by Ursula Poznanski
translated by Judith Pattinson
publisher Annick Press
Confession time. I'm thoroughly addicted to computer games. It all started with Zork. My kids and I sat at the dinner table discussing how to get rid of the troll, while my mother sat there wide-eyed. Hatchlings on Facebook caused me to miss Sunday School a few times.
So it was easy for me to understand Nick's problem with Erebos.
The story starts off with Nick, a high-school student in London, wondering why his best friend is skipping basketball practice. Why are some students in his school cutting classes and whispering to each other? What is this square package that is being passed from one person to another? Finally! Ta-da, someone gives Nick a package. It is a DVD of a computer game, Erebos.
The issue with Erebos:
1. you have to play the game alone
2. you are forbidden to talk about the game.
Nick is hooked. He doesn't want to leave the game to even go to the bathroom. It is "a game that talks to you. A game that watches you, that rewards you, threatens you, gives you tasks." Tasks in real life, tasks that cause problems, major problems! Life and death problems.
The best book so far in 2012.
The book Erebos picked up the Youth Literature Prize in Germany, and is translated into several languages. I'd love to see this filmed!