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Ursula Poznanski is an award-winning children's author. She lives in Vienna, Austria.
Gr 8 Up-Students at Nick's London high school are behaving strangely. They look exhausted, pass strange packages to one another, and maintain a general air of mystery. The 16-year-old is dying to know their secret, and soon enough he does: they are all immersed in a multiplayer virtual-reality video game called Erebos. Its rules are not unlike those of Fight Club: you do not talk about it outside of the game itself; if you do, you will be kicked out for good. So when Erebos begins to make strange demands on its players, asking them to carry out violent acts in real life, the addicted players generally do as they are told without speaking to one another about their actions. Even though Nick becomes as absorbed in the world of Erebos as other players in his school, he eventually realizes how dangerous it is and that he must help stop it. Descriptions of the in-game action are exciting, but the ending, when the mystery of the game's genesis is solved, is a letdown. This book has some wooden dialogue and forced-sounding slang, both of which are likely issues with the translation. Nonetheless, it's a solid purchase where gaming is popular-in other words, most libraries.-Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The lines between reality and fantasy blur in this stunning thriller ... a prescient page-turner and a provocative, believable portrayal of the seductive world of virtual gaming. ... the scary climax, a romantic subplot and plenty of thoroughly credible gaming add proper spark to a pageturner with amps aplenty. From its opening notes of eerie virtual landscapes, to its mesmerizing conclusions, EREBOS is a nuanced thriller that weaves effortlessly between reality and virtual space, bringing its protagonists closer to the brink of destruction-or salvation-with every turn of the page. Poznanski's thriller effectively plays off the difficulty of balancing online and real-life personae, and the all-too-possible idea that gamers are being secretly shaped into an unwitting army is indeed a scary one.--Daniel Kraus"Booklist" (03/01/2012) Erebos is a page-turner of a book.--Patty Osborne"Geist" (06/04/2012) Nevertheless, the depiction of gaming raises a host of provocative questions about its prevalence in popular culture, and the book will likely appeal to fans of Cory Doctorow.--Jonathan Hunt"Horn Book" (06/15/2012) A literary marvel.--Kara Smith"Professionally Speaking" (09/01/2012) As a middle-aged non-gamer, observing this process was fascinating: I became as addicted to the book as the characters are to the game!--Patricia Jermey"Resource Links" (04/01/2012) It's a solid purchase where gaming is popular--in other words, most libraries.--Hayden Bass"School Library Journal" (07/01/2012) This book will appeal not only to gamers, but to any fan of suspense and adventure. This is an excellent addition to any collection serving teens.--Bethany Martin"VOYA" (06/13/2012) Erebos is a tightly plotted, suspenseful novel that draws the reader into its world.--Kate Sweeney"Baltimore's Child" (10/01/2012) I was super impressed by this book. I thought I had found a treasure when I was reading the Feyland trilogy, but this was even better... The author did a terrific job of crafting surprises. She held my attention without underestimating my intelligence, and I didn't feel like I'd been taken through a convoluted labyrinth, simply for the sake of distraction and in hopes of preserving the punch line. The story was astonishingly straightforward and yet still fascinating. This one grabbed me from page one, and it's a rare treat that I recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy, mythology, gaming, urban fantasy, or an engaging story.--Kelly Truelove"Good Reads" (03/16/2013)