This Review contains spoilers.
“So, here we go! Abandoned hotel. The boys have come to explore.”
Published: 2017, by Headline.
Genre: Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Action and Adventure, Thriller.
Contains: Strong Language, Death, Mental Illness, mentions of suicide, alcohol.
‘Joe Weller explores: Haunted Hotel’ is an interactive novel by the YouTuber Joe Weller, known for his series of exploring abandoned buildings. This book welcomes you to explore the ruins of an old hotel alongside Joe, and discover its history whilst hoping to survive.
This wasn’t my first interactive novel, having enjoyed a few when I was younger, however, as a fan of Weller, I couldn’t pass up a chance to experience an exploration myself… and this book didn’t disappoint.
The story is written completely in second person, which immediately involves the reader with each situation they find themselves in, and throughout the book there’s multiple chances to change the plot’s direction. The multiple possibilities took advantage of the point-of-view, leading the reader to have numerous readings to ensure all chapters of the book were read to completion. From a few readings, I’ve managed four in total (one coming to the same conclusion, yet explored new rooms) – some more gruesome than others.
The informal language throughout the story also connects the reader further with the situation, it being accompanying Joe on one of his excursions, much alike his abandoned videos. The dialogue from beginning to end is light and humorous, settling the reader before the various paranormal surprises appear depending on which option you choose. However, Joe’s sense of humor is not lost within this piece, the images on each page accompanying the text as a reminder of the writer’s entertaining intentions. Admittedly, the decisions to make throughout the story would have been slightly less taxing with the assistance of page numbers, yet the experience of resolving the mystery of the hotel was deeply enjoyable.
Overall, I love this book. Although, slightly biased considering my interest in the YouTube channel, I believe the interesting plot line and discovery throughout the book would be interesting for any reader.