Author: Ursula Poznanski
Publisher: Annick Press, 2012 (previously released in Germany)
Translator: Judith Pattinson
Nick can't figure out why his friends are acting so strange lately. People are missing basketball, skipping school, and it all seems to be because of some disc making the rounds. He soon figures out it's a game, and gets the chance to play himself when a girl in his class passes it on to him. But there are rules to this game: you have to play alone, you can't talk about it in the real world to anyone, and if you die in the game, that's it, it's over. Soon Nick is sucked into this world, which feels so real to him that he finds it hard to believe it's just a game. And then it starts to cross into his real life. Strange tasks are assigned to him, and as a reward he gains levels in the game. But how far is he willing to go? What is the purpose of the game? And can it be stopped?
When I started reading Erebos, I was actually very pleasantly surprised. I wasn't expecting such a great thriller; from the description, it sounded a little bit sci-fi and not entirely enthralling for me, but I was very wrong. I felt sucked into the game Erebos myself as Nick began navigating his way through the computer-generated world. I felt breathless many times throughout the story, not believing the lengths some players went to continue the game, to stop themselves from being blacklisted. It was hard for me to stop reading.
One really nice touch in the writing was the switch from past tense to present when Nick was playing as his game alias, Sarius. It brought an immediacy to the text that wasn't there when we were just following Nick during his school days or at home.
It was scary to imagine how something like a computer game can brainwash so many people into bending to its will. When only bits and pieces are given out to each person and they complete tasks not knowing what the consequences will be, it can lead to disaster. The thought of a game knowing so much about each individual to play it is very sobering.
I definitely recommend this book to teens and tweens who like action-packed stories that take place in everyday surroundings. Gamers will appreciate it, as will non-gamers. Luckily, Annick Press has been so kind as to provide a copy for me to give away to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment with a way to contact you (e-mail would be best). By commenting with an entry, you agree to the following:
You must be 13 years or older.
You must live in the US or Canada.
Only one entry per person.
This contest will end at 11:59 EST on April 7, 2012.
Check out the rest of the stops on the Erebos blog tour from earlier this week!
March 25: YA Bookshelf, www.yabookshelf.com
March 26: Bookosaur, www.thebookosaur.com
March 27: GreenBeanTeenQueen, www.greenbeanteenqueen.com
March 28: The Pen Stroke, http://ideogun.wordpress.com
March 29: I Read Banned Books, www.jenbigheart.com
March 30: Between the Covers, www.betweenthecoversblog.net
Disclosure: I got this e-book through NetGalley after being told of it by the publisher in preparation for this blog tour.