Create your own violent adventure

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Erma is on the hunt for Jenny Wasserman, her research assistant, whilst facing a disciplinary hearing. The hunt is so she can get back her dictaphone, which will help publish her thesis. That's the basic plot but, don't be fooled, there is far more to it than that. What follows in different parts, is a sub story with a strange character called Sero, who is based on a children's fantasy book created by the author Mother, Erma's favorite author. These books are 'create your own adventure' e.g. there are two doors, pick the door with an arrow and turn to page 40, or pick the door with a spiral and turn to page 45.

I initially skipped the Sero sections because I felt they were irrelevant, weird and dull, however they are important later in the story, so I had to go back. Like many other readers, I felt there were loose ends, unanswered questions, and bits not explained properly, but I guess it is up to the reader, hence create your own adventure. However this is not entirely true because whatever pages you read, the author writes one ending for all narratives - so is it really your own?

This is billed as a thriller but, whilst there are conventions of this genre, it is most definitely a fantasy book. Not aimed at children, due to the very dark nature towards the end. I think this needs reiterating; it is brutal and quite disturbing. I like thrillers, but this is too violent. The cover of an eye, intriguing as it is, does not convey the graphic descriptions and gore that lies overleaf.

I enjoyed the 'create your own adventure' because it was different to other books. The author gives a Paul Auster like description towards the end and that bit is brilliant!

Overall a solid 3 stars. I would not recommend this book to the average reader. If you like a cross genre book (i.e. thrilller fantasy) then go for it.