Erebos: It's a game. It watches you. by Ursula PoznanskiErebos: It's a game. It watches you. by Ursula Poznanski

Erebos: It's a game. It watches you.

byUrsula PoznanskiTranslated byJudith Pattinson

Paperback | January 19, 2012

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  • Rights sold in 25 countries

  • Translated into 23 languages

  • Over 120,000 copies sold in Germany

  • Winner of the highly prestigious Children's Literature Prize (Jugendliteraturpreis) in 2011
  • An intelligent computer game with a disturbing agenda.

    When 16-year-old Nick gets a package, he wonders if it will explain the behavior of his classmates, who have been secretive lately. The package contains the mysterious computer game Erebos. Players 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.

    International praise for Erebos:

    Like the game in the story, this book pulls the reader under its spell and doesn't let go until the puzzle is solved.
    -- Buchkultur

    This year's summer thriller!
    -- Die Zeit

    This captivating book for young people about the danger of virtual worlds is impossible to put down.
    -- Brigitte Magazine

    A masterful, riveting thriller.
    -- Neue Zürcher Zeitung

    A super-suspenseful book full of insight about the fascination that computer games hold.

    An unbelievably good book.
    -- Freizeitmagazin Weinheimer Nachrichten

    Plunges the reader into a fantasy world in the same way that Nick is drawn into his game.
    -- Eselsohr

    This thriller is a tour de force.

    Ursula Poznanski is an award-winning children's author. She lives in Vienna, Austria. by Ursula Poznanski ; translated by Judith Pattinson
    Title:Erebos: It's a game. It watches you.Format:PaperbackProduct dimensions:440 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.94 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.5 × 0.94 inPublished:January 19, 2012Language:English

    The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

    ISBN - 10:1554513723

    ISBN - 13:9781554513727


    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Predictable and Disappointing (Spoilers) All I could think about while reading this book was the you-tube video of the German kid freaking out while playing World of Warcraft. I was not entirely impressed. Maybe because I had higher expectations, but it was very disappointing. The book basically switches back and forth from reality to the world of the game. In the reality portions, it is a typical Young Adult novel where the main characters are not as intelligent as the reader and continually make stupid decisions that no one in real life would actually make. It appears the characters are free to do anything they want, including deciding when to go and not to go to class, and practically every student in the school has absentee parents that don't know or care what their children are doing. The portions of the game are written as if it is reality and not from the perspective of someone playing a game. [There are no clear identifiers explaining why the game is so incredibly addictive other than vaguely mentioning it is tailored to each individual playing. By the end of the book almost every student at the school is playing and addicted to the game, which is very unrealistic as in reality that may people would not all share the same interests. (hide spoiler)] It comes off more like reading a Dungeons and Dragons novel, which is not particularly my taste. Erebos is too far fetched and unreal with a predictable plot. The basic story line did have a decent concept, but was not very well put together.
    Date published: 2018-08-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Increasing velocity I thought this booked had a very slow start but like the game Erebos it became almost addictive. An excellent read!
    Date published: 2013-03-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from It watched me read it I don't read very often but this book hooked me from beginning to end. I love the hidden plot that the reader has to find out for themselves. The characters were well developed which made the story even more fulfilling as a read. I would recommend this to anyone!
    Date published: 2012-08-31
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredibly Unique! More reviews at: 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. 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.
    Date published: 2012-06-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love video games? Pick this up. Pros: intense writing, three dimensional teen protagonists, fascinating video game, minor romance that develops naturally / Cons: told friendships exist where there's no evidence of them in the book, some readers may dislike the switch between the author's use of past tense in the real world and present tense in the game world / For Parents: minor violence (mostly in game), minor swearing (multiple uses of the word sh*t), no sex / There are three rules for playing Erebos. 1. You only get one chance. 2. You must play alone. 3. The content of the game is secret. When Nick Dunmore finally gets his hands on one of the mysterious square packages circulating around his high school he's determined to play - and win - the game. But Erebos is unlike any game he's played before. It knows when he lies about his name. It asks him to do tasks outside the game. Bizarre tasks like photographing a man in a parking garage. When the tasks become dangerous, he wonders if the game, as amazing as it is, is worth the real world risks he's taking. / Judith Pattinson deserves a lot of credit for her translation of this book. It's readable, intense and clever. The author has peppered the book with references to Greek mythology and created a plot that ties together neatly at the end. / The characters are all three dimensional. Nick is a jock at his school, friendly with most people but rude to the 'freaks' in his class. He starts the novel wanting to know why people around him are changing, becoming secretive, creating friendships with those they never liked before. When he finally starts playing, he himself changes dramatically, dissing his best friend, skipping basketball practice and playing at all hours. / There was a bit of disconnect here where the reader is told that Nick is friends with Colin and others, but it's never shown in the book. Colin is already a player and distanced from Nick when the book begins. But all of the students react in different ways to the presence of the game - some want in, others don't care, and when someone gets kicked out they often cause a scene, trying to find someone willing to break the rules and give them a second chance. Even the teachers react differently to the mass absences, though only two of them are mentioned with any regularity, the English teacher who's convinced the game is dangerous and the basketball coach. / Some readers may dislike the shift between past tense usage to depict actions in the real world vs present tense usage to describe the game world. This reviewer only noticed the change a few times and it never pushed her out of the book as has happened with other novels that tried similar tricks. The present tense creates a sense of immediacy with the game play. It's easy to see why the kids get hooked so quickly and why it's hard for them to tear themselves away from it. It's also easy to see why they're so willing to perform the tasks asked of them by the game - who wouldn't want to play a game that caters to your interests and rewards you in the real world? / The game is set in a medieval world, with orcs, trolls and other familiar and unfamiliar monsters. Players create their characters and then fight monsters as training to help Erebos defeat Ortolan. Levelling up is done in two ways - winning levels from other players in Tournaments and performing a task in the real world. The game world is detailed and highly interactive, with players trying to find wish crystals and join the inner circle (that gets specialized training in order to complete their mission). / This section of the book became so intense this reviewer nearly got reader fatigue, but it stopped and moved to a new focus at just the right time. The novel is well paced that way, switching focus a few times to keep the action moving towards the game, and novel's, climax. / Nick does find romance towards the end of the book. It's fairly low key and develops naturally as the characters react to what's happening. / The ending adds depth to all the events that have been mentioned throughout the book. The characters face real consequences for their decisions along the way and the origins of the game are explained. If you like video games and aren't afraid of reading 'YA', definitely pick this book up.
    Date published: 2012-05-13

    Editorial Reviews

    Erebos is a tightly plotted, suspenseful novel that draws the reader into its world.