not say more. Be warned. There is a witch waiting to pounce, plus some wolves and not very nice pigs and satyrs. The Magician's house also contains a library. Blissful! And a kitchen full of delicious food, if you can get there.
I received this book as a gift, in return for an honest review and the main feedback I'd like to give is that this is a great idea and a perfect way to make reading exciting. D.M. Potter has a vivid imagination and I'm looking forward to more interactive adventures.
I'd also love to see a visual version of this book, an app that kids could download to their phones.
Sometimes "Choose Your Own Adventures" can be gimmicky, with more attention paid to the novelty of multiple story options than the actual story, characters or writing. I get that; they can still be fun.
Well, this book is in a whole different world. Yes, you do reach decision points at which you have to decide whether to climb the ladder or look behind the tapestry. But that is a small and almost inconsequential part of the overall reading experience. This book is good, and I mean immersive, elegant, well-written good.
The narrative proceeds at a dreamy pace, with spare but carefully crafted sentences that gently carry you deep into the magician's house. We don't really know anything about our hero - who he is or why he's there, or what his history is; we just know he's young and is more or less a servant or errand boy. We don't know who the magician is. What we do learn is that the magician's home is a fun house of magic portals, shifting rooms, odd furnishings and strange residents. (Keep away from the dark corners; stray magic gathers there like dust bunnies and you may be unpleasantly surprised.)
All of this is presented in slightly formal and oddly stilted language that feels like it is being whispered in your ear. This is emphasized by the narrator's use of the second person singular. "You" do this and then "you" do that. When used properly, as it is here, I think this adds a detached, almost ethereal tone and yet an immediacy, to any narrative. "You" are there, right now.
And I guess it is appropriate that a book titled "The Magician's House" is mostly about you in fact being in and walking about the magician's house. Actually, while you aren't sneaking, you are pretty close to lurking - especially with all of those hidden peekholes and hidden doors. This is just fascinating and compelling stuff, and this book is a remarkable and satisfying find. It will justify all of your previous Kindle freebie searches. (By the way, I have an old Kindle Touch and the choose-you-own option worked very smoothly on it; I wasn't sure that would necessarily be the case.)
So, all in all a nice find and a nice choice. Please note that I found this book while browsing Amazon Kindle freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
on 3 October 2015
So many stories, possibilities and so much fun. The magician's house is a very strange place even for those who know their way around it (although does anyone really?). This book takes you on a journey of amazement through the intricacies of the house and beyond. I really liked the red frog and think it has a few tales of it's own that would be fun to here. I went back to the beginning three times just to read more of the story possibilities.