Pick-A-Story: The Unwritten #17

The moment I received a copy of The Unwritten #17, I knew it was going to be a fun issue. Its cover art, where a young Lizzie Hexam is running on a board game, looked pretty playful and fun to me. But what awaited me inside its pages was more than what I’ve expected, and it whisked me away back into my childhood days.

Page 16 or 39? Choices, choices, choices.

The format of this issue of The Unwritten is similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure books that I read when I was a kid. If you haven’t read these series of books, it’s a book where you have options and can decide how the story goes. You also don’t read the book in a numerical order of pages –as with this issue– because, depending on the options you’ve chosen, you’ll be directed to different pages of the book.  I really loved and enjoyed the format of this issue. Like with Pax Romana and The Nightly News, it’s nice to see a different format from the usual panel to panel reading in comics.

Story-wise, however, this is yet the most poorly written issue of The Unwritten. The whole format, while fun, is just a gimmick. There are options here that will lead you to different endings, both bad and good. I know for sure that only one of these endings will carry over to the next issue. So whatever fate you’ve chosen for Lizzie in this book, you might not see its effects in issue #18. The content of the story, since there are multiple ones, is also jammed up in one little book. Hence, it comes out diluted. The only consolation here is we now know Lizzie’s past relationships with the Taylors.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Even though it’s just a gimmick, it reminded me a lot of my childhood, reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. Disappointingly, however, the written material is not as good compared to past The Unwritten issues. I didn’t have a nosebleed reading it, nor did I research classic literature on the internet just so I could understand the story. Nonetheless, it’s still one of the best books around.

Score: B


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