Length: 61,000 words
Each Path Choice: 30-40k words
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.
I’ve been a voracious reader almost my entire life from about the first grade on, yet in all that time I never read a ‘choose your own adventure’ type book. When I first heard about Iudicium, I wasn’t quite sure it would be for me simply because I’d never read a story set up like that before. I’m sure you’re all guessing what happened after I read it, right? If you guessed that I was immediately going back to re-read so I could make different choices the second time around to see where it would lead me, you’d be absolutely correct.
Immediately from the first page I was sucked in to the story. It’s one of those books where you’re on alert the whole time you’re reading because you don’t want to miss anything since it might affect what path you choose when a decision point comes up. I actually took pictures with my phone of the decision points, then used my photo app to write my decision on the picture to keep track…I also took a picture before I started of the directions just in case, and I actually did refer back to it a couple of times for the conditional branches where I had to choose a particular path based on a decision I made earlier in the book. Needless to say, this all kept me quite attentive throughout the entire story.
The story itself is actually not long overall, I was able to get through my adventure in a few hours. The decision-making part had me on edge because I really, really wanted to get the happy ending and worried I’d make a choice that would wind up with Fayt being miserable or dead in the end. I’m happy to report that I did get the happy ending, but I’m still going to go back and try and make it to all the different endings just for fun.
The story is unique and is loaded with tension not just for our main character Fayt, but for readers as well. Much of the story is dark, and there are some scenes that involved non-consensual sexual interactions that could be a trigger for some readers. Fayt does what he must to survive and try to escape the horrible prison he’s been remanded to, and it was a bit nerve-racking to think I would be responsible for his future.
The other characters in the story do a great job supporting it; I was inclined to trust one character in particular which for me worked out well in the end. The only issue I had with the happy ending that I achieved was that between the decision point where I clicked to my choice and the happy ending itself no explanation of the fight to get there was given; you’re just to assume they fought, they won, and everything worked out. I would have liked to have read what happened, and also had more about Fayt and the person he ended up with before the happy ending scene occurred to show how they ended up the way they did. I know some of this is vague, but saying anything more would be way too spoiler-y, especially with this type of book.
Iudicium was a 4.5-star read for me, and if you are a fan of M/M dark fantasy stories—regardless if you’ve ever read a choose-your-own-path story—you’ll want to check this one out. As I mentioned earlier, there are some scenes that may be triggers for some readers involving non-consensual sexual acts/rape, and while what I read may not be what you get depending on your path choices, I wanted to bring it up as a caution. This story is strictly for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
If you’re on the fence about a darker, choose-your-own-path read…I highly recommend that you take the leap with this one!
Born January 6th 1993, T. C. resides in the United Kingdom, living with his partner Peter Jones and their dog, Drake.
T. C. has had a passion for supernatural stories from a young age, often scribbling down his latest ideas instead of focusing on whatever task was at hand during the long school days. At the age of twelve, he penned his first romance story featuring himself and the boy he had feelings for set in a fantastical land full of werewolves and wizards. Ever since that day, T. C. has made it his mission to entwine his leading gay protagonists with epic paranormal adventures.
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