Shadow Chaser

Shadow Chaser

By Author / Illustrator

Christopher Park, illus Simon Tudhope



Age range(s)



Usborne Publishing Ltd




Paperback / softback




This magically illustrated gamebook plunges you into a story with a difference - one where the hero is YOU. Woken one night by a bang at the door, you creep to the window and see five hooded strangers below. The leader looks up and beckons you down. What do you do? Open the door, play for time, or escape through the window out back? The choice is yours...

From this point onwards you are in control of an epic adventure, and your survival depends upon the decisions you make. Who to fight? Who to trust? In a book where nothing is as it seems, even the pictures hold secrets that must be unlocked. But as you race across land, sea and sky, one thing becomes clear: it's not just your fate that hangs in the balance - it's the fate of the entire kingdom.

Bringing together a sweeping story, beautifully illustrated picture puzzles and an exciting combat system, this is an adventure that will have you gripped from beginning to end.



Shadow Chaser starts with an introduction to the story and then instructions for how to play. There is a 'log book' that you need to fill in each time you play to keep track of items, life points and items you have collected. You can download copies from the Usborne website, which is really useful.

The reader always begin the story at entry 1 but from then on, there are lots of alternatives! Most entries will allow you to choose from a list of options for which entry to turn to next. Entries vary from just giving more information about the story to gaining or losing ability points, solving picture puzzles or even combat against enemies. You'll need two dice for combat and instructions are provided at the front of the book for how combat works. Losing in combat can result in injury or even death if you lose too many life points! The main character in the story is Rowan and entries will help you uncover more about Rowan's life and those around him. You'll meet people who want to help but also plenty of enemies.

This book reminded me of the 'choose your own adventure' stories that I read as a child, but with more to it. I enjoyed the game mechanic as it left some things to chance rather than simply a choice between entries. It was great to dip in and out of (as long as you keep track of which entry you are on) and with 435 entries in total, there are plenty of options for different ways the story can play out, meaning it can be played a lot of times.

Shadow Chaser is a great mix of reading and gaming and children would enjoy playing it together, on their own, or with family. Quite creepy and a little gruesome at times, children who enjoy adventures, mysteries and puzzles will love this clever book.

288 Pages / Reviewed by Kristen Hopwood, librarian 

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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