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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Trapped in a 80's era haunted video arcade, Midnight Arcade is a play-your-way adventure tale in which the reader determines the course of action, ultimately controlling whether they live . . . or die! After climbing a fence near an abandoned mall, you discover a derelict video arcade managed by a ghostly attendant. Presented with a magical game token, you select one of two games you wish to play, the eerie Crypt Quest or the flashy Space Battles. Once you place the token in the slot, you have to make choices to advance through the games and your decisions control whether you beat the game, or die. Both games feature unique villains and life-like game play that will delight readers, and the most important choice in either game for those now trapped inside them, is the one that will keep them alive.…

Overall Book Review:

The Midnight Arcade was a really fun read! I haven’t read choose-your-own-adventure stories since I was in grade school, so it was tons of fun to reminisce on my childhood while reading this book.

This book is a mix of two stories – Crypt Quest and Space Battles – and you can choose which adventure to star in, or even compete in both. Whichever you choose, the scenarios are fun, the stakes high, and the language rollicking and sarcastic.

Since this is basically based on a video game kind of story, there is a lot of violence – usually, the wrong move results in death, so there are a lot of ways your character dies, although nothing is ever over-the-top descriptive, and death is usually prefaced by tongue-in-cheek comments such as “Ouch,” or “You only have enough time to rethink your decision before… You are dead.” 

I quite enjoyed this read, and I think boys and girls would enjoy playing their way through both stories. 

Review of an Advance Uncorrected Galley

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Penguin Workshop

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 mild obscenity.

Violence/Gore:  Many instances of violence and gore, including, but not limited to: Repeated instances of being killed/eaten by a gorilla-dinosaur monster; repeated instances of being frozen to death by an Abominable Snowmancer; repeated instances of being decimated by enemy ships’ laser fire; a character explores a supposedly haunted mall; a character kills a creature with a sword; a character flees an encroaching earthquake; a character is thrown backward by a magical blast and briefly stunned; repeated instances of a character being squashed to death by a being made of stone; a character is killed by wooden toys; a character crashlands from space into a deadly jungle; a character repeatedly falls to death, either by the ground disappearing, misjudging a jump, or breaking through rotten wood; there is some discussion between characters on military strategies; a character walks through a creepy graveyard; report of why an intergalactic battle is being waged; a character is menaced by a creature made of vine-like arms and chomping jaws; a character cuts a skeleton king in two with a sword; a character is trapped in a tomb and left to die; a character sees comrades killed in enemy fire; a character is swallowed whole by a stone king; a character falls into a pit of spikes.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, battle, hand-to-hand combat, warfare.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!