Journey Under the Sea by R.A. Montgomery has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the second book in the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series.
“Choose Your Own Adventure” books allow readers to put themselves in a story as the main character. They make step-by-step, plot-altering decisions by turning to specified pages.
In this book, readers find themselves on a research team studying the lost city of Atlantis. The reader is singlehandedly piloting an underwater vessel called Seeker beneath the research ship Maray. Initially, readers face choices like where to explore first. Various obstacles begin to appear, including sharks, squid, bad weather, lack of oxygen and vessel malfunctions. Readers who don’t die in these scenarios may find themselves back on the Maray in sick bay for a few days. Then they can decide whether to return to their exploration.
Readers who reach Atlantis meet Atlanteans and make additional choices. Do they believe the Atlanteans are aliens? If so, will they travel with the Atlanteans to their home planet? Is Atlantis a place of peace, technology and prosperity, or is it a prison from which readers can never leave? Will readers choose to be surgically altered or take serum to allow them to stay in Atlantis forever? Will they join Atlanteans’ enemies, the Nodoors? Will they spy for one group or the other? Will readers accept a leadership position under the Atlantean king, or will they help the people overthrow him? Will readers try to flee back to their own world and, if so, will they survive the escape attempt? Will they have funds to take further research trips, or will they even want to try?
Choose Your Own Adventure books are meant to be read and reread. Forty-two possible endings exist in Journey Under the Sea.
In several scenarios, Atlanteans enter the readers’ minds as “thought travelers.” They say all living beings are basically the same and everything in life is connected. They reveal that past, present and future are all the same. The reader should simply concentrate and put his or her thoughts where he wishes to be. Atlanteans don’t need physical bodies; they are made of pure energy. In one scenario, readers become pure energy and feel a sense of peace, happiness and freedom they have never known. They don’t need food and can travel through space and time without barriers. The reader realizes it is just where he wants to be.
The Atlantean king may or may not be a tyrant to the people, depending on which ending the reader chooses.
Because of the many possible endings, no discussion questions are available.
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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.