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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Ursula Poznanski
Age Range: 12+
‘Enter. Or turn back. This is Erebos’. These are the daunting words that confront Nick Dunmore as he loads a brilliant and absorbing computer game that he has been surreptitiously given at school.
Nick notices that his friends start behaving strangely, missing school, appearing exhausted and acting out of character, but before long he too is engrossed in the game unable to escape its manipulative power. As Nick becomes increasingly obsessed with Erebos his onscreen character Sarius is intent on moving up the levels of the game. The secretiveness of the game means that Nick is forbidden from discussing it with anyone; its highly addictiveness encourages players to carry out destructive actions in real life in order to advance their game allowing Erebos to become extremely dangerous as it increasingly takes control of their lives.
Nick begins to lose friends as he gains power and advances further into the game. The boundaries between virtual and reality, right and wrong start to blur with some of the tasks asked of Nick a step too far. When a terrible accident happens to his close friend Jamie it leads him to examine his own conscience and question the game. What is it that Erebos really wants?
An international bestseller from Austria that will have you hooked right from the first page. This suspenseful novel is an unusual thriller that is hard to put down. Ursula Poznanski has cleverly weaved a contemporary story around the technological age combining it with the fantastical world within the computer game of Erebos itself. As Sarius lives in a medieval setting encountering violent clashes with mythical figures such as orcs, trolls and monsters as he strives to move up the ladder of the game. Then there is the mysterious, sinister ‘Messenger’ who appears to know both his and Nick’s innermost thoughts, all of which helps to create a frightening world within a computer game that begins to spill out into real life.
A topical book for fans of video and computer games with an underlying message of the dangers of addiction that they pose for children and young people. The translator has done a wonderful job in bringing this exciting page-turning story to life in English.