Bantam Books, $2.25, ISBN 0-553-25491-X
Historical Fantasy, 1986
Deborah Lerme Goodman’s The Trumpet of Terror could have been one of the more interesting Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks out there because it offers several diverse story lines featuring various elements from Norse mythology.
You are a young lad who is about to embark on your first sea voyage in 938 when you are distracted by the sight of a man wearing an eyepatch who is watching you. Is he…? Will you go ahead and board the ship or will you approach that man? Whatever you do, each decision will take you on a trip each, where you will meet up close and personal many famous subjects from ancient Norse mythology. Depending on what you do, you may meet Hel the Queen of the Underworld, Slepnir the six-legged horse, Loki the trickster, the three Norns, and even Odin the Father of Gods himself. You also have the Trumpet of Terror, an heirloom that can bring about some, uh, impressive effects when blown.
The thing is, as interesting as Norse mythology is in its own right, this gamebook doesn’t fully use them as much as Ms Goodman is just squishing in as many Norse references as she can fit without going into too much detail. This may be good to get young kids to look up more about Norse mythology on their own, but this doesn’t result in a memorable gamebook. In fact, for some reason either meeting a famous figure of Norse mythology or blowing the Trumpet of Terror will invariably bring about an abrupt ending to the story line. In other words, the party has ended when it’s only starting every time this happens.
The Trumpet of Terror makes a decent introduction to Norse mythology for young readers, but for folks who want to see various key figures and events put to good use in this gamebook, this one isn’t that gamebook they are looking for. Move along now, folks.