Rating: Starry Eyed - 5/5
Release Date: January 19th, 2012
Publishers: Annick Press
Series: This is the only one! Hurray for stand-alones!
First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
An intelligent computer game with a disturbing agenda.Erebos is about a kid named Nick who's friend Colin seems to suddenly disappear without notice. Once Nick finds out that it's some copied disk that's made Colin hole up in his room for the past few weeks, Nick is determined to get his hands on a copy and eventually he does. Eager to try out his copied CD of Erebos, Nick doesn't waste his time on popping it in his computer and becomes addicted himself. After that, the story truly comes alive as we watch Nick level up his character by questionable means and find out how evil this game really is.
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 story or Erebos is so incredibly creepy and yet so intensely captivating at the same time. I really, really, really loved this book! After having read a bit of the book before bed, I couldn't help but close it and marvel at the cover for a bit. But never for too long... The eye would always creep me out after reading it.
Admittiedly, I was a game junky myself a couple of years ago. Addictions like this do happen, and it's really scary to watch it and experience it first hand while still being conscience of what's going on. As Nick ran around in Erebos as Sarius, I felt as if I was the one playing, not Nick. And it was marvelous. The game seems to have a mind of its own, giving logical answers to any question asked of it.
Nick really jumps off of the page for me as well. He's a great character to experience the story of Erebos with. Half the time I felt like I was Nick. I would feel his anger when his parents interrupted him. His indecision when the messenger gave him his new orders. His disappointment when he didn't do as well as he hoped. By the end of the book, I felt like I had been friends with Nick for a long time. Almost as if I knew him inside and out.
Plus, this book is so unique. I've never read anything like this before, and considering how many books I've read in my lifetime, that's saying something. The only issue I really had with this book was the randomness of the ending. The identity of one of the players completely threw me off. I also thought it was kind of random how Erebos was mapped out in terms of the real world. Maybe not random, but just... Odd? I don't know. But all over the good in this book over-shadowed these small details. I was still greatly satisfied with the ending of this book and I would easily recommend it to anyone!
On a side note... This book originated in Germany, so it's kind of expensive for a paperback at $19.95... But believe me, it's so worth the money. And you can always get it discounted if you order it online! A truly unique & captivating story that just hooks you in right from the beginning.