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EPIC by Conor Kostick

EPIC

By Conor Kostick

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 5th, 2007
ISBN: 0-670-06179-4
Publisher: Viking

Kostick offers an engaging examination of an agrarian society whose economy and legal system operate inside a planet-wide computer game. New Earth has little technology—people ride in donkey-pulled carts and drink from clay mugs—except the vast, sophisticated computer game brought to their planet centuries ago. Physical violence is banned between real people, and all forms of commerce and justice take place between characters inside Epic. Fourteen-year-old Erik is spurred into action when Central Allocations, the ruling power, exiles his father for an old crime (a single moment of justified violence). Erik creates a new Epic character, Cindella, and takes her along nontraditional paths inside the game: Rather than drudge for years accruing tiny bits of money like his friends, spirited Cindella attempts world-changing adventures. Kostick’s clunky phrasing and tendency to explain what he’s already demonstrated are outweighed by the genuinely ambivalent relationship between humans and Epic. How far can this game go, and who will be served? The thought-provoking ending is oddly beautiful. (Science fiction. YA)