An exciting new computer game, Erebos, is going round at school and Nick is desperate to get his hands on a copy. No one playing it will discuss it with 'outsiders' so he doesn't really know what to expect but when he gets a copy, it totally lives up to his expectations - and more! Set in a sword and sorcery world, it's immediately addictive but when Nick's character is injured, the only way he can save it and stay in the game is to perform a task in the real world. At first these tasks seem strange but harmless. As Nick moves up the game's levels, though, the tasks become more questionable and he begins to realise that the players are being manipulated towards something dangerous and criminal.
Erebos is an absolutely compelling story about an absolutely compelling computer game! The dangers of computer gaming are generally considered to be eye strain, lack of exercise and a loss of social contact but this story takes things to a whole new level. It hinges around the fact that players of the game are so hooked that they will do anything to stay in there! The game and its characters are described in a way to make them seem as substantial as Nick and his schoolmates, and it's easy for anyone who's ever played computer games to understand the compulsion to carry on playing, letting it take over their real lives too.
This might actually be a book that will get game-players reading!
I hadn't realised till I started looking up links that Erebos is a prize-winning book - 2011 German Youth Literature Prize - but I'm not surprised, particularly as this is voted for by teen.
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Allen and Unwin
Genre - teen, thriller
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