As I have never really reviewed a Choose Your Own Adventure sort of book before, I thought I would format and do this review of Batman: Super-Villains Strike by Michael Teitelbaum a little bit differently than I would a conventional book, and just break down the aspects that I thought were important to mention.
Readers of Batman: Super-Villains Strike get to be Batman, making choices as though they were the super hero. There is an outbreak of crimes in Gotham City and Batman, the reader, must discover who committed the crimes. All the regular suspects are locked away in Arkham Asylum, plus they totally hate each other. The book is divided into 59 chapters and like all Choose Your Own Adventure style books, at the end of each chapter you are given two choices. Sometimes the choice gets you trapped, sometimes the choice will lead to even more choices.
So, at least most of the cool villains from Batman are in this book. We get to see: the Riddler, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Mr. Freeze. As this is a children’s book, the villains aren’t exactly as terrifying as Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker. However, they do put Batman in some awful situations and do things like hang out in the sewers and freeze the water park.
Apparently, as a reader, I am wayyy too impulsive to survive as Batman. I kept getting trapped and instead of going back to the beginning, I’d cheat and just go to the previous chapter to see where the other choice would lead me. But yeah, I just wish that Batman got to do some more fighting and less research in the bat cave. I would have liked the adventure to be a little more exciting with more danger and more options than Batman gets TRAPPED.
So, some of the choices have you solve a puzzle before you make the decision. The puzzle generally gives you a clue. As an adult who made sure not to write in the book, the puzzles were fairly simple. However, I think that it would be a bit more challenging for an actual child. I kind of was wondering how this would work in a classroom library, in that if one kid writes on the puzzle parts, they ruin the fun for future kids. So, maybe if a kid does it with a piece of scrap paper? Anyways. These are the sorts of things that run through my head while reading books with puzzles and such.
Batman: Super-Villains Strike by Michael Teitelbaum definitely was not awful. If I was 8 or a super huge Batman fan, I would totally want this in my collection, but as a grown up, I think I’ll pass and take Frank Miller instead. However, I DO think there’s value in giving this to a reluctant reader, especially during sustained silent reading time.
Disclosure: Received for review.