Bantam Books, $2.75, ISBN 0-553-25741-2
In Jay Leibold’s The Antimatter Formula, you are the son of a pair of scientists who have discovered a super-duper “antimatter device” that can – I quote – “rupture the boundaries of time and space”. You wake up one morning to realize that something has indeed been ruptured – you seem to be all alone, with everyone else apparently vanished into thin air. You seem to be still on Earth, but are you really on Earth? What is going on here?
The Antimatter Formula is Mr Leibold’s first non-historical Choose Your Own Adventure entry, but it is nonetheless full of clichés that can feel amusingly antiquated. We have evil KGB spies, mad scientists, and sinister US military folks on the loose, after all. But on the other hand, there are also some cute Alice in Wonderland-style encounters with unusual creatures in other worlds. The end result is charming and often interesting story lines laced with bouncy humor here and there. Sometimes the story lines can end very abruptly, but given that this is a Choose Your Own Adventure gamebook, that is to be expected.
All things considered, this is a cute and enjoyable entry into the series.