“Booksurfers: Treasure Island” by David Gatward
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Kindle Freebie
Summary from Goodreads:
Jake, Becca, Ryan and Harriet are kidnapped by Dr Crookshanks and his accomplice, Professor Kaufman. Against their will, the gang have to jump ‘into’ the world’s best known adventure stories to steal important artefacts, using an incredible invention called the Nautilus. If they don’t get what Crookshanks wants, what will he do to their parents? And what will Becca do without her dad’s credit card?
Crookshanks explains that in order to keep their families safe, the children must bring him back the actual treasure map from Treasure Island. Their parents’ lives are in the hands of a complete madman! The Booksurfers have little time to argue. Before they know it, they are thrown into Treasure Island; they’re talking to Jim Hawkins, running away from pirates and risking their lives to get their hands on that map!
Ever wondered what it would be like to not just read a book, but actually experience it? Throughout these books you’ll find something rather ingenious: hyperlinks. They’re pretty easy to spot; look out for an underlined word or phrase or sentence. And whenever you see one, you can just click on it, and – KA-POW! – you’ll be zipped into the actual book the Booksurfers are exploring at the exact point they are discovering it! Have fun tagging along; you never know what story you’ll end up in next…
This story takes on something avid readers dream about: being able to jump into the books we love! Sure, we wouldn’t want to be forced to do it in order to save our families (too much pressure!) but it still would be fun to do. I loved the device that allowed them to quickly jump through the book. It totally reminds me of a Kindle! The idea of a dressing room filled with clothes from all the books was a great idea and it helped avoid weird spots in the book. I really appreciated that the book dealt with issue of messing with the story. Much like time travel if you mess around too much, you can screw everything up.
Love, love, love the use of hyperlinks in the book. THAT’S what e-books are for. The kids would be talking a part of the story that’s happening right before them and you could quickly jump to that part in the real book. Very awesome. The author also includes the full text of Treasure Island at the end of the story.
The characters were likable enough but I didn’t feel like they were fully developed. They felt more like Disney Channel movie characters rather than ‘real’ people. It’s probably okay though since that’s the age group the book was written for. As for the actual story, I didn’t like it as much as I would have liked to. Of course, I’ve never read Treasure Island and to be honest I don’t intend to read it.
The bottom line? Awesome idea for a story