Jurassic Park meets virtual gaming in a blockbuster new thriller! You’re 14 and find yourself on your own. Your father, who has developed the worlds cutting edge research on virtual electronic game-playing, has been missing for weeks. And suddenly you’re being hunted by men with guns, your picture is on the news, and, worst of all, something seemingly impossible is chasing youa savage, man-eating dinosaur. How can that be? Why is everyone trying to capture you? And what is your strange connection with this 21st-century prehistoric monster? Steve Cole has created an absurdly gripping and kid-friendly thriller that will capture imaginations. If Jurassic Park were to meet Alex Rider, the result might well be this irresistible new novel.
Sixteen-year-old Nick Dunmore’s classmates have a secret. When he receives a package with a mysterious computer game called Erebos, he hopes it will explain their strange behavior. He’s quickly drawn into the cryptic world of the game, where players must obey a strict code.
Erebos watches its players and begins to manipulate their lives in frightening ways. It soon becomes clear the game has a deadly agenda. When Nick sets out on a dangerous mission, reality and the virtual world begin to blur…
The story begins when Eric, Charles, and Andreas come upon the video store of their dreams, featuring a vast array of war games they’ve never even heard of (and they’ve heard of, and mastered, all of them). But there, amid the stacks of lurid boxes and scenes of cyber-carnage, is the most remarkable game of all, one pressed on them by the store’s elderly proprietor, a clever sample of computer warfare called “The Ultimate Experience.” Contained in a single diskette, without even a label, the unassuming game surpasses their wildest fantasies: the graphics are better than a movie, the simulated battlefields are historically and geologically perfect, and the action seems to put you right inside the screen. The feeling of “reality” is uncanny.But soon the three friends realize that the Game has a will of its own, and that far from being a dream, it has drawn each of them into his own personal nightmare one that they enter and exit without any control. For Charles, it means suddenly finding himself at the head of a doomed French battalion in the darkest days of World War I, forced to choose which men to send to their deaths. Eric, meanwhile, is a resistance fighter in Guernica during the Spanish Civil War, on the very day in 1937 that German bombers reduced the town and its people to ashes. And Andreas, the oldest and most troubled and most vicious of the three, must face up to his own demons, discovering that, far from being terrified of the carnage around him, he revels in it. Little by little, the Game takes over their lives, leaving Eric, Charles, and their loved ones at its mercy while an increasingly violent Andreas plunges ever deeper into its seductive and deadly power. As the final showdown looms on the stage of virtual history, the three boys are inexorably drawn toward a memorable and horrifying conclusion.