Friday, March 16, 2012

Book Talk - EREBOS by Ursula Poznanski

There's something going around Nick's London high school, and he actually wants to catch it.

His friend Colin has been acting odd ever since getting a blank DVD case from the gamer geeks they've labeled Freak One and Freak Two. Except now Colin is much more interested in making time with the Freaks than hanging out with Nick. His friend isn't the only one acting odd; Nick can't miss the fact that even his enemies seem to be part of something that he's excluded from.

Until someone slips him a DVD too, promising that he's receiving a most wonderful gift.

And after a few hours in front of his laptop, Nick has to agree. Erebos is a world where Nick immediately feels comfortable in the skin of his role-playing alter ego, Sarius. In the guise of Sarius, he walks the twisted woods and the White City of Erebos, fighting his way to higher levels, better weapons, and the ultimate prize of a wish crystal.

Soon, Nick is skipping basketball practice and missing class just like everyone else, pushing forward on the never-ending seesaw of gaining levels only to lose them to injury. He was warned when he agreed to play - you only enter Erebos once. You die, you're done. Mortal injuries usually spur the arrival of the Messenger, who will gladly restore your health for a favor... in the real world.

Nick sees no harm in performing what seem to be trivial tasks in the real world - moving a box from one hiding place to another, taking pictures of a man in a parking garage - until he discovers a wish crystal and the Messenger lets him in on the secret of their value.

They grant wishes in the real world.

And now Nick will do anything to keep playing Erebos, along with hundreds of other players whose seemingly mundane tasks are building a web for the ultimate revenge.

EREBOS has been sold in 25 countries and translated into 23 languages. It's now available in English from Annick Press. Gamers and non-gamers alike will be sucked into this fast-paced world where the lines between reality and fantasy are very, very thin.

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