cover image Highway to Hell

Highway to Hell

Max Brallier. Gallery, $16 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-4767-6567-9

Brallier’s second choose-your-own-zombie-adventure book (after 2011’s Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?) delivers solidly on its concept. An imprisoned former U.S. soldier who now calls himself Jimmy El Camino is offered his freedom if he carries out a secret mission in a world that has been laid waste by a plague of the walking dead. But before Jimmy can learn the details, he must agree to a test by participating in the Death Derby. Each of the reader’s choices leads down a different path (e.g., “If you want to unload, giving the zombie rhinoceros everything you have, turn to page...”). The various possible endings aren’t always pleasant, which isn’t surprising given the book’s premise. Brallier tosses in some light touches, as when Jimmy ends up in a Spam-themed museum; despite the requisite gore, the structure makes it hard for him to create a sense of terror. (Aug.)