While at school, Nick is approached by a classmate offering the latest fantasy role-playing game. It’s called Erebos, and it allows you to design your own character, join in group quests, and fight in battles in a lush fantasy setting. At first, he thinks it’s your average, run of the mill game—but soon, he’s hooked, obsessively gaming late into the night, plotting ways to gain new experience levels. When his character, Sarius, is mortally wounded in battle, all seems lost—until a sinister authority figure, the Messenger, offers his help. The Messenger promises to heal Sarius, on the condition that Nick performs a series of menial tasks—not within the game, but outside in the real world. At first, Nick thinks it’s harmless stuff. One day he’s instructed to leave an unmarked package under a bridge, the next day he’s told to take pictures of two strangers in their car. When one of his delivered packages turns out to contain something highly illegal, Nick gets scared. What is the purpose of Erebos, exactly? And more importantly—can it be stopped?
As a reader, all I can say is that this international import is truly awesome. The sinisterness of the game is truly creepy, and the mystery of Erebos is intriguing enough to drive the story at a fast pace towards its thrilling conclusion. While this novel has the potential to be enjoyed by teens of any age and gender, it’s not completely fun and games. There are some dark moments in the story, including a scene where one character is accused of assault, and another where characters discuss a suicide that happened several years previous. There’s also some swearing and fantasy violence, but nothing graphic enough to mention. Overall, a thrilling novel, recommended for Ages 15-Up.
Microforms/Government Documents Department
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