3:15, Season One: Things That Go Bump in the Night
By Patrick Carman
Expected publication September 1st, 2011 by Scholastic, Inc.
I've never read a novel by Carman (pseudonym of Paul Chandler) but it seems like his latest books have been adventures in the multimedia approaches to reading nowadays. This new series, starting with this title, seems to fully embrace the multimedia approach to a book. Each story in this collection has an audio introduction, a short story (which, according to Carman, can be finished in less than 15 minutes), and a video conclusion. The stories are all scary, reminiscent of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. However, for me, this book has too much going on. I don't have enough patience to log on to my computer, listen to an audio introduction, read a short story, and then watch in a video (which, by the way, is the only way to find out the end of the stories). My ARC had passwords so that I could access all the content on the website. However, when I tried to use them, they didn't work. Additionally, you can't skip any of the content. You have to access the audio intro before you can read the story, and you have to read the story (or at least open it) before you can watch the video conclusion. Which brings me to my final point: there is no need for the book. The short stories are all printed on the website, in between the digital content. So why is the book even being published in print? I don't really get it. I certainly think this series will find an audience, but for me, it's too all over the place.
Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.