Adrienne's Reviews > Epic

Epic by Conor Kostick
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's review
Mar 31, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: book-count-08, science-fiction
Read in June, 2008

Epic by Conor Kostick is set in a future in which a group of humans have left Earth and colonized another planet. The original group of settlers were pacifists, so they outlawed violence in real life, but used their highly advanced technology to create Epic, an MMORPG in which conflicts can be settled by ritualized battles between avatars. Everyone in the society has an avatar (or “character”) in Epic, and as time passes, the game becomes a means of communication between the ruling council and the citizenry. The economics of the game take over any actual transactions between the citizens in real life - to be rich in Epic is to be rich outside the game, unlike the current situation in our world - and as people spend more and more time in-game, the society begins to regress.

The story begins many years after the original colonization of the new planet and follows a group of kids from an agrarian province far from the capital. The kids want justice for their often overlooked district and so attempt to exploit a glitch in the game to acquire a massive treasure, attracting the attention of the ruling council which has become fiercely protective of their power and status both in the real world and in the game of Epic. What follows is a battle between the kids and a large number of the people from the agrarian districts against the ruling council, with all of its resources, in which the very foundations of the society are shaken.

I thought the book was very interesting, mostly because the premise was so interesting - a mixture of The Matrix, Asimov’s Foundation, and a helping of Common Sense with a bit of Machiavelli thrown in. While I wasn’t too invested in the characters, the action of the story moved very quickly, which kept me reading way past my bedtime. Overall, a fascinating book.

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