Friday, December 31, 2010

Level 26: Dark Origins

   I'm reading a crime drama book about a new category of murderer more dangerous than any ever documented. The story's protagonist, Steve Dark, is about to examine some evidence discovered at a crime scene. He walks into the lab to see what his team has discovered. The next line I read is in courrier font, instructing me “to enter the crime lab, log onto and enter the code: shards.”

   After I input the codeword on the site a video pops up. It's Dark and his lab technition talking about a reconstructed window shattered at a crime scene. It plays out like a short TV episode. Instantly, I get a full picture of the drama happening in the book. This is the exciting experience enhancements that Level 26: Dark Origins provides every 25 pages or so. The benefits of seeing how the killer moves and what his suit looks like was engaging. The music in the videos sets the tone for your imagination when you read on through the book.

   CSI creator Anthony E. Zucker introduces the first Digi-Novel that includes cover artwork and twisted illustrations by Marc Ecko. This transmedia experience works well when read in a linear fashion, although I sometimes found myself stopping and waiting till I got to a computer to watch the video before continuing. I would suggest reading the book on an iPhone or iPad so you can watch the videos immediately when you come to them. Which is what I'll be doing for the sequel to Dark Origins, called Dark Prophecy.

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