REVIEW: Erebos by Ursula Poznanski
I was able to read this book courtesy of NetGalley.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Nick Dunmore is a high school basketball star with lots of friends. One day he notices something strange going on at school. Whispered conversations in the hallway. Covert packages being discreetly passed between students. He and his best friend Jamie start a mission to find out what it is..and unfortunately for him, he does–and it’s called Erebos.
Nick starts playing Erebos, a seriously realistic role playing game where you must advance through levels, battle others, and complete missions to try to work your way into the inner circle of elite warriors. Nick becomes completely engrossed in the game, even when it starts affecting his school work and relationship with his parents. But when the game starts knowing way too much about what he does away from the computer, Nick becomes suspicious. And then he is asked to complete an unimaginable task. Will he let his addiction to the game rule him, or will his moral compass lead him the right way? Because the way you play Erebos could have deadly consequences.
Without giving too much away, I’ll say that I was completely engrossed in this book for the whole first half. While some may have found all the game playing chapters tedious, those were my favorite parts. I loved how when the game was on, Nick BECAME Sarius, his character. Instead of saying, “Nick made Sarius walk to the trees,” the test said, “Sarius walked to the trees.” Maybe it’s because I’m a gamer chick, but I totally understood the concept of getting in caught up in the game, that you think you ARE your character.
Along those same lines, I also understand, although not personally, the idea of being so addicted to your game that the responsibilities of the real world seem to pale in comparison to those of your game. This has unfortunately made the news more than once, when tales of gaming parents too lazy to feed their children come to light in the media. It’s not too much of a stretch to see gamers act out tasks in real life that they have been asked to do by the game.
As for the characters, none were really developed except for Nick. And he was not in the least bit likable. I don’t understand why he was supposed to be so popular–he was a jerk to everyone in the story except his crush. He is a bit of a creepy stalker too, but I won’t tell you why here.
Where this book fell apart for me was at the climax. After the game playing scenes were done, the story didn’t hold my attention nearly as much. I also felt things were wrapped up rather quickly and without much of an explanation. This is why the 3 star rating…I was left with too many questions.