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Patty Osborne's Blog

It's a game, it's a book—it's Erebos!

Patty Osborne

I'm from the generation that thinks computer games are evil (although I did have a good time at a Tetris party a while back) and books are good, so is a book about a computer game good or evil? This one is pretty good.

Erebos is a page-turner of a book that is written by Ursula Poznanski and translated by Judith Pattinson. It was originally written in German, and this year the English edition has been published in Canada by Annick Press.

Erebos is also the name of a computer game, a computer game that is evil. You only get access if you agree to strict rules about not talking to anyone about the game and only playing it when you are alone. It goes without saying that you'll get hooked because the game is so intriguing: once you've created your avatar, you have to figure out almost everything on your own, looking under bushes and following paths that might take you anywhere. Things get even more interesting when the game starts manipulating your real life in creepy ways and neither you nor the people reading the book can figure out how this is happening, so you and a couple of friends put your heads and your computers together to discover what is happening.

I'm a fan of books that don't spell everything out so I can understand the appeal of a game that does the same thing, and I appreciate the opportunity to look over the shoulder of Nick, the main character (even though this is against the rules) and get a feel for the game without actually playing it.

As for the real life part of the book, it's about teenagers who are worried about their friends and who do something about it, and an added bonus is that one of them is a girl, a really smart girl.

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