Sunday, October 23, 2011

EPIC by Conor Kostick

Rating: ***1/2
Genre: Sci fi, fantasy, adventure, dystopian
Series: Two sequels
Pages: 396
     Erik's life isn't too different from many of ours': eat, sleep, work, video games. But in Erik's world, your success in life depends on your success in Epic, a virtual reality game slightly similar to World of Warcraft. If you play well, you can live in a nice house and go to college. If you don't, you live in a tiny farm house with no future, like Erik.
     But when Erik's character dies and takes his hard earned money with it, he doesn't feel like playing by the rules anymore. When he creates his new character, he spends all his points on beauty instead of strength or weapons. That would be a pretty stupid decision if it didn't cause somebody to walk up to his character and hand over a priceless jewel. Instead of fighting easy monsters for meager money, Erik convinces his friends to help him with an impossible quest that surprises them by paying off. Big time. But when Erik makes a shocking discovery, he begins to wonder if the world might be better off without Epic.
     I like the idea of the book, but the characters bugged me, particularly Erik. He not a very interesting character and I thought the story could have been told just as well from any of his friends' point of view. At least they have one or two distinguishing characteristics. I recommend Epic to readers of sci fi and dystopian fiction, as well as people who wonder why books can't be as interesting as video games.

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