Title: The Survivors by Amanda Havard, Immerseditions
Platform: iOS 3.2 or later
The Survivors by Amanda Havard is the first title in an imprint of iOS-only app-based ebooks exploding the text with a rich range of additional digital content. It is is a paranormal novel with teen appeal, following a glamorous, born-not-made vampire seeking information about her origins.
The enrichment is vital to the plot rather than supplemental to the 200-odd page “Immersedition.” The more predictable enhanced ebook aspects include associated audio tracks, Google maps, and twitter and facebook profiles for the characters, but the novel really excels in the fashion arena, with a range of sketches, runways photos, and catalog images to illustrate everything from a Burberry Prorsum jacket to a Thakoon suit or Gucci boots.
All that content can be accessed in two ways, through a separate table of contents and as it occurs in the text, with linkages to enrichment indicated by a faint watermark behind appropriate passages. The author’s notes in particular make this novel feel like an enhanced version of a DVD with director’s commentary.
The narrative itself is unlikely to win any awards; the plot of full of holes and the characterization is non-existent outside the social media profiles. The ridiculously wealthy, globe-trotting immortals could appeal to fans of Melissa de la Cruz, I think it will as likely appeal to Gossip Girl readers who want to see labels jump off the page.
The app is a product of Chafie Creative, whose slogan is “Reinventing Storytelling.” This is a great first attempt at that lofty goal, but the navigation for each page requires both scrolling and swiping and the actual mechanics of turning the pages and toggling between text and enrichment is more difficult than it has to be. I do like the use of collapsable, semi-transparent windows to house content in successive layers. Chafie is a publisher to watch.
For more YALSA App of the Week posts, visit the archive.