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Nick ist besessen von Erebos, einem Computerspiel, das an seiner Schule von Hand zu Hand weitergereicht wird. Die Regeln sind äußerst streng: Jeder hat nur eine Chance, Erebos zu spielen. Er muss dabei immer allein sein und darf mit niemandem über Erebos reden. Wer dagegen verstößt oder seine Aufgaben nicht erfüllt, fliegt raus und kann das Spiel nicht mehr starten. Was ab Nick ist besessen von Erebos, einem Computerspiel, das an seiner Schule von Hand zu Hand weitergereicht wird. Die Regeln sind äußerst streng: Jeder hat nur eine Chance, Erebos zu spielen. Er muss dabei immer allein sein und darf mit niemandem über Erebos reden. Wer dagegen verstößt oder seine Aufgaben nicht erfüllt, fliegt raus und kann das Spiel nicht mehr starten. Was aber am merkwürdigsten ist: Erebos erteilt Aufträge, die im Real Life ausgeführt werden müssen. Und dann befiehlt das Spiel Nick, einen Menschen umzubringen. Seit dem Erscheinen von Ursula Poznanskis abgründigem Thriller Erebos wissen nicht nur Gamer, was ein MMORPG ist, und warum Online-Rollenspiele so faszinieren. Ausgezeichnet mit dem Deutschen Jugendliteraturpreis und mittlerweile zum modernen Klassiker avanciert, hat Erebos nichts von seiner Aktualität eingebüßt. +++ Seien Sie schnell: Die limitierte Hardcover-Ausgabe von „Erebos“ mit farbigem Beschnitt und goldgeprägter Signatur als besonderes Sammlerstück gibt es nur für kurze Zeit. +++


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Nick ist besessen von Erebos, einem Computerspiel, das an seiner Schule von Hand zu Hand weitergereicht wird. Die Regeln sind äußerst streng: Jeder hat nur eine Chance, Erebos zu spielen. Er muss dabei immer allein sein und darf mit niemandem über Erebos reden. Wer dagegen verstößt oder seine Aufgaben nicht erfüllt, fliegt raus und kann das Spiel nicht mehr starten. Was ab Nick ist besessen von Erebos, einem Computerspiel, das an seiner Schule von Hand zu Hand weitergereicht wird. Die Regeln sind äußerst streng: Jeder hat nur eine Chance, Erebos zu spielen. Er muss dabei immer allein sein und darf mit niemandem über Erebos reden. Wer dagegen verstößt oder seine Aufgaben nicht erfüllt, fliegt raus und kann das Spiel nicht mehr starten. Was aber am merkwürdigsten ist: Erebos erteilt Aufträge, die im Real Life ausgeführt werden müssen. Und dann befiehlt das Spiel Nick, einen Menschen umzubringen. Seit dem Erscheinen von Ursula Poznanskis abgründigem Thriller Erebos wissen nicht nur Gamer, was ein MMORPG ist, und warum Online-Rollenspiele so faszinieren. Ausgezeichnet mit dem Deutschen Jugendliteraturpreis und mittlerweile zum modernen Klassiker avanciert, hat Erebos nichts von seiner Aktualität eingebüßt. +++ Seien Sie schnell: Die limitierte Hardcover-Ausgabe von „Erebos“ mit farbigem Beschnitt und goldgeprägter Signatur als besonderes Sammlerstück gibt es nur für kurze Zeit. +++

30 review for Erebos

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    12Feb16 update: Ha! The copy I ordered from Thriftbooks (because I NEEDED it) turns out to be an ARC. Not sure whether to be tickled about this or not. ---------- Hidden Gem buddy read with YA & Beyond 4.5 stars, rounded up because I'm on such a book high right now that it's ridiculous. I wasn't overly keen on this in the beginning; the writing came off as stilted, I assume from translation, and things aren't always consistent -- it's set in London and yet the characters say things like "sixth grade 12Feb16 update: Ha! The copy I ordered from Thriftbooks (because I NEEDED it) turns out to be an ARC. Not sure whether to be tickled about this or not. ---------- Hidden Gem buddy read with YA & Beyond 4.5 stars, rounded up because I'm on such a book high right now that it's ridiculous. I wasn't overly keen on this in the beginning; the writing came off as stilted, I assume from translation, and things aren't always consistent -- it's set in London and yet the characters say things like "sixth grade" and "Mom" rather than Mum, but whatever. I got SO sucked in by the time the game itself started picking up speed and lemme tell you LEMME TELL YOU Erebos freaked me the F*CK OUT. I'm not one of those big MMORPG people -- my ex was absolutely addicted to WOW, and if I still talked to him I would definitely slap him upside the face with this book because he'd drool over it too -- but I'm back to needing a Fable fix. Again. But really this game reminded me the most of WOW, probably because you're able to pick which race/gender/occupation your character has -- that is, you can be a dark she-elf mage, if you like (one of my preferences, incidentally, the few times I ever played). But this game... this game KNOWS THINGS. And it's creepy AF. And then when things really start to overlap between gameplay and real life... well, let's just say I would've smashed that disc into a zillion pieces the first time it told me it knew I was lying about my real name. JFC. But what a story. Poznanski weaves everything together, and by the final third of the book, you're just waiting for the other shoe to drop and all the pieces to fall into place. And it's glorious. The easiest way to describe this, I think, is to call it a darker, creepier, more current Ready Player One. Kind of the opposite of the nostalgia trip that was RP1. BUT. Both books are FANTASTIC in their portrayal of gamer girls -- I especially liked the ladies who populate Erebos. Thank you for including us, in all our varied incarnations <3

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    3.5 stars. I was a bit wary of reading Erebos at first because I thought it sounded a lot like Ready Player One and while I really enjoyed that book, there’s only so many things you can do with a book about video games, right? Woah, did you hear that? It was the sound of a million video game players hissing at me all across the globe. I’m not even going to pretend that I know the gamer gabble (yeah, that’s not a real thing… I made that up) because I really don’t. I like watching when people play t 3.5 stars. I was a bit wary of reading Erebos at first because I thought it sounded a lot like Ready Player One and while I really enjoyed that book, there’s only so many things you can do with a book about video games, right? Woah, did you hear that? It was the sound of a million video game players hissing at me all across the globe. I’m not even going to pretend that I know the gamer gabble (yeah, that’s not a real thing… I made that up) because I really don’t. I like watching when people play them but I think that is because I love film (I have been known to exclaim “WOW, that film looks really good! Can we go and see it?” And I get a stony glare in reply followed by: “That’s the new Call of Duty, Jo”), puzzles and watching people get so stressed over things on a television screen. But yeah, I can’t play games for toffee so I’m not going to go on about the gaming aspects of things because I think if I did I’d end up sounding like when my grandparents try to understand the internet. I decided pretty early on that Erebos and Ready Player One have two things in common. 1) They feature a game. 2) I really enjoyed them both. But the similarities end there. I thought the story and the world that Ms Poznanski created both within the game and out of the game was absolutely fascinating. When Nick, our pony-tailed hero, was playing Erebos it was like you were actually sat behind him looking over his shoulder and experiencing the world as he was. You could almost hear the gravel crunching under his character’s feet, the rustle of the trees and the scrit-scrat as poisonous scorpions came scuttling towards you. Yes. THAT HAPPENS. And you actually felt that there was peril involved. OK… maybe that was just me, but when Sarius’ life bar was dwindling…peril. Setting some of the story in the world of Erebos really added a whole new aspect to the book, something completely different to anything I’d read before. It felt like I was reading a fantasy novel, one of those proper ones with quests and swords and elves. And the scenes in the real world were just as exciting. While at first I did have my “Um, would that really happen?” and my “Err, why is there only one adult who is mildly concerned?” moments, I soon ignored them and just threw myself into the story. And then when the two parts merged? *shudders* Tense. I liked Nick, he was a good guy. He didn’t blow me away with his personality, however, but that really didn’t matter to me. This book wasn’t about individual characters and personalities (although I did adore Jamie) but more about how they all fit together for the whole picture. All together these characters made a great cast. I loved how they interacted together with little hints as to what was coming next, both in the real world and in Erebos. I do have a few minor quibbles with Erebos, however. You know when someone is like “Oh god, don’t look over there. No… just don’t it’s absolutely horrible.” And then of course the first thing you do is turn around and look? That’s kind of what happened in this book because I had been forewarned that the translation was a bit off. Now, I’m not blaming anyone because I’d probably have noticed it any way but I was definitely on the look-out for it. The translation was pretty dicey. This book was set in London and, without ruining everything, that’s an important aspect of this story. So when everyone was running around texting on their cells and having dramatic exchanges during their recesses and getting yelled at by their moms, it was incredibly jarring. Also, the ending was a bit… unbelievable, which is rich of me to say as I have just said how much I enjoyed a book about an omnipresent computer game that controls people. It wasn’t disappointing as such but it was definitely a bit convenient and there was definitely a sense, at some point in the near future, the characters were going to be like: “Oh my god, you guys remember when that computer game completely changed our lives?! Wasn’t that awesome?! Hahaha, didn't one of us nearly die?! LOLOL." I guess I just needed more repercussions. But enough of my whinging about little things, because I really, really enjoyed this book and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what else Ms Poznanski will come up with next. Unnerving, exciting, mysterious and unique. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy; I wholly recommend trying to get your mitts on one of those blank disks that are circulating and being swapped in darkened alleys. Or… um, this book. It’s less perilous and people-getting-hurt-y. OR IS IT?! Just watch out for the messenger with the yellow eyes. He’s definitely up to no good. I received an advanced copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog, Wear the Old Coat.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Catie

    2 1/2 stars “A game you can’t buy. A game that talks to you. A game that watches you, that rewards you, threatens you, gives you tasks. 'Sometimes I think it’s alive…’” To anyone who’s ever been a MMPORG addict/widow(er) I think this book will be particularly frightening. And to everyone else, who’s sitting there right now, saying…really? Could a game really consume your life like that? I invite you to visit this website, where level 85 World of Warcraft characters are frequently sold for upwards o 2 1/2 stars “A game you can’t buy. A game that talks to you. A game that watches you, that rewards you, threatens you, gives you tasks. 'Sometimes I think it’s alive…’” To anyone who’s ever been a MMPORG addict/widow(er) I think this book will be particularly frightening. And to everyone else, who’s sitting there right now, saying…really? Could a game really consume your life like that? I invite you to visit this website, where level 85 World of Warcraft characters are frequently sold for upwards of $1,000. In real currency! I also invite you to consider just how many hours you yourself have devoted to reading book reviews…twitter…random/amazing tumblrs…. I know I’ve definitely been there – sitting in front my computer at midnight thinking…I’ll just do this one more thing…and the next thing I know it’s 3:42 am. I’ve lost so many hours of my life to the internet! It’s all-consuming! And I actually felt pretty darn consumed by this book for the majority of it. It’s a fast-paced, highly engrossing read that I couldn’t put down. It reads quite a bit like a horror movie, which I loved. The scenes in the game are truly creepy, all the more so because they’re one small step away from a realistic gaming addiction. The main character Nick is a popular, good-looking (…with a ponytail…), entitled jock guy, of the sort that’s common in horror movies. He’s that everyguy who’s realistic and sympathetic, but just arrogant and closed-minded enough that you will really enjoy anticipating his downfall. Plus, he has a thing for the broody artist/poet girl (always a good choice) so that earns him a few more points. Most of the characters in this book feel realistically young; however, there are a few really incongruous elements and I think that’s where the translation may have gone awry. This book takes place in London supposedly, but just check out some of this dialogue: “’Get lost!’ Nick bellowed after him. He wanted to run after him, grab him by the collar, and punch his lights out.” “Just wait – one of these days someone will thump you so hard you won’t know which way is up.” “Shut your trap, kid.” “Beat it, sister.” “And how!” “Please don’t start with the whys and what-fors.” It’s as if this version of 2012 London were somehow cast with actors from a 1950’s gangster film. There are also a ton of really abrupt, almost jarring transitions between scenes. One moment Nick is in class, and the next he’s at home with no transition at all. And, there’s an interesting quirk with the narration: when Nick is in Erebos, the book is written in present tense, but when he’s in the real world everything shifts to past tense. I think that was meant to give the world of Erebos more immediacy, but it didn’t really work for me. It just felt odd, like his virtual life was happening in the moment but his real life was a memory. I can’t count how many times I got through a passage in Erebos, only to have my brain stumble over the sudden change to past tense. It was irritating. This book was sitting at three or four stars until I got to about 80% of the way through. Once the mystery started to become clear…once the man behind the er…monitor… was revealed…I lost interest pretty quickly. There were also several major plot holes (Nicks parents are annoyingly present one moment and conveniently absent the next; Nick goes from broadcasting his search for other Erebos members to a sudden and convenient concern of discovery) that probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much if I had been more engaged. But what really killed this book for me was the unadulterated cheesiness of the ending. That was a complete "Scooby Doo" ending if ever I've seen one. The only thing missing was the villain shaking his fist and saying, “And I would have gotten away with it too! If it weren’t for you meddling kids!” One of the main characters actually buys a swiss-cheese shaped mug in the final pages, which I can only assume she will use to give a toast to that ending. Perfect Musical Pairing Slow Runner – Strange Days I love that the beginning of this song sounds so much like a video game theme and I think that the line, "put this armor on and say my name" could be a direct quote from that creepy yellow eyed Messenger guy. Only, I guess he'd probably say, "put this armor on and DON'T say my name"...because he's secretive like that. Also seen on The Readventurer.

  4. 4 out of 5

    amy ☂︎

    epic

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janina

    When you take a look at the genres I normally read, this book doesn’t necessarily fit in. I am not much of a gamer, and although I wouldn’t say that the world of computer games doesn’t interest me the slightest, it’s not necessarily a topic that makes me squeal with excitement. Yet, this book has won the "Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis" in the category that is decided on by young adults themselves, and after it blinked at me so many times at my local bookstore, I was tempted. In the end, I am real When you take a look at the genres I normally read, this book doesn’t necessarily fit in. I am not much of a gamer, and although I wouldn’t say that the world of computer games doesn’t interest me the slightest, it’s not necessarily a topic that makes me squeal with excitement. Yet, this book has won the "Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis" in the category that is decided on by young adults themselves, and after it blinked at me so many times at my local bookstore, I was tempted. In the end, I am really glad I picked this book up. The summary is actually pretty vague on the genre – is it an “ordinary” mystery? Is it sci fi or fantasy? I myself wasn’t completely sure until the very end, and that’s part of what makes the story so fascinating. At Nick’s school, a mysterious DVD is making the rounds. Nobody talks about it, but a lot of students are suddenly skipping school, look tired all the time, talk in whispers. Nick is curious, and when he gets his hands on the mysterious EREBOS, he is soon addicted to this computer game that seems so very real and not only offers fantastic graphics, an exciting quest and almost human seeming characters, but also tasks firmly anchored in real life. Honestly, this book was creepy. Really creepy. If I were in Nick’s situation, I would have run as fast as I could. Or at least thrown my laptop out of the window. The game world Nick visited seemed so real – enhanced by the fact that the passages when Nick played were told from his game character’s point of view – it made me shiver. I sensed at once that there was something very wrong with EREBOS, but Nick got caught up in the game and didn’t question the firm grip it had on his life, which was seriously exhausting for me. I wanted to scream at him sometimes, to tell him to stop playing at once, but he would probably have ignored me like he did his best friend, Jamie and even his crush, Emily. Yet, I could also understand him a little. Because the book itself was rather addicting. Hard to put down, never slow, always a constant hint of danger in the air. The characters were well-developed and I grew rather fond of Nick and his friends. In the end, the conclusion came a bit too sudden and almost completely out of the blue, but that remains my only bigger complaint. I normally try to avoid reading the English translation of books originally published in German, but when it’s the question of buying vs. getting for free … (hey, I am a poor student after all). Yet, I can definitely say that the writing had a good flow nevertheless, and with the London setting, the English didn’t seem so out of the context (it is weird for me to read books in English with the occasional German name or even word thrown in). But I have to admit that the setting was rather anonymous. This story could have occurred everywhere of course, but if you set it in London, I do expect it to have a British feel about it. And that was completely missing. Nevertheless, a gripping thriller I’m glad I didn’t miss out on. Will be on the look-out for more books by Ursula Poznanski. Thanks a lot to Annick Press and Netgalley for the review copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brigid ✩

    Nick took advantage of his friend's change of mood and asked one last question. "Has the game ever actually crashed on you?" Now Colin laughed. "Crashed? No. But I know what you mean. ... Sometimes ... it just doesn't want to work. It waits. It tests you. Know what, Nick? Sometimes I think it's alive." Erebos is a frightening sci-fi thriller about a highly-addicting game that knows too much. Teenagers start swapping pirated copies of the game around school, which is how it falls into the hands Nick took advantage of his friend's change of mood and asked one last question. "Has the game ever actually crashed on you?" Now Colin laughed. "Crashed? No. But I know what you mean. ... Sometimes ... it just doesn't want to work. It waits. It tests you. Know what, Nick? Sometimes I think it's alive." Erebos is a frightening sci-fi thriller about a highly-addicting game that knows too much. Teenagers start swapping pirated copies of the game around school, which is how it falls into the hands of sixteen-year-old Nick Dunmore. The rules are simple: You only get one chance to play Erebos. You must always play it alone. And you're not allowed to tell anyone about what happens in the game. ... But when the lines between Erebos and real life start to blur, Nick realizes that the game might have a very sinister agenda. I'll start off by saying I loved the premise of this book. I haven't read many books about gaming––the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Ready Player One––so I was intrigued by the synopsis. The beginning of this book was really suspenseful and kept me frantically turning the pages. When Nick first started playing Erebos, it really freaked me out. I was truly frightened by the concept of a video game that knows everything about you, a video game that thinks on its own and knows what you're doing. I mean, that's some scary shit! So, kudos to the author for coming up with a really scary concept and putting an original spin on it. I enjoyed the parts about Nick first getting involved in the game, and seeing how it slowly started to invade on his real life. It was frightening and suspenseful, and I was eager to see what would happen next. Aaaaand that's when things started to fall a little flat for me. The second half of the book, in which Nick starts to uncover the secrets behind Erebos, was not as interesting to me as the first half. And when a lot of the explanations started surfacing, I had trouble believing them. But it's hard to describe what I mean without giving away some huge spoilers. (view spoiler)[Here's the thing. I was intrigued by the idea of the game just being an elaborate vehicle for revenge. I loved the idea of it assigning people little tasks that all added up into one huge scheme. But ultimately, I couldn't really suspend my disbelief about the game being that smart. The idea of an AI that freakishly intelligent is interesting, but I found it difficult to believe that such a thing could be invented by just one person, especially because it was explained with such ~hand-wavey science~. In the beginning I thought Erebos was like a demon or ghost or something, and somehow I found that idea more believable than "oh, some guy just made the whole thing to get revenge on some other guy." I don't know ... that explanation kind of ruined it for me. (hide spoiler)] The other big issue I had with this book was Nick. First of all, there were times when he acted so stupid I wanted to reach through the book and punch him. I was a bit shocked by how much trust he put in the game at first, and how he just kind of shrugged it off whenever the game acted extremely creepy. He'd be like, "Huh, the game knows my real name?? ... Cool." And I'd be like OH GOD, TAKE OUT THAT CD AND BREAK IT IN HALF, YOU IDIOT. (view spoiler)[It literally gets to the point where he nearly poisons one of his teachers because the game tells him to! WHAT. (hide spoiler)] But also, he was just flat-out mean a lot of the time. He's rude to basically everyone all the time, even his "friends". He's always thinking judgmental things about everyone, both inside and outside the game. More than that, though, he's kind of a creepy stalker. He's obsessed with this girl named Emily and he looks at her deviantART page every day––even though she never told him what her username was or anything; he found out what it was by eavesdropping on her and her friend. ... Well okay, we've all stalked our crushes online a few times, I guess. But what's worse than that is that he's weirdly possessive of her, even when he's barely spoken to her before. He gets irrationally angry whenever he sees her talking to other people––particularly to other boys––and that made me kinda nervous. I think the creepiest thing, though, is that at one point he takes a picture of her when she's not looking and then thinks about how he's going to kiss it when he gets home. Yeah sure, "kiss it". The final word: Pros: • Really cool premise • Very creepy and suspenseful Cons: • Second half of the book is a little slow • I had trouble suspending my disbelief about some things • The main character is kind of dumb and stalker-ish

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Smartarse

    Published in English as: Erebos. Despite my promise not to read any more young-adult German books (too soon), I ended up giving Erebos a shot anyway. It turned out to be surprisingly addictive! I felt akin to the main character, all excited to discover the world of his computer game, ready to take on any dragon. Nick is a 16-year-old high school student and one of the cool kids. On his way to becoming a doctor ( provided he survives his Chemistry classes), part of the basketball team and well-like Published in English as: Erebos. Despite my promise not to read any more young-adult German books (too soon), I ended up giving Erebos a shot anyway. It turned out to be surprisingly addictive! I felt akin to the main character, all excited to discover the world of his computer game, ready to take on any dragon. Nick is a 16-year-old high school student and one of the cool kids. On his way to becoming a doctor ( provided he survives his Chemistry classes), part of the basketball team and well-liked by his peers, there's not much missing from his life. Gradually, he starts noticing that one of his friends has suddenly started skipping basketball practice, school and is apparently hanging out with the "lamest" two guys in class? That seems rather suspicious, especially since they both used to refer to them as "the crochet sisters". And what's this about a super secret computer game making the rounds in school? Though skeptical at first, after being given the chance to play, Nick quickly becomes immersed in the world of the mysterious game Erebos, enough to be compelled to carry out 'its bidding' in the real world as well. Although, he has to admit that the requests are getting weirder (and scarier) by the day... The story kept me quite interested, despite the topic of computer programming which tends to be hit and miss ( mostly miss, really), for me. To be fair, the aspects relating to Artificial Intelligence (AI) are pretty much glossed over. On the other hand, the action was fast-paced enough that the little scientific 'oddities' quickly lost their importance. I'm not even sure if people who hadn't studied basic AI would pick up on these leaps in logic. There is also an interesting aspect of social commentary when it comes to explaining the way the game picked its players and who the "top dogs" ended up being (as well as why). Score: 4/5 star rating It lost one star mainly due to the ending, where everything came together a bit too easily. Ironically enough, I kind of LIKED this, because all my questions were answered. However after reading so many books that would leave quite a lot unanswered, things seemed a bit too... convenient. A pleasant read in any case, the technical side decently researched and its action didn't bore me. If you want an easy but not completely mindless read, give Erebos a shot.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I’m not really a gamer, unless The Sims counts, which I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. However, this book had me absolutely enthralled and if it weren’t for really annoying things like 3000 word assignments at university I would have finished it much, much sooner. So, I found the whole premise of this book pretty disturbing. A malevolent computer game that controls your life, ‘reads’ your mind and watches you while you surf the internet. It knows when you’ve been disobedient…and you better watch out I’m not really a gamer, unless The Sims counts, which I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. However, this book had me absolutely enthralled and if it weren’t for really annoying things like 3000 word assignments at university I would have finished it much, much sooner. So, I found the whole premise of this book pretty disturbing. A malevolent computer game that controls your life, ‘reads’ your mind and watches you while you surf the internet. It knows when you’ve been disobedient…and you better watch out if you have. So part of my still wonders how exactly Nick even managed to keep going with the game. I would have been way too scared. The word that Poznanski built in Erebos was incredible and I felt like I was there. The fights against murderous sheep and the arena battles were sickeningly realistic and Sarius ultimately became a character in his own right in the book. Whenever his life bar was dwindling…well, I was certainly holding my breath. The characters created by Poznanski (both in the game and out of it) were all interesting and had their own personalities. They didn’t feel too ‘cookie cutter’ and I was surprised by who was behind each of the characters when we found out at the ‘big reveal’ at the end. I did enjoy the part of the book where the whole mystery of the game was being solved, but I must admit it did feel just a tad too convenient and some more serious repercussions would have been good to see. The same goes for Nick’s there-one-minute-and-gone-the-next parents. Overall, this was an extremely compelling read and seemed at times to almost be two separate books; one inside and one outside of Erebos. It was quite unlike any other book I have read and I am looking forward to more of Poznanski’s work. This review and many more can be found at Maree's Musings.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eilonwy

    4-1/2 stars. I really enjoyed this! I'll try to write a proper review later, but I can see why this was a bestseller in Europe. The book is just as addictive as the title game -- fast-paced, exciting, slightly creepy, and very suspenseful as MC Nick tries to both win the game and figure out what it's connection to the real world is. Definitely recommended! 4-1/2 stars. I really enjoyed this! I'll try to write a proper review later, but I can see why this was a bestseller in Europe. The book is just as addictive as the title game -- fast-paced, exciting, slightly creepy, and very suspenseful as MC Nick tries to both win the game and figure out what it's connection to the real world is. Definitely recommended!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Presley

    Erebos is unreal. I mean, Ursula Poznanski must have played some MMORPGS (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games for those of you not in the know - think World of Warcraft) in her time because she has managed to capture, within Erebos, the addiction, the need to play, the drive to do anything to get that chance to play - and then turn that to make a thrilling, hold on-to-your-hats type of story that had me racing to the end. Nick seems like your all around normal 16-year-old kid with par Erebos is unreal. I mean, Ursula Poznanski must have played some MMORPGS (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games for those of you not in the know - think World of Warcraft) in her time because she has managed to capture, within Erebos, the addiction, the need to play, the drive to do anything to get that chance to play - and then turn that to make a thrilling, hold on-to-your-hats type of story that had me racing to the end. Nick seems like your all around normal 16-year-old kid with parent issues. His mom and dad are pretty neglectful, as tends to be the case in books which require not a lot of supervision to work. However things start getting a little crazy when he notices strange things happening at school and he hasn't been let in on the secret - but some other definitely not-cool types are in on it. The real story begins when Nick is let in on the secret - and let me tell you, it's a whopper. I could feel my old gaming addiction starting to stir as I read descriptions of what began and was frightened to see the lengths that he would go to in order to continue playing. Why was I frightened? Because I could relate to him more than I wanted to. This is a must-read for anyone interested in gaming. It's a "should-read" for parents who have kids dealing with MMO addictions - it'll give you a little bit of insight into how this addiction works and what it does - that little feeling of accomplishment you get with each level up, that thrill when you get a new piece of armor. It's not as innocent as it seems at first - trust me, I devoted 10 years of my life to it. Pick this one up for a thrilling, informative, interesting ride.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Toria

    Nick get cought in a deadly computer game called Erebos, addicting and dangerous. Players can't talk to anyone else about it and the quest seems stranger and stranger and why are they in real life to. This was in fact a very thrilling read but I didn't completly get addicted to the book myself but I would pick up something else by Ursula Poznanski that isn't part of this series in the future Nick get cought in a deadly computer game called Erebos, addicting and dangerous. Players can't talk to anyone else about it and the quest seems stranger and stranger and why are they in real life to. This was in fact a very thrilling read but I didn't completly get addicted to the book myself but I would pick up something else by Ursula Poznanski that isn't part of this series in the future

  12. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Excellent novel aimed at older teens. The storyline was fun, and at times creepy, character development was realistic, world building was exceptional and moral of the story was well played out. I have one major problem with this novel and that was the translation. The copy I read was an English translation and although Poznanski's writing is first-rate, the translation leaves a lot to be desired. The novel is set in London yet the Americanisation’s overwhelm the ‘Englishness’ of the setting and t Excellent novel aimed at older teens. The storyline was fun, and at times creepy, character development was realistic, world building was exceptional and moral of the story was well played out. I have one major problem with this novel and that was the translation. The copy I read was an English translation and although Poznanski's writing is first-rate, the translation leaves a lot to be desired. The novel is set in London yet the Americanisation’s overwhelm the ‘Englishness’ of the setting and the characters. As I was reading this, I would make a note simply stating ‘Another Americanism’ whenever I came across one. There are a lot of notes and highlights. Quick example. In Britain, we do not refer to mobile phones as “cells”; we do not refer to football as “soccer” (we did invent the sport after all); we do not refer to our Mother’s as “Mom”; we do not refer to school classes as “periods”; we do not refer to school years as “sixth grade” and suchlike; we do not refer to breaks and free time as “recess”, and we do not spell “colour” without a ‘u’! This may sound like I’m nitpicking but if you set a book in Britain, at least make sure it actually READS and SOUNDS authentic. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not being xenophobic towards America here, but if you set a book in a certain place then I expect you to make the effort to use the correct dialectal compositions native to that place/country and not use American English to appeal to a wider audience. It makes absolutely no sense as to why American English is used in this novel and being British myself, I found it infuriating and quite insulting that this small bit of linguistic research had not been carried out. I don’t know whether this is a fault with Poznanski herself or with the translator, but either way it should have been highlighted in an editing process and as such lowers its overall rating. Now I’ve got that rant off my chest, I can explain what it is I actually love about this book, because I did love it. The game itself was very intriguing and incredibly creepy. I’m a big fan of gaming and the game of ‘Erebos’ itself definitely sounds like the type of game I would love. When our protagonist, Nick, receives the game and starts to play it, rather addictively, the novel takes a definite turn to disturbing. It’s like the game can read his mind, answering questions he asks it, knowing his favourite music and even leaving him a present in the form of a t-shirt of his favourite band. The game also sets out challenges in the ‘real world’ and seems to know if these tasks have been completed or not. What I loved about this novel is when Nick is actually playing the game as the novel converts to the perspective of his character, Sarius. This adds another dimension to the novel as it feels as though you, the reader, are transported into the game and start to see and hear what Sarius sees and hears, and you forget that this is only a game and that Sarius is being controlled by Nick. It’s very clever writing and I can imagine many young gamers loving this aspect of the novel. The character development of Nick is done very well. At first he reads like a typical sullen teenager, but as the novel progresses and the reader reads about not only his development but also his game character’s progression and development, I began to empathise with him. Although his earlier actions are somewhat questionable, he redeems himself immensely by helping to find out the truth about the game. I don’t want to give too much away with regards to the origins of the game but the melding between fantasy and reality becomes more and more solid as the novel progresses and the concept of revenge and retribution becomes all too real and dangerous and the novel is brought to a satisfactory conclusion. This was a brilliant read with plenty of action sequences and a good moral storyline. The world-building of the game itself was superb and scarily realistic and similarly the world-building of the ‘real’ world is very well done as well, and despite the use of Americanism’s it is convincing just not accurate with regards to the use of language. An advance reader copy was kindly supplied by Netgalley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    My Thoughts: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It was very engaging and I read through it during the course of a morning. The characters are quite realistic and the game was described in such detail that it almost made me want to play it, despite everything – especially despite the fact that I don’t like computer games! It definitely showed the dangers of addiction to video games, too, and how people can take such things way too seriously. I would recommend this to pretty much any My Thoughts: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It was very engaging and I read through it during the course of a morning. The characters are quite realistic and the game was described in such detail that it almost made me want to play it, despite everything – especially despite the fact that I don’t like computer games! It definitely showed the dangers of addiction to video games, too, and how people can take such things way too seriously. I would recommend this to pretty much anyone who enjoys a good story – check it out! Disclosure: I received a free e-ARC galley from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis from NetGalley: 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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Small

    All I could think about while reading this book was the you-tube video of the German kid freaking out while playing World of Warcraft. I was not entirely impressed. Maybe because I had higher expectations, but it was very disappointing. The book basically switches back and forth from reality to the world of the game. In the reality portions, it is a typical Young Adult novel where the main characters are not as intelligent as the reader and continually make stupid decisions that no one in real life All I could think about while reading this book was the you-tube video of the German kid freaking out while playing World of Warcraft. I was not entirely impressed. Maybe because I had higher expectations, but it was very disappointing. The book basically switches back and forth from reality to the world of the game. In the reality portions, it is a typical Young Adult novel where the main characters are not as intelligent as the reader and continually make stupid decisions that no one in real life would actually make. It appears the characters are free to do anything they want, including deciding when to go and not to go to class, and practically every student in the school has absentee parents that don't know or care what their children are doing. The portions of the game are written as if it is reality and not from the perspective of someone playing a game. (view spoiler)[There are no clear identifiers explaining why the game is so incredibly addictive other than vaguely mentioning it is tailored to each individual playing. By the end of the book almost every student at the school is playing and addicted to the game, which is very unrealistic as in reality that may people would not all share the same interests. (hide spoiler)] It comes off more like reading a Dungeons and Dragons novel, which is not particularly my taste. Erebos is too far fetched and unreal with a predictable plot. The basic story line did have was a decent concept, but was not very well put together.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Essie-Marie W.

    TL;DR: Read this book now. Please. One of the best books I read this year. I didn't expect to love it so much, since I don't normally go for video game centred books. It’s about a high school guy who starts getting curious when a mysterious CD is being secretly passed around at school. Ever since the CD started going around, people have been acting strange. When he finally gets passed a copy, he finds out it’s a computer game unlike any other. It’s like it’s alive and it’s watching you. It’s addic TL;DR: Read this book now. Please. One of the best books I read this year. I didn't expect to love it so much, since I don't normally go for video game centred books. It’s about a high school guy who starts getting curious when a mysterious CD is being secretly passed around at school. Ever since the CD started going around, people have been acting strange. When he finally gets passed a copy, he finds out it’s a computer game unlike any other. It’s like it’s alive and it’s watching you. It’s addicting, but as he continues playing, the game starts leaking out into the real world, and he has to figure out exactly what the game wants to accomplish before it’s too late. The plot is always moving. You never feel like there's a lull. Like the video game it focuses on, it's addicting. I haven't felt that way toward a book in a long time. The story is original and fascinating. I'd like to thank Ursula Poznanski for conceiving such an amazing brainchild and sharing it with the world. Even if you don't go for this genre, you will enjoy it. The ending made me squeal with excitement and delight. The writing was a bit choppy, but since it was translated from German, that's understandable. And it doesn't even matter, because you get so sucked into the story you don't notice. The characters. . . I will now break my professional reviewer guise to say I FRICKIN' LOVE VICTOR!! What an awesome character. Also, there's a ship in there. . . and I ship it hard. AUGH!!! THEY'RE SO CUTE TOGETHER!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Verdict: Not quite as good as Ready Player One. Better than Warcross, but less flashy. Different from both. This is going to be a bit difficult to review because so much of what I’d want to say and comment on would be spoilers. And this really is a book you want to enter into without knowing much, except what you’re told at the beginning. Nick’s classmates are secretively passing around a CD person to person, and no one who has received one will tell others what it is. So of course those that haven’t Verdict: Not quite as good as Ready Player One. Better than Warcross, but less flashy. Different from both. This is going to be a bit difficult to review because so much of what I’d want to say and comment on would be spoilers. And this really is a book you want to enter into without knowing much, except what you’re told at the beginning. Nick’s classmates are secretively passing around a CD person to person, and no one who has received one will tell others what it is. So of course those that haven’t received one are very, very curious. Also, some of his classmates have begun to act strangely, including a good friend Colin, who is avoiding him and not returning his phone calls. Nick thinks, “It couldn’t go on like this—somehow, he had to get one of those CDs. How come he didn’t have one? And how come no one was telling him anything about them?” and it’s entirely believable. At his age the mystery, secret, and being left out by those “in the know” would have driven me crazy. I’d want to know just what that CD was all about. Ok, let's be honest - it'd probably work on me a bit even as a wiser adult. Although now I am aware this is also how sketchy pyramid schemes and cults operate. So yeah, I'd have more skepticism. Finally someone offers Nick a copy, and of course at this point he’s thrilled to finally be able to learn what this is and what it’s all about. But before he’s able to accept the CD he’s required to agree to a few stipulations. He has to affirm he has a computer, and that his parents give him plenty of time to use it, and able to use it privately. He’s not allowed to tell anyone about it. Or tell anyone he’s been given a copy. It turns out to be a computer game called “Erebos”. Soon after starting this game, he is confronted with this question: ‘“This is Erebos. Who are you?” Nick made a quick decision. He would choose the same name he had already used in a few other computer games. “I am Gargoyle.” “Tell me your name.” “Gargoyle!” “Your real name.” Nick was stunned. What on earth for? Fine. He would supply a first name and a last name so he could finally move on. “Simon White.” The name was there, red on black, and for a few seconds nothing happened. The cursor just blinked. “I said—your real name.” He took a deep breath and had another go. “Thomas Martinson.” There was no response for a moment, and then the game answered. “Thomas Martinson is incorrect. If you wish to play, tell me your name.”’ The game knows his real name, and when he provides fake names. Creepy! At this point I’d be rethinking things. Although Nick does react to this as strange he chooses to provide his real name and proceed. But right along with Nick, I’m engrossed in the mystery and want to know what this is all about. As the story goes along we see how the players are impacted not only in the game, but in real life as well. In fact curiously they are sometimes privately given secret tasks to perform in the real world that at first are small and seem rather pointless. Over time though the impact, and implications, become larger and more menacing. Something I did very much like about this story is how immersive the virtual world seemed, and how believable as an RPG. It feels written by someone very well familiar with both MMORPGs and how gamers can feel so linked to their game characters that their avatars start to feel like an extension of themselves, it can feel like your avatar is you in a very real way. And how your time in virtual reality can come to feel as real, or even more real, than real life. In spite of a few flaws and quibbles I had about this story, I felt completely hooked and drawn in. I truly didn’t want to put it down, and while I might have a question or roll my eyes or have a blip in my suspension of disbelief here and there, I still very much enjoyed the ride and felt very forgiving of the imperfections. The flaws and foibles: First, there are a few places were a word was missing from a sentence, and one where it appeared a line was missing. It’s not difficult to determine what those missing words would need to be, but still those errors are there. Also, although this is set in London, the MC calls his mother “Mom” rather than “Mum”, and there are a few other Americanisms in the text that really shouldn’t be there. As this book was not originally written in English, but was translated into English, I think it’s safe to call these translation errors. In general I think the feel of being caught up in something like this, the near-addiction and obsessive quality, which can impact critical thinking and common sense, is crafted here in the MC very well. He comes off, for me, in general a good guy, but one who is flawed and more selfish and less virtuous than we might like, particularly after becoming hooked and influenced by the game. However, even so, there are places where it’s hard to believe his questioning, morals, and skepticism didn’t kick in just a bit sooner than it did. But while there are places he’s not quite as likeable as I would have liked, he does come off as believable for someone who has situational ethics. Which sadly isn’t all that uncommon. There are also things that are an issue – until they’re not, and just dropped or forgotten. For example, at the beginning our MC is playing the game and discovers there is no way for him to choose to Exit the game. The game decides when to shut the user down and out, and until then the user is stuck. (a bit creepy!). Later gamers do mention choosing to leave at certain points, but with no explanation given if they’re actually able to do so, or why and how. There are several inconsistencies and contradictions like that within the story. I found the revelation of what was going on a bit disappointing, as I was hoping for something a bit bigger in scope. But parts of it I did like, it was not completely unbelievable, at least as a premise, a motivation, the execution was ok. Not great, not awesome. But ok. So, that left me a bit underwhelmed, but I enjoyed the ride so much even that doesn’t taint my pleasure at having read this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sean Randall

    A warning: do not continue reading if you are offended by strong language. This isn't a review, really. It's more a personal analysis... I've been banging on at some length in previous reviews about atmosphere.I really got into the character's head when reading The Ghost at the end of August. I enjoyed the ambience of Forever at the end of July, the list goes on: William Knight's Generation is one example, Charles Cumming's A Spy by Nature more so. The thing about atmosphere is that it engages yo A warning: do not continue reading if you are offended by strong language. This isn't a review, really. It's more a personal analysis... I've been banging on at some length in previous reviews about atmosphere.I really got into the character's head when reading The Ghost at the end of August. I enjoyed the ambience of Forever at the end of July, the list goes on: William Knight's Generation is one example, Charles Cumming's A Spy by Nature more so. The thing about atmosphere is that it engages you on very different levels. In Dave Duncan's Great Game series, its a thrill of history, in Henry Porter's Dying Light, that great sense of being "In" some sort of elite inner circle (intellectual rather than military in that case). This book, well. It reverberated. It reacted. It positively resonated with echoes of my own days as a sixthformer. All the tosser talk, the "you bastard", the casual Use of Skype and MSN, the disgruntlement at getting a landline rather than mobile number for a schoolmate and of course, the quietly-applied yet extremely evident beginnings of a romance... all that impacted me very hard indeed. I ended a chapter - I forget precisely which, now - and thought "he's going off for a wank now, surely?" It was as if someone my own age, who'd lived as I'd lived, seen the world through the eyes of one of my own era had harkened back to those days and captured it in print and captured it almost but not quite perfectly. Because of course it's a translated work, and I was hardly in the middle of the norm. Therefore intrusions like "principal" stuck out like soar thumbs, and of course the profusion of the subway was out of my experience. Still, it was an amazingly powerful and intense experience and for that, I shall always remember this book and the impact it had. The plot is very good too, though not unique and hardly outstanding by today's standards. It was very gripping, and the scenes "In-game" were very neatly done, woven into the narrative so well that you sort of lose contact with reality along with Nick. I found myself pausing and having to shake myself back to the world whenever he exited, or whenever his "real" world intruded on the virtual. I do have a few problems with the work that prevents the 5 star rating, of course: primarily, it's the complete waste: a brilliant technology, a brilliant man even, so bitter and twisted that things slip out of both his control and the world in general. Then there's that whole slipping away process anyway: a man so intelligent, ruined by something he aught to have easily managed. I suppose it's a commentary on grief or the dangers of mania and obsession, but it somehow lets the work down a little. The other thing that rang false was Nick's kicking-out of the game. Not because he got kicked out, but I somehow would have expected a more protracted divorce. I guess I had built things up too much in my head; taken his involvement - perhaps immersion is a better word - in Erebos to an extreme. All that aside, I really got into the book. The ambiance utterly hooked me, more compellingly than any fantastic or futuristic world has done in quite the same way because it was so vividly me, though a me of then, if that makes sense. The people - well: they were so real, because they could have been any one of a hundred real people I knew. The plot; naturally implausible, but luring nonetheless, intense, not too emotionally deep as you'd expect from a teenage male lead but again, with a level beyond the obvious which keeps you going. Would I recommend this book? Yes, to different groups for different reasons. I don't know how transferable that sense of... I haven't the word, which is rare. That sense of being there, of being at one with the time and setting of the work. I don't know how that translates, or indeed how much of it is the author and how much the translator: how much of my sixthform milieu holds any meaning in the US, in non-English speaking parts of germany? How much in Australia, which is where the translator lives? So it's hard to detail quite how that works for other people. Then there's recommending it for the RPG crowd, or those who just enjoy modern reads, or are otherwise into SF or have other geekish prominences. TO them, is it just a good read? I mean yes, to me, it was, for those reasons - but the great sense of ... again, I lack the appropriate descriptor. The "now" of the world in which the characters live; the real one, not the game - the tau of the work, to use a stochastic term - that was what really got and held me and what lives on in my mind having finished it. There's no doubt it was a great story as well, a very worthwhile read indeed.

  18. 4 out of 5

    H.A. Leuschel

    Gaming is generally known to be addictive, right? What if a book about gaming is so addictive you can’t get away from the pages drawing you into... a gaming world ? Well, just read on because being captivated can take different forms and I feel Ursula Poznanski taught me a lot here about the pull and power that being part of a gaming community can exert on its members and their 'normal' everyday lives. Gaming is generally known to be addictive, right? What if a book about gaming is so addictive you can’t get away from the pages drawing you into... a gaming world ? Well, just read on because being captivated can take different forms and I feel Ursula Poznanski taught me a lot here about the pull and power that being part of a gaming community can exert on its members and their 'normal' everyday lives.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Boss

    Really poorly written, or translated, or edited, or all three. Only finished it because I'm trying to leave fewer books unfinished this year. It was a good idea for a plot but badly executed. The main character, Nick, was short tempered and incredibly stupid a** and I hoped at many points that this would be a story in which he would come out on bottom or end up in jail. The game world, which was supposed to be so magnificent and unique that it was actually addictive, seemed like a really, really Really poorly written, or translated, or edited, or all three. Only finished it because I'm trying to leave fewer books unfinished this year. It was a good idea for a plot but badly executed. The main character, Nick, was short tempered and incredibly stupid a** and I hoped at many points that this would be a story in which he would come out on bottom or end up in jail. The game world, which was supposed to be so magnificent and unique that it was actually addictive, seemed like a really, really dull and watered down version of WoW. Nick had intense reactions to the game in the first few chapters and they seemed overly dramatic and completely out of line with what was actually happening. This was originally written in German, and maybe that version is better than the English translation, which seemed like it was done by someone with a poor grasp of English sentence structure. I marked the worst sentence in the book: "Thanks to his height and since he wasn't feeling particularly polite today, Nick had nevertheless managed to nab a plate of salad and a bowl of unidentifiable pasta." (p.190)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Evey

    Actual rating: 4,5 stars This book thrilled me! I couldn't stop reading and I felt as one of those Erebos' players. Which was something like an Erebosception, ha! The premise is good, it's a fast paced read and the game/book is so damn addictive! Misterious and creepystastic at its best, it's totally grippy till the very end. I'm so glad I finally picked it up. Actual rating: 4,5 stars This book thrilled me! I couldn't stop reading and I felt as one of those Erebos' players. Which was something like an Erebosception, ha! The premise is good, it's a fast paced read and the game/book is so damn addictive! Misterious and creepystastic at its best, it's totally grippy till the very end. I'm so glad I finally picked it up.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathi

    WOW, after reading Erebos I can truly say that Ursula Poznanski is really that good an author - and I'm a horrible speller of her name, it cost me three embarrassing tries to type it. When I grow up (properly) I hope I become as amazingly skilled as her and I'm super proud - as I'm usually not - that she's even from my country! Still in awe about that and equally wondering why the hell it took me so long AND a friend to discover her novels. A teenage book my ass, I've read "adult" books that wer WOW, after reading Erebos I can truly say that Ursula Poznanski is really that good an author - and I'm a horrible speller of her name, it cost me three embarrassing tries to type it. When I grow up (properly) I hope I become as amazingly skilled as her and I'm super proud - as I'm usually not - that she's even from my country! Still in awe about that and equally wondering why the hell it took me so long AND a friend to discover her novels. A teenage book my ass, I've read "adult" books that were far more immature than this one, and I don't understand what's wrong with "only" being entertaining sometimes. That's exactly what reading should be about! All her novels (so far I've read three, but more are sure to come) are so immersive that you really can't drag yourself away from them, no matter how hard you try (and I've tried my hardest!). Tv shows and other books can only dream of mentally gripping their audience like that; it really only happens to me about once or twice a year that I get so strongly engrossed in something and I feel like most writers can (and honestly for all our sakes, should...) learn A LOT from Poznanski in that regard. Really, I was SO grumpy everytime someone wanted something from me when I was right in the middle of reading, because how dare they, right? You just get so engrossed in this world, I could actually relate to the NickÄs addiction to the computer game Erebos because I wasn't better one bit - maybe even worse! Would I have killed someone if, for example, that had the only way to get access to the book's ending? MAYBE! That's how addictive it is! I feel like a drug user...in the worst and best possible way. I read this book in two days and that's despite it being quite long, so that already tells you everything. Such an exciting novel! If you're like me and ever had any doubts about playing RPGs for fear they'd make you become a computer junkie, fear no longer, because this book is 1) the perfect replacement and 2) "steals" you only about 2 days because then it's over and all you have left is a sequel instead of endless hours of possible RPG playing distracting you from real-word possibilities, so that's great. This book won't ruin your life, only your belief in the writing capabilities of other authors. I have to say that I'm never really happy with Poznanski's choice of endings though; while they are realistic, they lack the special something and feel disappointing as the ultimate resolution to everything (this one for reasons I unfortunately can't tell without spoiling it). You just expect something completely different, or at least I did, and then you go kinda "meh" when you start to figure out what it really is all about. Kudos to the author for not having taken the cliché route though, I appreciate that so. very. much. Still...I'm sure there was ast least still some other way left to end the whole thing in a more satisfying and, in quality of excitement, appropriately equal manner. At least the rest of the book was so good that I really don't care though! Or, I might care one bit, but happily ignore that nagging ever-complaining voice and tell her to fuck off and be happy with the 90% of the book that were simply AMAZING. And I don't even know why that is! Poznanski's writing style isn't all that special (or maybe it is since it does immediately capture you, but I can't pin-point why), but given the interesting premise and the realistic and likable characters it apparently doesn't have to be! It still manages to grasp your whole attention, and (unfortunately) that's not something that many books are able to make happen. And the whole book feels so...grounded and humble in some way. Like, it doesn't make the same mistake most thrillers do in trying to excite too and shock their readers much. It works with the premise it was given very well, but doesn't exaggerate or tries to top itself scene by scene, if any of that makes sense. It just feels very methodically planned and not like the author went on spontaneous whims in trying to surprise the reader just for unnecessary shock value. I liked how the characters behaved in a way that's believable and yet not aggrevating because it's all explained and justified so incredibly well. Was Nick annoying as a computer game addict, especially in his treatment of his best friend? Oh my god, YES. I felt reminded of Book 4 Harry Potter at times, and not in a flattering way. Did I judge him though? Not at all, and not only because I could very much relate for the above-given reasons, but because that was the magnetic pull of the whole game (book...). Nick was just another victim, and so was I. And I, for my part, was a very happy and grateful one! Captivity has never felt sweeter. PS: Too dark a joke if I were to say that this book would even make being locked in a cellar not be too bad, a lot of fun actually? At least real life wouldn't disturb you so much then... (I'm Austrian, so I just try to get used to a future possible fate) PS2: Obviously I had to read the sequel immediately after finishing, so there was no time for an earlier review. I don't understand how you could finish book 1 and not go for book 2 in an over-joyed instant, such powers I simply do not possess. My priorities are straight: I will go wherever Erebos leads the way (which, knowing the game, is probably to hell). PS3: How ace would it be to be a lizard (wo)man in this game. How could anyone NOT go for that?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marija

    3.5 The writing was smooth and engaging but I'm also a little disappointed with how the author formed the whole plot. In my opinion, Erebos lacked a few other aspects to the plot, it didn't have that American spectacle, that feeling of 'epicness' while reading, but rather that quiet streaming of series of the events & plot twists that, as far as I have experienced, the German/Austrian authors particularly have. Which I'm quite okay with because the emphasis is on the flow and the quality of the s 3.5 The writing was smooth and engaging but I'm also a little disappointed with how the author formed the whole plot. In my opinion, Erebos lacked a few other aspects to the plot, it didn't have that American spectacle, that feeling of 'epicness' while reading, but rather that quiet streaming of series of the events & plot twists that, as far as I have experienced, the German/Austrian authors particularly have. Which I'm quite okay with because the emphasis is on the flow and the quality of the sentences which is much better for the author to be recognized for but then again I could say I'm kinda accustomed to the plot with that 'American punch'. But for the record, this one is for 12+ kids, the plot is quite clean, interesting and written (probably) as a comment on the unhealthy relationship with computer games like in the movie "Nerve" starring Emma Roberts and "Ready Player One" (which I haven't read but have seen the movie...quite good!👌) and the book has also a resemblance to a great German movie "Die Welle" (I recommend, but warning for the content). I dearly recommend this YA SF gem for anyone who is interested in -the computer game transform to book kind of plot- spiced with a strong social and ethic commentary.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ping

    Fun Read, but a bit disappointed because it is praised so much. I read and loved Saeculum and people said they liked Erebos even a bit better. My favorite is still Saeculum. Erebos is about a video game, so it had my interest. It is difficult to create such a gripping video game without being unrealistic. I could not put these thoughts to the side like how unbelievable it must be to code such a game with the given resources. When starting this book, I was already "shocked" about the chopped off w Fun Read, but a bit disappointed because it is praised so much. I read and loved Saeculum and people said they liked Erebos even a bit better. My favorite is still Saeculum. Erebos is about a video game, so it had my interest. It is difficult to create such a gripping video game without being unrealistic. I could not put these thoughts to the side like how unbelievable it must be to code such a game with the given resources. When starting this book, I was already "shocked" about the chopped off writing style. This doesn't raise pressure or thrill in me, I find it annoying and could not remember this gimmick at Saeculum. --- Side Notes, nvmd. Not really spoilers, but yeah: - "Ohne zu zögern, wählt der den Mann. Erst nach seiner Entscheidung überlegt er, dass ein Spiel als Frau seinen Reiz haben könnte. Egal, zu spät." (S. 48) Eyesroll, I was just wating for this crackbrained "rather staring at a female bum" argument. - "Den Echsenmenschen erwägt er einige Minuten lang, seine Körperschuppen schillern so verführerisch, wechseln den Farbton je nach Lichteinfall". (S.48) Would Nick really think "tempting/alluring"? - "Escape" key for "wiggle/break free"? (s. 42/84) - Hijab girl and dark skinned guy: How often do you want to mention it the skin tone? - Unrealistic: "Ihr könntet euch wenigstens auber machen, ihr seht saumäßig eklig aus." S. 113 - wow, you can get dirty and mudded in the game and you can even wipe it off on your own again? (ofc it could be just a joke or that the player themself doesn't know yet what is possible in the game. However, it got me out of the story) - "Es gab Gemüselasagne mit Tofu statt Fleisch, doch Nick beschwerte sich diesmal nicht." S. 186 lol, be happy someone prepared food for you and I am pretty sure you can do without meat this time. I am not a bit fan of Tofu myself usually and I can understand if it is just not his taste and his mother knows, but I read it more like a principle thing, maybe it is my fault, but that is how I read it. - S. 385 IP might be saved anyways? - partner tattoo. Maybe to remember this thrilling time, okay, but still good luck with that! - S. 243 "Da ist es nicht so wichtig, was du nimmst, obwohl die Männer schon ein bisschen stärker sind." just interesting note for me, nvmd. In WoW f.e. it is not like that. - S. 428 -- "Du kennst dich doch in der Computerspielszene aus." "Absolut." "Hast du eine Erklärung dafür? Irgendeine, die Sinn ergeben würde?" "Keine Spur. Ich tappe völlig im Dunkeln." -- LOL 2 pages later one other character has the right guess and the reader themself would also think in this direction. This just cracked me up. xD

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    In Soviet Russia, game plays you. Okay, so this novel is set in Britain, not the Soviet Union, but I couldn't resist the joke. Because this game really does play you. For those of you who are frustrated by a friend or loved one who neglects you for video games, be grateful that they don't have this one. This is one computer parents really should be afraid of their kids playing. It's funny reading this book, because I know that I would probably have accepted the disk (assuming someone tried to giv In Soviet Russia, game plays you. Okay, so this novel is set in Britain, not the Soviet Union, but I couldn't resist the joke. Because this game really does play you. For those of you who are frustrated by a friend or loved one who neglects you for video games, be grateful that they don't have this one. This is one computer parents really should be afraid of their kids playing. It's funny reading this book, because I know that I would probably have accepted the disk (assuming someone tried to give me one anyway, which would have been doubtful in high school), totally without intention of keeping its secrets, out of desperation to know what the heck was going on. Unlike the people in the book, I doubt I would have been sucked in. Likely, because I would have died immediately. I am not skilled at this kind of game. Or, I would have wanted some food or to go to the bathroom, pissing off (punned) the Messenger, the guy in control of the game world. At first, I wasn't particularly into this book. I considered stopping, but persisted because of the amazing reviews I saw of it. Turns out I'm glad I stuck with it, although this isn't a book I would ever reread. It was still good, and dealt with some really fascinating concepts. As much as I said that I would not enjoy playing the game, I can still appreciate how freaking cool the game itself is. If you are a gamer and do not desperately wish you could play Erebos, something is wrong with you. Just kidding...mostly. The game has so many possibilities, because of the AI in it. Wow. The characterization wasn't all that great, at least not in the real world. Nick and Emily, who get the most screen time, never really felt like real people to me. The others, of course, were incredibly one dimensional, like Colin, for example. He and Nick were best friends, but the reader never learns a single good thing about Colin. He's almost the villain of the piece. Actually, the two characters who seem most realistic are Victor and Adrian, who have smaller parts. On the other hand, everything and everyone in the world of Erebos seems so much more real. This was likely done intentionally. The reason people could not escape from the game, and, often, had mental breakdowns when they couldn't play anymore, was because the artifice felt more real than reality. So yeah, this was pretty cool. If you have gamer friends who also like to read, they might love this. Present idea!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marie the Librarian

    Well this was a very slow start, but as the Game progressed I got more and more interested. The ending was good even though it felt a bit easy.. I liked Emily a lot, more than Nick.. But yes Im sure this will be a great read for gamers:)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tabea Vanessa

    I enjoyed this A LOT! Apparently I just really like game settings on books. I recommend this if you liked Warcross or Ready Player One.

  27. 4 out of 5

    R.S. Carter

    4.5 Stars. Imagine being handed a blank CD case. Your friend tells you it's a game - but there are rules. You must always be alone when you play and you can never, ever tell anyone about the game. It's called Erebos. The game is fantastic and all you want to do is level up and get better. It deprives you of your sleep and tricks you into spending all of your time in Erebos. That's pretty normal when a game is good. But this game, this one is different. It seems to know things about you, it seems t 4.5 Stars. Imagine being handed a blank CD case. Your friend tells you it's a game - but there are rules. You must always be alone when you play and you can never, ever tell anyone about the game. It's called Erebos. The game is fantastic and all you want to do is level up and get better. It deprives you of your sleep and tricks you into spending all of your time in Erebos. That's pretty normal when a game is good. But this game, this one is different. It seems to know things about you, it seems to know about your friends, it seems to know your thoughts. To level up, the game is requesting things of you, not in Erebos but in the real world. Little tasks that escalate into bigger ones. If you fail, it knows. If you're successful, it knows. But there are rewards too, and the game can make good things happen for you outside of the game - if you please it. It was a great book. And I didn't see the end coming. This was a great premise. The only real reason it wasn't a five is because of my translated version. It wasn't very polished. There are awkward words, strange sentence configurations, a few typos - and it seems to get worse toward the end, as if the translator was rushing. I had two other issues with it - or rather, points of discussion: (view spoiler)[ 1) Was this premise a way to illustrate how good people can be twisted into doing heinous acts? Consider the book's origins - Germany. The manipulation also reminded me of Needful Things by Stephen King. 2) Was that a little Stockhlom Syndrome at the end? I mean, they took to the reason why Erebos was created in order to fulfill its primary objective, in a less offensive way. Sigh .. or am I reaching? (hide spoiler)]

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sanja

    I would recommend this book to all teenagers, gamers and especially lovers of RPG. Because the book is about a game called "EREB" which is so realistic that gamers who play it don't want to live their real lives but their virtual one. Hanging out with other avatars, finishing quests and preparing to fight against the main enemy "ORTOLAN" Novel follows a group of high school kids that are starting their adventure and readers are aware that for them everything that is real is so much more less impo I would recommend this book to all teenagers, gamers and especially lovers of RPG. Because the book is about a game called "EREB" which is so realistic that gamers who play it don't want to live their real lives but their virtual one. Hanging out with other avatars, finishing quests and preparing to fight against the main enemy "ORTOLAN" Novel follows a group of high school kids that are starting their adventure and readers are aware that for them everything that is real is so much more less important than before. They don't see that "EREB" is connected to real life and trough his messenger he gives these kids quests in real life in exchange for XP and better equipment in a game. From meaningless tasks like go there and leave something to murder. The catch is that you only have one life in a game, when you lose, you can't play it anymore. The A.I. in this game is so intrusive that when you say your name, it finds out everything about you and tries to make you stay in the game more and more. This book has a sequel and I can't wait for it to be translated. "Glasnik se okrene uz pozdrav i ode; Iza njega se zatvori ulaz u špilju. Nestane i svjetlost. Crnilo. Tako neprobojno da Sarius više ne zna je li dio te tmine ili je to prestao biti. Naposljetku svi umiremo. Čudno je što toliko njih pridaje preveliku važnost tome hoće li se to dogoditi prije ili kasnije. Vrijeme otječe kao voda, mi putujemo s njom koliko god pokušavali protiv struje."

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Erebos starts on an normal note: highschooler Nick is trudging his way through the school day, when he notices something odd - kids are passing around a mysterious DVD, but none of the recipients or deliverers are talking about what it is. Intrigued, Nick investigates, and eventually himself gets a copy of the amazing game that's been going around - Erebos, the most fantastic and new multiplayer online first-person game. But Erebos is no ordinary game. Because as Nick and other players are drawn Erebos starts on an normal note: highschooler Nick is trudging his way through the school day, when he notices something odd - kids are passing around a mysterious DVD, but none of the recipients or deliverers are talking about what it is. Intrigued, Nick investigates, and eventually himself gets a copy of the amazing game that's been going around - Erebos, the most fantastic and new multiplayer online first-person game. But Erebos is no ordinary game. Because as Nick and other players are drawn deeper into the game, it becomes apparent that Erebos is...alive, capable of manipulating and monitoring its players, using them to achieve its own goal. Suddenly, things that happen in the game start to have all too real, devastating effects in the real world - but by then it might be too late to stop Erebos's sinister plan. This was actually better than I initially thought it would be. Mostly interesting plot line, intriguing central action, etc. It does suffer from the same things as a lot of YA today - a couple of one-dimensional characters, and the fact that it could've been a lot more than it was, since the author set up an awesome stage...but the play fell a bit short. Still a nice/OK read, though. BASICALLY: VIDEO GAMES WILL MAKE YOU SHOOT PEOPLE IN THE FACE

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lioness

    I read the English translation of this book although translation is the wrong word. Adaptation perhaps since it takes place in London England in this version. Nick is invited to play a secretive game online that has been making the rounds in his school. No one is talking about it but it is fairly easy to see who has the game. They come into school exhausted or skip altogether and this silence just makes the game more enticing. As Nick gets caught up in the adventures, they affect his life in odd I read the English translation of this book although translation is the wrong word. Adaptation perhaps since it takes place in London England in this version. Nick is invited to play a secretive game online that has been making the rounds in his school. No one is talking about it but it is fairly easy to see who has the game. They come into school exhausted or skip altogether and this silence just makes the game more enticing. As Nick gets caught up in the adventures, they affect his life in odd ways. Not only is he losing his friends but the game is giving him real-life tasks to complete. This is a tense, exciting read. It is clear early on that the game is much more than it appears to be and you watch as Nick gets sucked in further. The reader doesn't know how far Nick is willing to go because Nick doesn't know. The middle portion of the book could have been shortened somewhat but then I am not a gamer and possibly those are some of the most exciting parts to a reader who is. But once Nick makes his decision, the pace picks up again and I raced to the end, wanting to know the answers to the central mystery.

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