Monday, May 23, 2016

Star Rider (1985) or Choose Your Own Adventure goes Pony Book

 Star Rider
Carole Carreck, il. Steve Jones (cover)  Peter Wilkes (internal)
1985, Puffin Books

You, the reader, are the heroine of this story. You have ridden horses all your life and have great natural ability as a rider. You have secretarial qualifications, but your one ambition in life is to own a good horse and make a career for yourself riding. 

A choose-your-own-adventure style pony book from the UK, this loopy (literally) role-playing game/book kicks off with your purchase of a show pony named Braid.  The action quickly expands to include two handsome, mysterious, occasionally smitten men and a lot of ambitious decision-making about the best course of action to bring Braid and you to your full potential.

I really can't resist a book with a horse on the cover. I remember the days of the CYOA books (the 1980s) and I think I liked the American version better.  There's something slightly alarming about having a book assert that I (or, as they put it, YOU) am driving Range Rovers through Wales while arguing about bloodsports and exclaiming "Bother!" when passing a woman on a push-bike.  And yet, the format is fun.  Something I'd almost forgotten until skimming this one just now is that the adventures can end badly. Braid (what a name!) can become too injured to compete. You can become too injured to compete.  And in the startlingly brutal final words of several possible storylines, "Your adventure ends here." 

This series, "Starlight Adventures," was designed to appeal to girls (the CYOAs were often horror/mystery series, and typically appealed to boys) and appear not to be related to each other. In other words, this was the only horsey one.
Review of Star Rider 
Review of Star Rider

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