Sarah Maddaford's Reviews > Epic

Epic by Conor Kostick
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This book is Science Fiction to the core. It takes place on a different world in the future with people whose ancestors fled Earth to develop a new way of life. This way of life has existed without serious changes for generations despite the fact that only a handful of people actually benefit from it. The story focuses on a teen who recognizes more about the game and his world than everyone else and uses the knowledge to benefit first his family and then the rest of the world. There is a slightly alien entity, but there is a question about whether it evolved from the game or from the people playing the game. The violence more resembles a fantasy novel than a science fiction novel, but the sheer fact that it takes place in a video game makes it pure science fiction. The action is pretty fast paced, although it does not have quite the dark mood that sci-fi can sometimes mire in.

This book grabbed my attention at the beginning and held it throughout. It could be taken as a commentary on the way some people play online video games today as well as the idea of societies without violence. It brought up several interesting ideas in a way that was a bit obvious, but not boring or pedantic. The characters were interesting, a little one dimensional, but the book is targeted towards young adults and fits into that finding my place and my way scenario. My biggest problem was that everything seemed to tie up a bit too neatly at the end despite all the machinations of the CA as well as questionable motives from other characters. So, I was a bit disappointed in the end, but I am hoping that everything is resolved in the sequel SAGA.

A fantasy reader might like this because the in game action, despite breaking some kind of fourth wall, runs similarly to a fantasy adventure with warriors, mages and thieves. There is not much mystery, horror or romance, but there is a bit of adventure and political intrigue. The idea of a society that has abandoned violence might intrigue someone interested in different cultures.
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