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.
The lines between reality and fantasy blur in this stunning thriller, originally published in Germany. In London, a new computer game is making the rounds. Called Erebos, it's deceptively immersive, insidiously addictive, and so complex that it might even be alive. It insists on absolute secrecy and discretion from its players, rewards and punishes in strange ways, and recruits through word-of-mouth. When Nick Dunmore begins playing, he's quickly sucked in, learning the bizarre rules and advancing rapidly. However, he's forced to question his dedication after the game starts to exert its influence on the real world, asking him to perform "missions" with potentially hazardous consequences. When he and several other players investigate who or what is behind Erebos, they unravel a surprisingly personal vendetta at the heart of the game, driving players toward its ultimate, violent purpose. As the narrative moves fluidly between the real world and the game, Poznanski plays with expectations and perception, incorporating SF, mystery, and ghost story elements, along with solid characterizations. The result is a prescient page-turner and a provocative, believable portrayal of the seductive world of virtual gaming. Ages 12 up.
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