Thank you to Annick Press (via NetGalley) for the ARC e-book of Erebos.I was surprised at just how much I liked this book, considering I am not exactly in its target audience. The story is about Nick, who is a popular high school jock, who starts noticing that his classmates are acting strangely; they're skipping school, acting secretive, and are passing around a DVD of something that Nick desperately wants to know what it is. He's finally invited to give it a try, and finds that the DVD is a computer game called Erebos, which is an incredibly realistic role-playing game. There's a catch, though, in that players of the game must adhere to some pretty strict rules, including not talking about the game with anyone else and playing the game alone. Nick soon becomes hooked, and, as with any addiction, struggles to continue to function in the real world, becoming so obsessed with leveling up his character that he fails to realize just how dangerous this game is and how it's affecting him.As someone who is neither a teenage boy (who is definitely this book's target audience) nor a hardcore gamer, I was surprised at just how gripping I found this story. Nick's addiction to the game, including the way he loses his sense of self while playing, referring to himself only by his character name, was amazingly compelling. I think any avid reader knows what it's like to lose themselves in the narrative and look up hours later to find that an enormous amount of time has passed (I know I've definitely done this), so in that respect this book was very realistic. The catch with this game is that the tasks the players have to carry out take place in the real world, and definitely stretch their morality. Thankfully Nick has enough sense to realize that he can't carry out his final orders, although I was surprised to see just how upset he was that he DIDN'T go through with it when it results in his getting kicked out of the game. It's scary to think that there are people in the world, however, that would go ahead and do anything to make sure the game didn't stop (just like with any addiction). The whole "I have to do this" desperation was very accurate in terms of how addicts often talk.However, Nick is not a terribly sympathetic character at first; he's a bully, calling those who aren't terribly attractive and/or rather nerdy "freaks", referring to others as "overweight", and generally throwing temper tantrums when people start pointing out just how much the game has affected him. I didn't think there were enough consequences for his attitudes towards those other characters, even if he does sort of redeem himself in the end. I also really disliked the fact that the author had one of the characters claim to be sexually assaulted, and then focus mostly on the fact that such a claim has an adverse effect on the guy, especially considering that so many women don't report when they're victimized for fear of being branded or having people think they're lying. I also think that something was perhaps lost in the translation from German to English, because there were some definite choices of words that were distinctly not British (this version is set in London). They don't call their secondary schools "high schools", for one, and they live in flats, not apartments, etc. But for the most part I was able to over look those.This book would be a definite hit with the teenage boy and/or gamers. I can say that the adventure and suspense was first-rate, and I was wholly engaged the entire time I was reading. I would definitely recommend it.