Books by Seth McEvoy


Be an Interplanetary Spy

  1. Find the Kirillian!
Author: Seth McEvoy
Illustrators: Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley (original artwork), Steve Fastner (reissue cover)
First Published: June, 1983
ISBN: 0-553-23506-0 (original), 0-553-25863-X (reissue)
Length: 121 pages
Number of Endings: 16
Plot Summary: You must rescue a young prince and retrieve valuable jewels from an evil interplanetary criminal named Phatax.
Translations: Spanish, Swedish
My Thoughts: This isn't a bad start to the series... Some of the puzzles are fairly interesting, though the vast majority are exceedingly simple, pointless, or entirely based on random luck. This book was later released with a different cover, probably because Space Invaders look of the first cover illustration was a bit dated by the mid 80s.

  2. The Galactic Pirate
Author: Seth McEvoy
Illustrators: Marc Hempel (original artwork and reissue cover) and Mark Wheatley (original artwork only)
First Published: June, 1983
ISBN: 0-553-23507-9 (original), 0-553-25862-1 (reissue)
Length: 121 pages
Number of Endings: 25
Plot Summary: Marko Khen, an evil space pirate, has been mutating harmless animals into huge monsters and using them to terrorize innocent planets. You must find and stop him.
Translations: Spanish, Swedish
My Thoughts: This book is similar in quality to the previous one. Most of the puzzles are similar as well, being for the most part mazes and pattern recognition challenges.
The reissued version of this book is not part of my collection; the scan is courtesy of Jaret R. Morgan.

 3. Robot World
Author: Seth McEvoy
Illustrators: Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley
First Published: August, 1983
ISBN: 0-553-23700-4
Length: 121 pages
Number of Endings: 23
Plot Summary: An experiment to see if robots can be used as settlers goes terribly wrong when the robots involved decide to destroy humans for their imperfection. You must stop the rebellion and rescue Dr. Cyberg, the creator of the robots.
Translations: Spanish, Swedish
My Thoughts: The difficulty level is a bit higher in this book; some of the puzzles require a bit more thought than those in the earlier books did. Some effort is also made to make the book slightly less linear by allowing the reader to visit a few locations in random order.

 5. Monsters of Doorna
Author: Seth McEvoy
Illustrators: Marc Hempel and Steve Fastner (cover), Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley (interior)
First Published: November, 1983
ISBN: 0-553-23941-4
Length: 121 pages
Number of Endings: 22
Plot Summary: A report of attacking monsters in a distant sector sends you on a mission to go farther from Spy Center than any agent has ever before gone, using an experimental X-wing (!) spacecraft.
Translation: Spanish
My Thoughts: This is largely an average book -- I wasn't particularly impressed with it, but I also have no major complaints. As with the rest of the series, many of the puzzles are rather pointless, but there are a few clever ones -- my favorite involved using shadows to determine the direction of the movement of two suns. Too many choices relied on memorizing details of illustrations seen long ago, though. The illustrations, which are a vital part of these books considering the brevity of the text, largely failed to impress me, but I can at least appreciate the creativity of conveying the height of the story's mysterious tower by forcing the reader to turn the book sideways and look at two consecutive two-page pictures; too bad the actual art is less than awe-inspiring. The final thing worth mentioning about this book is the fact that it turns out to be a direct sequel to a previous title; while I like this sort of thing, it didn't really advance the story much here.

 8. Mission to Microworld
Author: Seth McEvoy
Illustrators: Alex Nino and Steve Fastner
First Published: August, 1984
ISBN: 0-553-24521-X
Length: 121 pages
Number of Endings: 24
Plot Summary: You receive a call from your old friend the biodroid, but when you soon discover that the planet he called from has disappeared.
My Thoughts: Due to the presence of the biodroid and Dr. Cyberg, this is something of a sequel to Robot World. Although this use of series continuity is interesting, the rest of the book is average.
Errata: At the bottom of page 5, you should turn to page 8 (not page 6 as the book says). Also, at the bottom of page 11, you should turn to page 6 (not page 8). If you follow the incorrect order in the book, you will skip some puzzles (I think it's 2).
(Thanks to Jason Horner for these corrections.)

 10. Planet Hunters
Author: Seth McEvoy
Illustrators: Steve Fastner (cover), Darrel Anderson (interior)
First Published: February, 1985
ISBN: 0-553-24532-5
Length: 121 pages
Number of Endings: 24
Plot Summary: You must capture the Planet Hunters, a trio of fiendish criminals who destroy entire planets for sport.
My Thoughts: This is a fairly uninteresting entry in the series. None of the puzzles are particularly inspired and the plot couldn't be much more linear.

 11. The Red Rocket
Author: Seth McEvoy
Illustrators: Steve Fastner (cover), Darrel Anderson (interior)
First Published: May, 1985
ISBN: 0-553-25078-7
Length: 121 pages
Number of Endings: 26
Plot Summary: To prevent an interplanetary war, you must retrieve a treaty lost in space centuries ago.
My Thoughts: This book refers back to almost all of the previous books in the series; it's a direct sequel to Robot World and it draws characters from various other stories. Apart from this it is fairly unexceptional.


Explorer

 2. Destination: Brain
Author: Seth McEvoy
Illustrators: Paul Rivoche (cover), Walter P. Martishius (interior)
First Published: August, 1987
ISBN: 0-590-40337-0
Length: 112 pages (plus background material)
Number of Endings: 7
Plot Summary: A global plague can only be cured by one scientist's formula, and a brain injury prevents him from remembering it. You must shrink, find the damaged area of the man's brain and stimulate the memory.
My Thoughts: While the plot of this book is rather derivative of a certain classic science fiction film it works fairly well as a gamebook. The writing is fairly weak, being rather repetitious and using exposition poorly, but the game aspect is interesting; though the storyline is fairly linear (something which usually bothers me), the choices make it feel more flexible than it really is, somehow managing to make it quite enjoyable.

 4. Escape from Jupiter
Author: Seth McEvoy
Illustrators: Bob Eggleton (cover), Walter P. Martishius (interior)
First Published: December, 1987
ISBN: 0-590-40339-7
Length: 115 pages (plus background material)
Number of Endings: 8
Plot Summary: You must explore the moons of Jupiter to find if there are enough natural resources on them to support Earth when its own supplies run dry.
My Thoughts: The characters in this book are really exceptionally annoying but it's otherwise about on a par with the other books in the series.


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