Author: Michael Teitelbaum
Genre: Middle Grade, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Summary: Batman’s instincts tell him that Catwoman, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, and Poison Ivy are all involved. But how could that be? They are all behind bars at Arkham Asylum. Batman knows these super-villains would never agree to work together…or would they?
Is a copycat criminal to blame? How could one person be in all these places at once? Follow the clues with Batman and then make your own choices for how the story will go. Can you help Batman solve this mystery? Will you be able to put the criminal—or criminals—behind bars and save Gotham City from chaos?
☆: 4/5 – a really fun new choose-your-own-adventure book!
Review: A short review for this one, as this book isn’t too long, and it’s pretty simple. To be honest, I’m a bigger fan of Marvel, but I love the Batman bit of the DC canon, too. And this one includes one of my favorite villains, Poison Ivy! (Had it included Harley Quinn, I would have been even more into it. Just sayin’, DC/Tor/Macmillan, for the next book…) Anyway, this book isn’t just about choosing your own superhero adventure, but it’s also chock full of brain teasers, games, and puzzles for the MG crowd. But I’m an adult, and I liked it a lot. So, with this book, you too can become Batman and fight crime in Gotham City – and it’s a whole lot of fun.
I think that this book would have been even more fun and versatile had you been able to choose whether to play either Batman or one of the main villains – as much as I love Batsy, I would have also loved a challenge in becoming one of the villains. So with this book, you become Batman to investigate various Bat Calls around the city. At the end of each chapter, you get two (or three) choices in where to go next (as in, “if you want to do ___, turn to page ___ now”). I found a lot of the time that I made bad choices (and note, all of these choices are totally blind, and you really don’t have much control over what happens to you next!), and got duped by Poison Ivy, the Riddler, or Catwoman multiple times.
But what’s fun is that even if you screw up, you can start all over again, and a lot of the time in between losing to the villains, you have to complete puzzles (crosswords, cyphers, and so forth) in order to get to your next page of adventure. I think this will be great for the elastic little brains of the MG crowd, which will hopefully enjoy this as much as I did. They’re not too difficult, but they’ll definitely keep you occupied for awhile.
Final verdict? Definitely worth the read/play. This book is a lot of fun. “Batman: Super-Villains Strike” is now available through DC/Tor/Macmillan in North America. If you need something to keep your MG-age kid occupied on your summer road trip? This is definitely the book for you!