Just as Saga (2008) exploded beyond opener Epic (2007), this third volume ratchets up this science-fiction gaming series to a whole new level.
Inside electronic world Edda, created and once played but now long deserted by humans, sentient Lord Scanthax rules all. He vanquishes other electronic realms via portal, killing everyone—sentient or not, he doesn’t care. But Scanthax, lacking DNA, can’t script new weapons. For that, he’s preserved the life of the only human left on the uninhabitable planet that houses Edda’s servers. Scanthax-controlled robots tend 15-year-old Penelope’s underused physical body inside an airlock. Penelope’s brain and consciousness are healthy and angry: Her avatar, Princess, has the run of Edda, but only as long as Penelope scripts the weapons Scanthax demands. Penelope wants, as Princess, to search other electronic worlds for avatars with humans behind them; having known only Scanthax her entire life, she craves human connection. Meanwhile, across this chain of worlds that were once games, electronic but very real Ghost from Saga sets out with human Erik from New Earth—as avatar Cindella—to find the conqueror threatening Saga’s sentient inhabitants. Combatants clash; worlds clash (techno/punk, traditional fantasy, military); philosophies clash (pacifism, preservation, revenge); loyalties hold steady.
Humans, electronic beings and servers are separated by light years and metaphysics, but Kostick’s action-filled series conclusion is immediate and relevant. (Science fiction. 13 & up)