Saturday 17 March 2012

77. Erebos by Ursula Poznanski, translated by Judith Pattinson

Erebos by Ursula Poznanski translated by Judith Pattinson
Published March 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:

Nick is given a sinister but brilliant computer game called Erebos. The game is highly addictive but asks its players to carry out actions in the real world in order to keep playing online, actions which become more and more terrifyingly manipulative. As Nick loses friends and all sense of right and wrong in the real world, he gains power and advances further towards his online goal - to become one of the Inner Circle of Erebos. But what is virtual and what is reality? How far will Nick go to achieve his goal? And what does Erebos really want?

This book was originally published in Germany in 2010. I have a theory about translations, and that is, if someone thought it was worth translating, then it is probably worth reading.  This book just supports my theory.

Erebos is no ordinary game, you can't buy it, it has to be given to you.  It knows all about you and watches you in the 'real world'.  The game play is addictive, and it's not going unnoticed at school as student absentees are on the rise since the game began to circulate.  

If you die in the game you are not let back in, you only get one chance to play.  However if you are near death and the 'messenger' makes an appearance he will ask you to perform a task in the 'real world' which allows you to 'level up' and continue with the game.  This is when it starts to get out of control.  The tasks are beginning to to get personal and people are staring to get hurt.  Nick has to decide what lengths he will go to, to continue playing.

The world of online gaming is far removed from my life, but that didn't affect how much I enjoyed this book.  The author does a great job of letting us into the head of a teenage gamer. The book is much like the game, it's thrilling, addictive, and much like the levels in a game the story unfolds in stages until we eventually find out who is behind the game and what it is they want.

The only thing I noticed about this book being a translation, was that at some points the language felt a little unnatural, the teenage characters were very polite to each other.  While this was a pleasant change, it was noticeable.

Who will like this book: Boys age 14+
Read it if you like: World of Warcraft or a good thriller

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