Interplanetary Spy guide to The Star Crystal

Story Line: 8
Puzzles: 9
Pictures: 9
Endings: 9
Writing Style: 8

Story Line:Very cool. The problem I have is in some cases, you shouldn't get killed for a mistake. In fact, if the whole mission is just a test for you, doesn't that say Spy Center is a bit ruthless? The detective story is very well done for the few words. It's a nice change of pace for the series, and the first part of the book has enough excitement for the whole book.

Puzzles:One puzzle isn't quite right--the moebius strip on page 40. Both of the tracks are connected, or if they aren't, we don't see where one crosses over/under the other. Therefore, both answers are right. Since the authors saved their bacon by giving a "retry" for the "wrong" answer I'll deduct a half-point and round up. Especially since one puzzle seems to lead to the "final ending"(#121) but doesn't. No cheating, Interplanetary Spy! The puzzles may not be quite as hard in here, but they are just so neat and the detective-work details are well done enough that the puzzles are very satisfying.

Pictures:There is one fault here, where your octagonal Interplanetary Spy badge(page 12) turns hexagonal(page 22) when you hand it to Quarboss Tro. The rest of the pictures, however, absolutely rule. Callisto, Cicelia, Freeba, Quarboss Tro, and Tunk are all winners. The metrobots are awesome, too, and check out the barrel-thingy on page 36.

Endings:Getting nabbed by security is awesome. The picture where you get turned inside out is classic. "As art, you'll live forever. But as a spy, you're dead!" The problem is that Callisto has reasons not to attack you, as you find out. But when you get diced up and also either attacked by the forest-beast are just so classic that this can be overlooked.

Writing Style:This story really moves, but a few word shifts are needed for a perfect score. If the ending works out as it should, you won't be left to wait forever. So they can't make that statement. Also, the planet Grell is mentioned once in passing, as if you were already supposed to know the name. Small oops.

Links to other books: Callisto reappears in The Rebel Spy. Tunk comes back in Ultraheroes.
PagesSide choicesPuzzleDifficulty
1-2-3-9-10 4 Make your costume's head 1
15-16 20 Which two plugs fit together? 1
25-26-27 19:30/5-12 Translate overhead maze to ground level 1
11-12 14 ID the Spy badge on the back cover 1
34-35-36-37 13 Pattern of on/off buttons 3
21-22-23-6-7 28 Pick superimposed graphic that won't overlap 2
33-42-43 29 Find a tower 1
44-17-18 45 Connect similar dots to form a number 1
38-39-40 8-40 Where do authors think line on mobius strip leads? 0
64-65-66-67-55-56-57-58 63-58 Which tumblers are similar? 1
31-32-41-46-47 24 Put pieces to form metrobot 2
87-88-89-51-52-53 80-74 Which paintings are similar?--Freeba 2
48-49-50 54 Which bars make up 3-d shape? 1
59-60-61-76-77-71-72-73 92-74 Which is a maintenance robot? 1
62-68-69-70 100 Form a "y" with 4 blocks 1
111-112-113-85-86 75 Convert peripheral vision to normal 1
104-105-106-107-98-99-82-84-83 81 Which shape is part of Tunk? 2
78-79-101-102-103 121 Where will falling objects land? 3
90-91 97-74 Which way to turn gears? 2
108-109-115-93-94-95 114 Impossible sculpture 2
110-116-117-96-118 The end!
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