Dave Morris, the author of this app based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, takes an unusual—and intriguing—approach to the classic, and adds haunting illustrations. You won’t want to miss it.
Morris is also the author of Mirabilis: Year of Wonders, “an ongoing graphic novel novel epic”; the first issue of that series is available for the iPad, for free.
Gr 8 Up-The ideal audience for this app would be readers who couldn’t get enough of Darren Shan‘s horror series, moved on to Kenneth Oppel’s This Dark Endeavor, were drawn to Rick Yancy’s “Monstrumologist” books, and plan to read that classic horror touchstone, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Morris has created an interactive companion story to Shelley’s tale with a sophisticated take – asking readers to decide in which direction the story advances. Tapping the book cover on the first screen causes a title page to slide to the right and a table of contents appears. Chapters are read from top to bottom on the right side of the screen; Chapter One begins with a first-person account of an evening walk, including enough detail to firmly situate readers in revolutionary Paris. The narrator directly addresses readers and offers two possible courses for the narrative to follow. Each subsequent short text section concludes with a question or with two or more choices as readers work through this version of the classic story (“We can cut through these back streets. It’s not even ten minutes’ walk from here. Or perhaps you would prefer the scenic route?”); options not selected slip gracefully off to the right and disappear. Part One is told by Victor Frankenstein and Part Two begins with the voice of the monster.
Orientation is landscape only, navigation is easy and elegant, and audio is minimal. The pen-and-ink-style graphics are delightfully atmospheric and include several detailed illustrations from centuries-old anatomical texts, along with period reproductions. “Extras” include “The Original Frankenstein,” “The Art of Frankenstein,” and information about the author.
Encourage readers to visit the Inkle Studios website, which offers free web-based software for creating a their own book in same format.—Chris Gustafson, Whitman Middle School, Seattle, WA
Eds. note: This title is not associated with the Chooseco “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark, or the titles authored by R. A. Montgomery.