Achievement Award Books: To Read or Not To Read?
With the addition of the new Altador Cup Achievement Awards this year for the fifth annual Altador Cup Tournament, many people may suddenly be wondering what to do with four new books on their hands. Due to the magical nature of Neopian books, you must decide whether it would meet your needs better to sell the Achievement Award books or to read them to a deserving pet. (On a personal note, Katherine_the_Jewel loves books so much I couldn't deny her the excitement of four new books, regardless of what price they might fetch at the end of the Altador Cup.)
To help you make an informed decision, reviews have been compiled for the four Achievement Award books released as of the month of Relaxing, Y12.
Achieved by: Playing all four Altador Cup games (Yooyuball, Slushie Slinger, Make Some Noise, and Shootout Showdown) at least one time each.
Official description: A book about a building with lots of other books in it... only in Altador.
Rating: One flipper up.
Review: Searingly educational, and quite a dense volume. The first section of Altadorian Archives outlines the history of the Archives and the important role the Archives has played in preserving Neopian knowledge. This is followed by a fascinating series of biographies on the lives of the succession of Head Archivists, ending with a very personable and flattering chapter on Finneus describing his life as a young Lenny and ending with his role in the Altador Plot. The third section goes into grueling detail on the manner of organization within the Archives, with long lists of call numbers and their corresponding subject matters.
Altadorian Archives closes with a discussion on the architecture of the Archives building, with several glossy pages showing both black-and-white and full-color photographs of soaring columns and magnificent mosaics. A short appendix lists the various clubs that meeting in the Archives building with contact information of current club presidents. A must-read for anyone who plans to visit the Archives and wants to view it from an intellectual perspective, but may be a little too heavy for the casual reader and globetrotter.
When to have Goals Early
Achieved by: Scoring 50 Yooyuball goals in the first round of the Double Round Robin Tournament.
Official description: Not everyone plans, but sometimes it is good to have a plan and to get goals early rather than later.
Rating: Two flippers down.
Review: Written in a clear and succinct voice, and filled with tried and true advice. However, the content of When to have Goals Early is dull; the statements made throughout the three short chapters describe skills that would seem elementary even to Neopets with the least life experience. The reviewer suspects that this is a first time author, fresh out of school, with the tone and style of academic essays fresh on his fingertips. When to have Goals Early cannot teach your Neopet any more than he already knows from good, old-fashioned, common sense. In hindsight, the grammatical error in the title should have tipped this reviewer off to the potential quality of knowledge that might have been contained between the covers.
The Achievement for this Achievement Award book is now retired (since the first round ended on the 11th day of Relaxing), and that may boost the value of the book. This, combined with the lack of educational and intellectual value in When to have Goals Early prompts this reviewer to advise you to “Sell! SELL!!”
Taking the Offensive
Achieved by: Scoring 100 Yooyuball goals with each offensive player on your team.
Official description: Learn how to take the offensive properly from players and team captains in this book.
Rating: Two flippers up!
Review: This book has an up-and-down binding, which along with the stunning cover art featuring two famous Altador Cup players, pulls the potential reader right in. There is absolutely no need to warn against judging a book by its cover because this book lives up to all the glorious expectations that its cover conveys at first glance. Team captains, top goal scorers, Yooyuball players, and team support staff from successful teams throughout the last four years give stunning commentary on the most ground-breaking training techniques, the most exciting plays from four years of Altador Cup Finals, and the most successful strategies of Altador Cup teams. Special insets in Taking the Offensive feature interviews with beloved players such as “Dasher” Soley of Team Krawk Island, Mirsha Grelink of Team Shenkuu, Jair Tollet of Team Roo Island, and more. In a stunning and inspirational penultimate section, defenders from several teams discuss the challenges and thrills of stepping up to the offensive from back field, and putting their core training to the test in order to score goals despite their specialization in defensive maneuvers.
This book definitely helps the average Neopian glean a better appreciation for the hard work that goes into winning the Altador Cup, and what it really takes to be part of a successful Yooyuball team. An insightful volume that is both educational and entertaining, I recommend you go out and buy extra copies so that all of your pets can enjoy reading and learning from Taking the Offensive.
Achieved by: Winning 10 Yooyuball games without being scored upon during the second round of the Double Round Robin Tournament.
Official description: What is the story of the goalie, the rules behind the position and the personality behind the goalie.
Rating: One flipper up.
Review: Another great title by the same publishing house as Taking the Offensive, The Goalie features interviews with goalies from each Altador Cup team. The volume starts out with the role of the goalie and the special rules by which goalies have to abide that don’t generally affect the other members of the team. Key goalkeepers share stories on their most outstanding saves, most grueling games, and their view of the pros and cons of their team’s Yooyuball formation, as well as the offensive strengths of rival teams from the perspective of the key defensive player. Special content from Fanetti of Team Haunted Woods provides insight to the evolution of the Altador Cup Tournament since its founding in Year 8. And in the first published interview from Mor Gollog, the goalkeeper of Team Moltara shares his thoughts about the challenges he foresees for the newest and least experienced team in the Altador Cup V.
The special appendix compiles opinions and comments from each of the Altador Cup V goalkeepers of the different Yooyus (Normal, Fire, Snow, Faerie, Darigan, Mutant, and Clockwork) and the challenges that accompany goalkeeping against their varying and sometimes unpredictable trajectories. Team Maraqua’s Tonie Plessix is quoted in The Goalie saying, “So much of life is about timing.” This reviewer agrees. And she thinks it’s time for you to stop reading this article, go play some Yooyuball, and earn this Achievement Award book before the second round of the Double Round Robin Tournament ends! The Goalie is a book worth working for, a wonderful companion piece to Taking the Offensive.
Special thanks to Byron for the inspiration to write this article. :]