Author: Ursula Poznanski
Publisher: Annick Press
From the Publisher: An intelligent computer game with a disturbing agenda.
When 16-year-old Nick receives a package containing the mysterious computer game Erebos, he wonders if it will explain the behavior of his classmates, who have been secretive lately. Players of the game must obey strict rules: always play alone, never talk about the game, and never tell anyone your nickname.
Curious, Nick joins the game and quickly becomes addicted. But Erebos knows a lot about the players and begins to manipulate their lives. When it sends Nick on a deadly assignment, he refuses and is banished from the game.
Now unable to play, Nick turns to a friend for help in finding out who controls the game. The two set off on a dangerous mission in which the border between reality and the virtual world begins to blur. This utterly convincing and suspenseful thriller originated in Germany, where it has become a runaway bestseller.
This book is unlike any that I’ve read recently. It’s also pure genius. I used to be quite addicted to an online role-playing game so I understand the draw and the addiction all too well. Poznanski wrote both very convincingly. And the game… well, let’s just say that I would have loved to play a game like Erebos.
Until it started requiring me to do illegal things, of course.
I was hooked from the first chapter. I’m not usually a fan of books with a male main character (yes, I know – I must be quite the sexist!) but I can most definitely make an exception for this book. While it wasn’t written in the first person perspective, the audience only ever knows as much as Nick does. That made for some heart pounding, nail biting situations. I was just as involved in the game – and later, the mystery – as he was. I wanted to win. And then I wanted to know why everything was happening and who was controlling the game.
The answers are surprising. By design, no single clue – or even set of clues – would give any indication of the big picture.
It was fascinating.
I’m not sure if someone who isn’t familiar with these types of games would enjoy it or not – other reviews I’ve read suggest that perhaps not. But if you are, you should absolutely read this.