Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
After being incarcerated at a prison that leans over the edge of the world, Fayt must do whatever it takes to escape (or simply survive) the horrors that await him. You will take control of Fayt and guide him on his path, but be careful, for not everyone posing as an ally will lead you down the road to freedom.
Note: This is an interactive story, and it is important that you keep a record of your choices close by.
Fayt is in your hands…
Iudicium by T. C. Orton is an interactive Fantasy story. After certain chapters the reader is given a choice of what the main character wants to do next and depending on their choice they turn to a different page to continue following one of several branching narratives. I have been a long-time fan of interactive storytelling and its capabilities, so naturally I was very excited to give this book a try.
First of all, I applaud the author for his decision to write a gritty fantasy story with quite a bit of sexual content in the form of an interactive novel – something you certainly don’t see every day. The writing style also had me hooked right away: atmosphere-building but at the same time concise and straight to the point, just the right qualities for an interactive story like this. The narrative branches off into three different routes with each route having two endings. It takes about a couple of hours to finish one route.
In the classic choose-your-own-adventure-books the main character is usually an anonymous “you” without further background information, which typically makes it easier for the reader to imagine themselves as said character. Here on the other hand we are given an already fleshed-out character with his own unique name and past. The entire story is also told from his point of view in first person. Due to these changes I might not have been able to really picture myself as actually being Fayt but it felt rather like I was guiding him along and trying to help him get out of the terrifying situation he has gotten himself into. It was a very interesting experience and I did feel genuinely sorry for Fayt.
The “goal” of the story, if you can call it that, is to help Fayt escape (or at least survive) the horrendous prison Iudicium. Along the way he comes into contact with a few key figures in this endeavour – who are you going to place your trust in? The lore and world are interesting to learn about too, though they maybe could have been fleshed out in a bit more detail for my taste.
A fair warning: The story contains various scenes of violence, subjugation, sexual abuse and rape. But the possibility of consensual romantic love does exist as well.
To sum it all up, I really enjoyed reading through all of the different endings and my only complaint really is that I wished it would have been longer and offered even more branches of narrative and possible endings. I certainly hope that this won’t be the last interactive tale by this author and that it will inspire more authors to give interactive storytelling a try.
The gruesome cover art by the author himself is quite horrific (in a good way). It definitely fits the content very nicely.
ebook, 228 pages
Published May 30, 2017
Edition Language: English