Picks and Pans Review: Worlds of Power

updated 07/30/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/30/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by F.X. Nine

The paperbacks in this series are all based on video games, and if none of them poses a threat to Huckleberry Finn in literary quality (or entertainment value), at least they might get the kids reading.

Make that "boys," for the most part, since even by video-game standards these are male-oriented titles: Ninja Gaiden, Blaster Master, Metal Gear and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. (Wizards & Warriors and Mega Man 2 will be available in September.)

The stories closely parallel the "plots" of the games they're spun off from, and little time is wasted on description other than the basics. In Metal Gear, for instance, hero Justin Halley thinks, "If there was ever one big ugly monster, it was the Shotgunner. He was armed to the teeth, ready to kill, and he loved his work."

The "author" (F.X. Nine is a pseudonym for series creator Seth Godin), in true Era of the Sequel fashion, gives the story an open end, the better to keep things going: "Next time you won't get away."

All right, it's a slow start. But maybe, Moms and Dads, you can go from this series to the Three Investigators or the Hardy Boys, then move right on to War and Peace. (Scholastic, $2.95 apiece)

(Thad Novak, 10, says, "These are very good books—the plots weave tips about the games into the stories. It helps a lot to have the game the book is based on, though. I've never played Blaster Master and I didn't understand what they were talking about in the book.")

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