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Book Review: Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
by Ursula Poznanski (author), Judith Pattinson (translator)

3 Stars: A Good Read
Publication: January 19, 2012 (Paperback)
Pages: 434
Publisher: Annick Press
Buy it: Amazon (Paperback)Book Depository

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.

Ursula Poznanski is an award-winning children’s author. She lives in Vienna, Austria.

There is mystery and intrigue behind the game. Everyone knows everyone, but they aren't allowed to reveal their identities in the game to one another. For much of the first half, Nick's character in the game goes on quests. I'm more of a book nerd and not much of a gamer, so Nick's descent into obsession with the game fascinated me. It is when the game begins to know too much about him that he becomes suspicious.

Nick faces a moral dilemma when the game asks him to complete a task with consequences. He must decide whether or not to let his addiction to the game control him. I'm not a gamer, but I can understand in relation to books and how I can spend a whole afternoon reading away without a care for the outside world. That is where my relationship with Nick ends. While he is the only character that is really developed, he wasn't likable. I have no idea why he is so popular.

As Nick realizes that the game isn't a regular game but that it's plot reaches out to the real world, he and some other plays make it their mission to uncover its plans. The plot kept me guessing, and it had its surprises. Overall, this was an enjoyable and very different read for me.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
2 comments on "Book Review: Erebos by Ursula Poznanski"
  1. I'm not a gamer either, but gaming addiction is such a prevalent problem now, this sounds great in terms of reading about it from a character's perspective.

  2. This was a very different read for me. I am not a gamer either but I was drawn into the world of the game as well as on the edge of my seat watching Nick marshal the troops to fight.


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