Sep 10, 2013

[Books] Adventure Time Book Round-up - Batch 1

Tobie and I love Adventure Time. It's an amazing cartoon series that marries the insanity of the cartoons of our youth with a dystopian world inspired by Dungeons & Dragons and other geeky things. Our love for the show knows few bounds, so much so that we actually invested in some of the rather child-oriented books that have come out as part of the franchise.

It's hard to determine how these books fit into the overall "canon" of the show - something that I also wonder about when it comes to the Adventure Time comic books. Then again, the World of Ooo is so delightyfully diverse that I'm sure that there's more than enough room to fit in all these different stories without disrupting the narrative timeline or something. At least not too much, yes?

So here are five quick reviews of the different books and whether or not you should dive into them as well.

First up is Get Your Lump on With Lumpy Space Princess, which of course had to curved in shape in order to fit the quirky kind of character that is Lumpy Space Princess. In our reality, the book was written by Kirsten Mayer, but for all intents and purposes this book is told from the perspective of LSP.

This is definitely a kiddie book, and one that doesn't really introduce new content. It ends up sort of like being a clip show where we have LSP providing her tips on being amazing (in her unique lumpy way) using full page panels of screen grabs from the cartoon. And while it's still a funny book, this is definitely one better for your kids than for you geeks.

Get Your Lump on With Lumpy Space Princess gets 3 lumpy tips out of a possible 5.

Next up is Righteous Rules for Being Awesome, a book told from the perspective of lead characters Finn and Jake, as written by Jake Black.

This is another "clip show" style of book, but at least the tips are a lot more sensible. It of course reflects the fact that Finn and Jake are noble heroes in contrast to how LSP is rather bratty and self-centered.

Still, seeing full page panels of some of the shows more memorable moments is certainly a lot of fun. And maybe you might learn something from all these tips. Still primarily a kiddie book though, so that's the risk that you take.

Righteous Rules for Being Awesome also gets 3 dazzling moments of Finn and Jake being awesome out of a possible 5.

Destination Ooo: Land of Ooo in Under 20 Snails a Day is truly designed like a traditional travel book. The book tries to be an objective reference title, although it is told with an interesting narrative tone that remains nicely conversational. The book was written by Jake Black.

The book is nicely structured in a manner that tries to describe the different parts of Ooo in a manner consistent with travel books. Thus for each location, you'll get a basic overview of what the land is like, see possible places to eat, and of course interesting sights to see. And the book is of course full of all the little reminders and warnings about all the little dangers than an adventurer may have to face while in Ooo.

The reading level for this title is a little intermediate and will not necessarily work for very young Adventure Time fans. However I'm a little confused as to when this book was written and what the writer really knows about the on-going events in the show. The book already includes Flame Princess as a character but describes Princess Bubblegum as the one that Finn is in love with. It's a minor quibble, but it's one that sort of lingers in my head.

Otherwise, Destination Ooo: Land of Ooo in Under 20 Snails is an interesting light resource book that will provide anyone with more information about the crazy setting of Adventure Time. It gets 3.5 interesting aspects of Ooo out of a possible 5.

Now this book, Which Way Dude? #1 - BMO's Day Out took me by surprised since it's structured like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. As written by Max Brallier, the title seems to imply that Price Stern Sloan is keeping the door open for creating additional Adventure Time titles in this format. And don't freak out about the cover - the cover was designed to look like an already dog-eared book as is the case with out such multi-path stories.

The lead character of this story is the ever-lovable BMO and we get to dictate his direction as he travels through the Land of Ooo on his own solo adventure. You'll still encounter a bunch of other characters from the Adventure Time show, but on the whole it'll be little BMO trying to find his way.

Overall you are awarded "adventure minutes" to sort of assign a score to your overall journey. You get to keep going through the different story paths in order to experiment with which path will earn you as a reader-player the most minutes.

This is a great book, even if you're not as big a BMO fan as I am. It gets 4 awesome things that BMO gets to accomplish out of a possible 5.

And the last book in this review round-up is Tales of the Land of Ooo, which is a collection of five short stories set in the Land of Ooo. The book was written by Max Brallier and is a great intermediate reader title for any Adventure Time fan.

The five different stories focus on different characters and situations around the Land of Ooo. Thus you get a nice round-up of different Adventure Time stories across the land. Of all the titles, this one feels like the show the most given you have seemingly random adventures one after the other just as if you had watched several episodes of the show in succession.

"Bone Appetit" is a quirky romp for Finn and Jake. "An Excerpt From I Wrote Another Book by Lumpy Space Princess" is yet another story told from LSP's lumpy perspective. "Finn and Jake's Just-For-Fun, Only-For-Practice Villain-Vanquishing Gaunlet" is a silly misunderstanding for Ice King, "The Trouble With Gunters" focuses on Ice King and his ever-lovable penguin minions. And "Tree Fort Front Yard Sale" is a great reason to get most of the gang back together for one last adventure in this book.

Tales From the Land of Ooo is a nice little collection of adventures and it gets 4 silly cut-out villain standees out of a possible 5.

I'm pretty sure there will be even more Adventure Time books out there and I strongly suspect that I'll be buying copies of them for the heck of it. Expect more reviews in the future!

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