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Epic (Epic #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,887 Ratings  ·  444 Reviews
Generations ago, violence was banned on New Earth. Society is governed and conflicts are resolved in the arena of a fantasy computer game, Epic. Everyone plays. If you win, you have the chance to go to university, get more supplies for your community, and fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life both in and out of the game is worth nothing.

When Erik, seeking revenge fo

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 5th 2007 by Viking Juvenile (first published 2004)
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Nevergreen I picture it as 'clipping on' a headset that allows you to see into the world of Epic.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica RothMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsThe Maze Runner by James Dashner
YA Dystopia Novels
175th out of 1,046 books — 9,861 voters
Ready Player One by Ernest ClineEpic by Conor KostickSnow Crash by Neal StephensonSword Art Online by Reki KawaharaFor the Win by Cory Doctorow
Books With MMOGs
2nd out of 84 books — 68 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 26, 2008 Karin rated it really liked it
What if the quality of your life depended on how well you played a MMORPG? What’s a MMORPG you ask? It is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Well, on New Earth that is exactly the way life is.

On New Earth, violence is illegal. Epic (the MMORPG) was created for people to clip up, enter the world of Epic, and take out their agression on fictional characters rather than doing harm to a real person. However, over the years, the purpose of the game shifted and became the determining fa
Jun 08, 2011 Kyle marked it as to-read
In a world ruled by video games I would probably be a hobo.
May 04, 2016 Lisa rated it did not like it
Shelves: lemmed, 2016
There might be a good story here but I can't find it under some of the worst published writing I've ever seen. :(
Heidi Wiechert
Apr 13, 2016 Heidi Wiechert rated it really liked it
Perfect for fans of Ready Player One or anyone who has ever enjoyed playing an MMORPG. Erik, a young boy in a futuristic society, tires of scrabbling for his day-to-day existence in real life and in a virtual world, where all wealth and legal issues are decided by combat in a game called Epic. Almost everyone in Erik's society kills kobalds and other low level monsters every day, to gather pennies to improve their online characters and, therefore, their society. After dying, yet again, and crush ...more
Feb 10, 2012 D.L. rated it liked it
This book was a quick read. The writing was adequate for the genre, if a little bland at times. I found it hard to care for the characters, but the author did throw a few interesting twists in the plot - enough to keep me reading until the end. However, the end blew it for me as the epic battle was too easily joined by the masses (in my opinion).

Many of the reviews here say that the game was created to settle disputes because violence was outlawed. This may not have been the case. In fact, it s
Mar 07, 2008 Savannah rated it liked it
YA treatment of societally-mandated online gaming as a society's escape valve for violence. Pretty good on MMORPG stuff (impenetrably so, I suspect, for those wholly unfamiliar) although serious gamers will undoubtedly have quibbles. It's well-enough done, but like the games in which simply grinding through the quest and not making major mistakes provides for a successful outcome, there's not a lot of plot tension or subplots. And the fact that characters in the game die without characters dying ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Josefine rated it did not like it
Actually I quite like the idea of this book; this world, where you're life depends on how well you do in a computer game. But a lot of things in the book disappointed me and did not live up to my expectations, which weren’t really that high from the start.

First of all: the language was dull and unexciting, and again and again I found myself getting frustrated over the images, descriptions and words used. For example – all the players in the game are in grayish colors. If you see them from a dist
Oct 13, 2014 Kadry rated it liked it
Shelves: virtually-real
A few elites control Epic, a medieval-style virtual world where all real-life economic and political disputes are settled. All is well until a farmer’s son discovers a game-changing flaw in the system. A swashbuckling tale for fantasy and adventure fans.
Halcyon Daze
Jul 19, 2014 Halcyon Daze rated it really liked it
Plot Summary:

"Generations ago, violence was banned on New Earth. Society is governed and conflicts are resolved in the arena of a fantasy computer game, Epic. Everyone plays. If you win, you have the chance to go to university, get more supplies for your community, and fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life both in and out of the game is worth nothing.

When Erik, seeking revenge for the unjust treatment of his parents, dares to subvert the rules of Epic, he and his friends find themselves up
Nick Lawler
Sep 10, 2014 Nick Lawler rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2012 Ben rated it did not like it
I'm not trying to say I can write an awesome book everyone will love, but this book is incredibly stupid.
Amanda P
Feb 19, 2016 Amanda P rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I haven't read a book that quickly since Harry Potter and The Kingkiller Chronicles.

This book captured my interest from the beginning. It kept me entertained throughout the entire book. I enjoyed how the characters had missions that they went after, but how the missions also changed throughout the book. I also enjoyed how the book had a reality and an alternate reality within Epic. I found it hard to distinguish between the two at the beginning, but that confusion di
Alex M
Mar 03, 2011 Alex M rated it really liked it
Imagine living on a new Earth where all fighting is done in a video game because there is no physical violence allowed; that is where the book Epic takes place.
I think that the book Epic is science fiction because science fiction has to do with huge increases in technology, and in Epic there are many technological advances. For instance, people were able to fly away from the original earth (earth we all live on). Also, there is a video game where your character moves when you move because of
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for

What if the quality of your life depended on how well you played a MMORPG? What's a MMORPG, you ask? It is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Well, on New Earth that is exactly the way life is.

On New Earth, violence is illegal. Epic (the MMORPG) was created for people to clip up, enter the world of Epic, and take out their aggression on fictional characters rather than doing harm to a real person. However, over the years, the purpose
Jun 22, 2013 Ange rated it it was ok
I found this book, on the new release shelf at our school library. I saw the front cover, and decided it looked pretty mean! I read the first two-three chapters, and thought its sounded different, but cool at the same time...i was wrong. During the middle of the book, it started to bore me because, it was getting very predictable which made it even more boring. I didn't want to stop reading, it because i was already halfway! but i made it to the end, excited for my next novel.

Which category: Thi
Alexander Schatt
Jan 19, 2014 Alexander Schatt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
stars: 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book because there was never a dull moment, is always had something going on. i also really liked the mix between a utopian society and a magical fantasy land of dragons.

One of my favorite parts of the book os when cinderella put on the ring and (view spoiler) and the author got really descriptive about her surroundings.

One of my least favorite parts was(view spoiler)
Feb 19, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
Even years after I've finished reading still sticks in my mind....I want to read it again one day
Ms. Z
Jan 13, 2011 Ms. Z rated it really liked it
This was a great story. We also Skyped with Conor Kostick, and we have that session on file in the library. The concept of the story is scary -- kids must play a computer game to win supplies for their village. Erik is trying to win back his mother's life, and subverts the rules of the game. He then has to play against the Committee, some kind of government group. Erik and his friends agree to play together against the Committee, hoping to win to destroy them. If they lose, their lives will be w ...more
Mr. Canning
My Rating: **** 4 Stars, I really liked it.

Have you played Runescape, Dungeons and Dragons, or Warcraft? If so, this novel will resonate with you. It is written by Irish author, Connor Kostick. It takes place in a society that moved from earth to another planet to survive. They live with very limited resources (food, solar panels, career choices) although there is no warfare or outright violence in the society the economic and legal system is done through a fantasy role-playing game called epic.
Justus Schmidt
Mar 18, 2016 Justus Schmidt rated it really liked it
If you think gaming has taken over your life and you'd like to read more again, there are worse books to start with than this.
The author imagines a world with some Norse influences, in which the entire society and economy are depending on an MMORPG that everyone plays. We follow the path of a 14 year old boy in a rural part of the world, who finds a novel way of approaching the game that might just influence the entire world...
I have reread this book quite a few times before this pass, and it's
Jan 06, 2016 Ellen rated it liked it
Entertaining popcorn-type read. Prose was acceptable--not 'beautiful' in itself but didn't get in the way.

This is one of those books where the strength is in the worldbuilding--both the world of New Earth, which is an interesting melange of agricultural poverty and extreme high-tech--and the world of Epic, the MMO that even the poorest farmers have access too.

Epic provides both the currency system and legal framework for the people of New Earth. In-game gold (farmed from NPCs) can be exchanged
Jan 07, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it
I am the kind of person that doesn't like to put books down. If I start something, I need to finish it. But there are times where I get to the end and go, "Why did I just waste my time?" I felt like this was one of those books.
The idea for the book, the whole how you play the game is how you live, was interesting and I really like it. I don't quite know the right word for how I feel but it is something along the lines of rushed. The characters were underdeveloped, as was the world, and the way t
May 12, 2014 Flavia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this book. I seriously do. But I'm not about to ignore it's flaws.

Let's get one thing straight: This is a really fun read. It's light, and just incredibly fun. Honestly? It's like playing a video game for me. The only times it drags is when they're not in game.

The descriptions and dialogue are far from perfect, but honestly, I've never really noticed them until I read reviews pointing them out. Even if the writing is amateurish, it honestly isn't enough to make you stop and reconsider you
Aug 04, 2007 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teen Sci-Fi and fantasy readers, Runescape / MMORPGers
Shelves: teen-lit-read
Kostick interweaves concepts plucked from an introductory course in political science with a world torn between operating in science fiction and ”reality” (don’t let the philosophy students get a hold of this one…). The characters spend time dissecting complex ideas such as, in a world such as New Earth where violence of any kind is strictly forbidden, are there circumstances under which violence is a good thing? Or, in this violence free world, why are there still inconsistincies and injustices ...more
It took me a really really really long time to get into this book, I think at least half way. Didn't really start to enjoy it until the dragon. It was definitely different and I did end up liking many parts of it in the second half. Part of the issue is that I didn't really liked the characters. I liked Cindella better than Erik. I didn't like BE at all and the name Injaborg drove me nutters. Don't know if I'll continue with the series, right now probably not.
Aug 11, 2015 Brad rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, z-2015
Pretty good, but some problems that keep its potential from greatness (or more likely really goodness). Cool ideas, and interesting to see how a world looks and works that utilizes an MMO as it's governing and judicial system.

As a debut novel for a YA audience it does ok, but characterization leaves something to be desired. Much of the dialogue is wooden. The bad guy is straight up bad without any redeeming qualities. Those complaints aside, there were some good twists and I enjoyed most of the
Kyler Place
Jun 05, 2014 Kyler Place rated it really liked it
Imagine a world where violence is outlawed, and all legal disputes are settled in a computer game. That is the basic premise of Epic. Erik is a fourteen-year-old boy who wishes to help his family get supplies they need. After losing his character in battle, he starts a new character,going against the norm and spending all of his customization points in making her beautiful, which many find a waste. Little does he know what an affect this little change will bring to his friends, family, and even ...more
Fedele Colosimo
Dec 19, 2014 Fedele Colosimo rated it really liked it
Conor Kostick’s sci-fi, futuristic novel EPIC makes fantasy becomes reality. The story is told by a boy that is mad about how his fucking village is being treated unfairly compared to the other village around them. Throughout the book Eric tells us about how he fights for fairness and equality for the village of Osterfjord. Eric and his friends are the youngest players in a role-playing game that . Eric knows the only way to get what he wanted - electricity for Osterfjord - is to slay a dragon b ...more
Kezia *Mrs Dean Winchester*
Mar 26, 2011 Kezia *Mrs Dean Winchester* rated it really liked it
Pretty good story line! Very creative! I like how everyone's life was a video game. The only thing i would have change would be that Conor Kostick took a while to get to the main battle. The main point of the story takes place pages before the end! It felt drawn out and full in the beginning, but quite rushed at the end. He could have lingered longer on the deciding battle of the whole story. But, still, a good book!
Jun 20, 2008 Kami rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one.
Such a waste of time!!! It's such a pity too, because the author had the coolest idea, and could have done wonders with it. But, oh yeah, he doesn't know how to write. The plot was close enough to the idea of The Matrix to be cool and strike up interest, but then got lost in its effort to be young and happenin'. I don't even know what to say... It gets a star for originality, but loses 4 for plain stupidity of writing.
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Conor Kostick was a designer for the world's first live action role-playing game, Treasure Trap. He lives in Dublin where he teaches medieval history at Trinity College. He is the author of many historical, political and cultural articles. Epic was his first novel and was awarded a place on the International Board on Books for Young People Honours list for 2006 and on the Booklist Best Fantasy Boo ...more
More about Conor Kostick...

Other Books in the Series

Epic (3 books)
  • Saga (Epic #2)
  • Edda (Epic #3)

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“If it's bleeding then kill it, if it's not bleeding, then make it bleed and kill it” 8 likes
“To the west of the dolmen were the flags of the orc chieftain, thousands of their thickset, ugly bodies forming black rows all the way to the horizon. Camped right beside the leather-armored orcs were their hated rivals, green-skinned goblins, swarming throughout the fields, with a dozen large wooden catapults drawn up near the banners of their king. To the south, nearest the group’s hiding place in the fringes of forest, was a battalion of ogres. These savage giants had metal-plated armor across their torsos and shoulders; they wielded huge, two-handed, spiked clubs, which no human could hope to lift. Although there were only a hundred or so of these, they were more formidable opponents than the orcs and goblins combined.” 0 likes
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