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HAUNTED: Can YOU be Scared... to Death? (Click Your Poison) by [James Schannep]

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HAUNTED: Can YOU be Scared... to Death? (Click Your Poison) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 ratings

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Books In This Series (7 Books)

From the Publisher

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09JL76H72
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 2, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1283 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 283 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 1954747020
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 20 ratings

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One February day, when Hephaestus was hitting on The Muses, they began a playful argument: Is it possible for a mortal man to be *too* creative? What would happen to his primitive brain if it were to suddenly overflow with ideas? Zeus, never one to leave an argument to the fate of mere words, sent a lightning bolt to earth where it struck upon a hapless young man--your author, James Schannep.

Thus Click Your Poison books were created as a repository to store the overabundant brain fruit. Each of Schannep's books split into three unique storylines and contain over 50 possible endings. But the fate of each book; nay, of mankind, rests with YOU, dear reader. For it is your choices that will shape the story in these books.

So dive in and find out:

INFECTED -- Will YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

MURDERED -- Can YOU Solve the Mystery?

SUPERPOWERED -- Will YOU be a Hero or a Villain?

PATHOGENS -- More Zombocalypse Survival Stories!

MAROONED -- Can YOU Endure Treachery and Survival on the High Seas?

SPIED -- Can YOU Crack the Code as a Secret Agent?


Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
20 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars Have fun making chilling discoveries and trying to get out alive
By J R on February 10, 2022
A few days ago, I finished reading "Haunted" by James Schannep. This is the second book I've read in Schannep's Click Your Poison (CYP) gamebook series. I listened to the audiobook version of "Infected" a few months ago, and I enjoyed that adventure through a zombie apocalypse. With Haunted, Schannep explores a different and lesser-known side of the horror genre: the haunted house story.

Prior to reading "Haunted," I read Shirley Jackson's classic novel "The Haunting of Hill House," to get some background in the genre before tackling Schannep's work. I wanted to get a sense of what came before and how Schannep's novel is different.

I was not disappointed. Schannep's story feels highly original. Jackson's novel focuses on the personality, mental state, and relationships of the major characters, while her ghostly elements are comparatively minor and not that dangerous. While Schannep doesn't emphasize character development, he goes into greater depth about essentially everything else. The reader can dig to discover the twisted history of the house and its owner, Sheriff Tansky. The house is more interesting than the one in Jackson's book, including certain "historical elements that cannot be updated" (to borrow a spoiler-free phrase from the novel). The paranormal events are both scarier and more inventive. I particularly appreciated Schannep's fascinatingly ambiguous digital smart home assistant, a character that far outshines Mrs. Dudley, the dour caretaker of Jackson's Hill House. The branching paths of a gamebook work particularly well in Haunted, as they enable you to discover different and sometimes conflicting truths on different play-throughs, giving the house and Sheriff Tansky an eerie, shape-shifting quality that deeply fits the mood.

The two CYP gamebooks I've read are closer to the novel end of the gamebook spectrum. There are no dice rolls. There are no checkboxes to manage game state. There is no inventory, nor a list of keywords to track. Everything is entirely based on your choices, similar to old Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books, but with higher literary quality. That makes CYP books convenient and easy to read on the couch or on the go. It also means that choices generally have one of two structures. Some choices lead you to flavorful text or discoveries but then return you to the current storyline. In contrast, "important" choices branch and never reconnect, requiring Schannep to write completely new material to flesh out each path, all the way to the end of the story.

I find I like the systemless CYP style. Having to manage a character sheet full of keywords and inventory, make dice rolls, or draw a map can break the immersion of a story and slow the reading pace. Some gamebooks can feel like playing a computer RPG, but without the computer to help you handle bookkeeping. In contrast, the CYP books progress smoothly and easily. It's possible to finish a whole adventure in a couple hours. I appreciate the fluidity of the reading experience and the way the CYP books treat the reader's time as valuable by delivering more high-quality content per minute.

"Haunted" is structured with one very important choice a good ways into the book, once you have gained some background and general familiarity with the Tansky House. But it's not easy to find all the options, as there is a scavenger hunt-like quality to this choice. There are four ways the big choice can go, each with significant attention paid to fleshing out the consequences with a branching story path. (There is also a fifth, Easter egg selection, but it is very small.)

One fun thing about the book is to decide which of these pathways you like best. They include climaxes that often reward cleverness rather than the bluntest solutions. That said, there is a destructive glee to some of the blunter options that makes them particularly fun, even as I question my character's sanity.

The book does have some minor flaws. For instance, on my first read-through, I encountered an elevator for the first time rather late in the book, and the text was written assuming that I already knew about the elevator. Another issue is that the rewards in some of the positive endings felt unjustified; a reward is more satisfying if it comes naturally as a plausible consequence of what happened, instead of randomly arriving in the mail. An good example of this is the film "Slumdog Millionaire," which tells a story of rewards that flow from lived experiences as though guided by the hand of fate. It's a gritty movie and not for the squeamish, but its handling of this topic is masterful.

In summary, I genuinely enjoyed "Haunted" and recommend it. While it's obviously well-suited to gamebook fans, I think it also could be a gateway gamebook to give to a reader who isn't familiar with gamebooks. The light game system, relatively low time commitment, and high quality of the writing and ideas work together to make the book approachable and gripping.

I look forward to seeing what Schannep has in store for future CYP gamebooks!
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Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2022
Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2022
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Reviewed in the United States on February 14, 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars Will you survive your first read-through?
By Charlie on February 14, 2022
You’re welcome to binge read. These CYP options are great for intermittent reading, too. In fact, we played a drinking game with one of Schannep’s books. (INFECTED)

I had an advanced copy, but still haven’t found all the endings. I’ve ordered the paperback copy to take my time experiencing each path to my demise.
Just place a thumb on a fork in the storyline and explore all you please…
I haven’t used Kindle much; I really prefer the feel of a solid book in hand.

Anyway, the paperback version should arrive this week. I’ll be taking SUPERPOWERED on my next flights, but HAUNTED will be ready when I get back home.

Nicely done, Mr Schannep.
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Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2022
Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2022
Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2022
Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2022

Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars A grand haunted house adventure
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 19, 2022
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