Sunday, 4 March 2012

YA Book Review-- Erebos

Source: Net galley

Published: January 19th 2012 by Annick Press (first published January 7th 2010)
ISBN" 1554513723 (ISBN13: 9781554513727)

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. 

It may come as a surprise to you (or not) to hear that I'm a gamer!
And as a gamer who LOVES MMORPG's, I've often gotten so sucked into those amazing little worlds that 12 or more hours can pass in the blink of an eye before I realize that I've been playing ALL DAY (or all night!).

So Erebos was right up my alley--And HOLY COW, it DIDN'T disappoint!
This is a fun book that had me turning the pages waaaaay past my bedtime. (I was up reading it until 5am one night. No joke.)
It's JUST as addictive as the game itself!

Speaking of the game, it's written brilliantly by author Ursula Poznanski.
As Nick is playing, you're completely immersed in the world of Erebos. So much so that when Nick's mom interrupts him at one point while you're reading, you get angry with her and just want her to go away...exactly like Nick does!
And when Nick is kicked out of Erebos...well, again, just like Nick, you're devestated and lost and can't help but wonder how on earth the book can go on!

Nick is a great character, if a little flat. I often found myself wondering if some of his personality was lost in the translation because the writing while in the game is just so good.
His friends are also a little static, at least until we meet a few new ones after Nick stops playing the game and goes on his outside adventure. Then they seem to come alive again.

Erebos is exciting and it'll have you trying to figure out the puzzles right along with the characters. The fun of it is that the reader never knows more than Nick does, so we're kept guessing.

The only issue I had with this book was with the translation. It's a VERY British translation with terms I doubt North American kids will understand. (The use of the word full stop for the word period, for instance.)
I'm truly hoping the publisher considers putting out an Americanized version of Erebos. I can see this being a HUGE bestseller across the US and Canada...and I would love to see it turned into a film!

But even with the Bristish terms, this is a GREAT little book, especially for boys.
It's not often I get to say this--and I'm THRILLED to be able to--But this is really the PERFECT book for those young men in your lives, ages 12 and up, to get them to put down those game controllers and pick up a book. ;)
I guarantee they'll love Erebos!

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