SPIED: The Book Club Reader’s Guide

SPOILER ALERT: Caution, if you want a true Monet Experience, avoid these questions until after you’ve read through the book several times.

Take 1-2 weeks, progress through as many story iterations as you can, while keeping the following questions in mind. Then, meet with your reader’s group and discuss:

1) SPIED is the only Click Your Poison book to feature a prologue, where you play as someone other than “you.” Did you feel the prologue added to, or detracted from the main story? Why or why not?

2) In an interactive book, the main character is often a blank slate, requiring the supporting cast to take on a bigger role. Was this the case in SPIED? What did you think of the other characters in the book? Was there a specific agent whose story you found particularly compelling?

3) There are many different flavors of spy fiction, from James Bond to George Smiley, Mission: Impossible to the Bourne series. To what extent did SPIED play with these tropes? Has Schannep added anything new to the genre, or simply infiltrated and hacked these other story archetypes?

4) This book heavily features puzzles and riddles; codes needing deciphering. Did you enjoy these challenges? Were there any that left you stumped?

5) How did you feel about being “in control” of the story? Did you feel more or less involved than you do with traditional books?

6) How did the book end for you the first time? Share your experiences with the group. What would you say was the “best ending” you found?

7) SPIED used emblems and classification-levels to demarcate “best endings” (nine in total, a CLASSIFIED, SECRET, and TOP SECRET for each major storyline). How did you feel about this device? Did this encourage further exploration of the story world? Did you enjoy any path more than the others? How did knowledge of one path affect the experiencing of another?

8) There are several vignettes off the beaten path. What was your favorite “hidden gem”? Did you find any Easter Eggs or references to other CYP books? What made you laugh or surprised you?

9) Did you discover the true nature of your spy agency? What did it mean to you, in the context of our modern world and current events? How much oversight is too much oversight? Can a guiding hand ever be benevolent?

10) Did you ever figure out the identity of the mole? Annnnnd? What does this say about paranoia, reader expectations, and or red herrings?

And, as a bonus, if there’s anything you’d like to ask the author, feel free to post it in the comment section below.

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