*Thrusts of Justice — Recommended

Want a fun read you can spend a lot of time with? Matt Youngmark’s Thrusts of Justice brings the choose-your-own-adventure concept to a superhero story under his Chooseomatic Books line. This isn’t for kids, though — it’s got sensibilities and themes more appropriate for teens or adults.

You’re an unemployed reporter (timely!) who will most likely become a superhero — or maybe a supervillain. There’s a whole squad of other superpowered characters, an Earth-threatening alien attack to battle, a mysterious conspiracy, and different power sets to explore. You can become a space-faring armored Guardian, a mysterious night lurker, or something involving Plastic Man-like stretchy goo.

Most of the time, based on your choices, you die horribly, which makes it more fun to try and outsmart the book. I think that’s fair, because sometimes, the book mouths off at you, especially if you try to be cautious and sensible. For example, if you don’t take and put on someone’s discarded superhero gear, it says

You’re reading a choose-your-own-ending book about superheroes and immediately decide not to become one? Okay. No, it makes sense. If Nightwatchman comes back, he could be really mad. We’re with you. You just caught us a little off guard is all.

Then your choice becomes which bar food to order. It can be a bit of a downer, especially since the survival endings are not entirely optimistic, but you’ll come away knowing that superheroing is *hard*. The text gives you a good sense of what everything looks like and what’s going on around you, although you remain the focus.

I’m still exploring all the possible paths through the book, deciding what to try next. I’ve been very entertained by it all, escaping into a modern superhero’s world for a bit. If you enjoy this read, you may also want to try Zombocalypse Now, Youngmark’s previous book. (The publisher provided a review copy.)


2 Responses to “*Thrusts of Justice — Recommended”

  1. Thad Says:

    Dan Slott did a CYOA-style issue of Ren and Stimpy titled Masters of Time and Space (he recently mentioned it as one of his favorite things he’s written, and I am inclined to agree).

    The first decision you are faced with is “If you want Ren to stop this foolishness now, turn to page []. If you want wacky hijinks to ensue, turn to page [].”

    If you opt for the former, the story ends with Ren and Stimpy going out for souvlaki.

  2. David Oakes Says:

    “[I]t’s got sensibilities and themes more appropriate for teens or adults.”

    My inner ten-year-old can’t stop sniggering at the title…

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