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Thursday, March 31, 2011

On Top of the World...Literar-ily: Everest

Ahead of you there is treacherous terrain, mind numbing cold, and dare I say a small chance of glory?  (Yes, I dare say.)  Behind you?  (Well we all know what’s behind you…hehe…sorry, back on track)  The safe little book you’ve been reading that allows you to see the events instead of experiencing them.  So I have to ask you a serious question before you proceed.  Are you ready?  Sure hope the answer was yes because short of coming through the screen ala Willy Wonka’s Wonka Vision to stop you…you’re on your own. 

Today’s featured title IS an adventure though and one that is unlike many you may have read before.  It’s exciting.  It’s dangerous.  It’s a whole lot of fun that’s interactive without ever going online.  Ready to jump right in then?  Let’s do it!  Today’s book of choice is…

The Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure:
Bill Doyle and David Borgenicht
David Morton, climbing consultant
illustrated by
Yancey Labat

There it is.  Stunning isn’t it?  One false move…one ill-timed breath…and you’re toast because up here, you are only a moment away from total oblivion.  Chomolungma is in your sites….better known as Mount Everest.  The tallest mountain on the planet, many only read about its snow covered peak, but you…you seek adventure.  You seek a challenge of not only your climbing skills but your know how.  Now is the time to put all of your training to the test.  Will you reach the utter heights of success and reach the summit or perish at your own inexperienced hands?  The adventure of a lifetime awaits you…but your success or failure is all up to YOU.  Choose wisely…

That’s right!  It’s the return of the “choose your own adventure” books!  You remember those, right?  (If not, I suggest you get thee to your local bookstore or library and bone up on the subject because really, they are full of nail-biting fun.)  This time around, the folks behind The Worst- Case Scenario series REALLY bring the adventure to life.  Usually the original books would take you on a journey into space, time or some world of fantasy far far away…and while I love my fantasy worlds as much as the next reader, the spin put on this particular adventure is what gives it that little something more.

So how do they do it?  What’s that magic ingredient?  Simple.  It’s a combination of the probable real-life adventure they chose and the way in which the outcomes were created.  First things first though…let’s talk about the adventure.  I for one will never be summiting Everest in real life though it sounds rather wonderful…at least the summiting part.  I’m afraid I probably wouldn’t make the incredible journey that it truly is and boy is it a journey!  Seriously.  Did you know it takes about TWO MONTHS to actually summit?  No lie.  The number of times you have to climb to Camp I and then back down.  Climb to Camp 2 and then back down.  Climb to Camp 1 and overnight, then climb back down.  It’s no wonder it’s seen as the adventure of a lifetime.  Of course all of that climbing back and forth does have it’s purpose….to acclimate the body to the thinner air found in the region…but still, utter dedication is needed to see it through.  What’s that?  Oh, you want to know how I know this to be the case….I see.  Can’t just take me at my word, right?  O_o  Just kidding…

The reason for my “knowledgeable” speech on this topic is not purely coincidental.  Despite having seen an Everest program on television or two and visiting the Everest ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom (LOVE that ride) with it's authentic replication of an actual climb (complete with gear, map...missing team members...O_O), they are not the source of my information.  Where is comes from is experience….and not personal either (as I said…not climbing this monster peak myself, thank you very much…but congrats to those that do).  When creating this book and the very real outcomes, the authors consulted a real live mountaineer, Mr. David Morton, thus adding that extra depth and insight found throughout the text.  Can you believe he’s submitted Everest five times?  Yep…FIVE.  You’ll feel like you’re right there with your fellow teammates (which is the point of course, hence the “choose YOUR own” part of the adventure) as you make your way through the Namache Bazaar and sample its regional flavor.  Catch your breath as you take in the harsh beauty of The Khumbu Icefall and try to avoid falling ice blocks in the afternoon sun.  It’s all there for you to experience…in the comfort of your home.

Let’s not forget about the illustrations throughout the book lending you a visual guide to your literary adventure to the top of the world.  In striking black and white, the illustrator brings to life the vivid events and images being described in the text.  Whether you’re simply climbing one of the foothills on the way to Base Camp or teetering on a ladder as you cross a crevasse, your imagination takes you part of the way but the pictures provided will complete the journey there.  Remember…don’t look down.  O_O

Needless to say, I enjoyed this read quite a bit and, in case you were wondering, was able to successfully navigate my way through my very first time!  I can’t take all the credit there though…the authors and climbing consultant have got your back.  In the “welcome” section of the book you are introduced to not only your climbing team and the challenge that awaits you, but you’re also alerted to the special Expedition File included at book’s end.  This is no ordinary “end of book” feature though.  This is a file meant to PREPARE you for the journey giving you tidbits of information and hints you will need to make your way through the perilous choices ahead….and trust me there are a few that really give you pause.  Take my advice, or rather the advice of your team and READ THE FILE.  It could mean the difference between life…and….something far less stunning.

Recommended read for all ages.  It’s an adventure in the making and a learning experience all in one.  What’s not to love about that?  Review copy received courtesy of Lara at Chronicle Books.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, visit there website, blog, Facebook page, or follow along on Twitter (1 or 2).  For more information on The Worst-Case Scenario junior series, check out this website…and for more on the NEW Adventure series check out this one, for videos, downloads, upcoming titles (of which one is already listed…yay!) and more.

Until next time…happy reading!


Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

I enjoyed your enthusiasm. Though it isn't for me, I can see why you enjoyed it.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Sounds like the kind of book Mr. Whimsy would love. Great review.

Misha said...

I used to love "choose your own adventure books". I am not sure whether this one is for me. But it does sound very exciting!

Anonymous said...

I used to love “choose your own adventure” books, too. I'm not sure about the Everest theme, though.

April said...

This sounds awesome!! I haven't read a "choose your own ending" book in forever!!!! I am going to have to remedy that and see if I can get my daughter hooked on them as well, lol!

Gina said...

Liz: No worries, to each their own. Thanks for stopping by!

Juju: Alright! *high five*

Misha: Yay....a fan of the old school series. ^_^ It was really a lot of fun...

carolsnotebook: Aw, shucks. Well, I can understand if you don't like the cold weather (or are chicken)...(JK!) ^_^

April: Yay! *high five* Another fan! This was an interesting twist on the old time of luck on getting her hooked too! ^_^

Penny said...

Hi there, just letting you know that I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Just pop over to my blog and you can collect it from there.
Vampirique Dezire

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Not a series I'm aware of but they sound like a lot of fun.

Oh and well done on the award from Vampirique.

Gina said...

Vampirique Dezire: Thanks for the award pass and congrats on receiving it yourself!

Petty Witter: It was..... ^_^ (..and thanks!)

The1stdaughter said...

Okay, seriously, you have read and reviewed this book already and it's still in my pile to be read. You are SO fast! That being said, it has been picked up and read through once, just not by me. ;o) Yep, the hubby saw it within seconds of it's arrival and claimed it for his least until I can steal it away. Hehe

So so glad to hear you loved it! And I love your review "don't look down". LOL So hilarious. The illustrations are really great (what I've seen). Now to try and reclaim my copy! hehe

Gina said...

the1stdaughter: LOL. Just depends on what I'm doing and how much time I've got. This was a relatively quick read but so much fun. Can't blame hubby for snatching it....just be sure you get it back to try it yourself! ^_^

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