Review: Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

February 15, 2012 Review 5 ★★★★★

Review: Erebos by Ursula PoznanskiRelease Date: February 1, 2012
Title: Erebos
Author: Ursula Poznanski
Pages: 440
Publisher: Annick Press
Source: NetGalley
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.
5 Stars

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.

Other reviews:

5 Responses to “Review: Erebos by Ursula Poznanski”

    • Mandi Kaye

      I’m so glad! I love it when I discover new books that haven’t had tons of hype surrounding them – especially when they’re just so dang good.

  1. Lauren

    Hey Mandi, thanks for the link (to Violin in a Void)! I was curious as to what other gamers would think of Erebos. I agree – I’d love to play a game as sophisticated as Erebos, just without all the weird commands in the real world! I actually wanted to stop reading and go play on the Xbox every now and then. Still, I didn’t find the gameplay quite convincing enough to believe it was possible or that addictive.

    • Mandi Kaye

      Hey Lauren, thanks for stopping by!

      I agree that that level of gameplay isn’t possible technologically (yet?). But I do believe it could be that addictive. The game I was addicted to was very similar – just without the graphics – and is called Medievia. My freshman year in college, the year I discovered it, I dropped 10-15 pounds during a two week period because I stopped eating and skipped a lot of my classes just to play. Luckily, I don’t find it quite as addictive now and stopped playing (again) almost a year ago. 🙂

      • Lauren

        Hehe, I discovered Morrowind in my second or third year at varsity and lost weight playing that too! But yeah, I’ve eased up as well, although occasionally I’ll play for 8+ hours 🙂

        I could just about accept the amazing graphics in Erebos (although it later occurred to me that players probably wouldn’t have the large screens and graphics cards to handle it) but I thought it lacked some of the motivating features of RPGs and too much was dependent on the messenger.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge