Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Here is a book review from my archives. I put this in the hands of those boys who play RuneQuest on my computers all day at the library. I must confess, after reading the book, I really wanted to start playing those role-playing games.

Epic (Viking, 4/07), by Conor Kostick.

Long ago, the people of Earth were sent to the planet New Earth to escape the violence and destruction that mankind had wrought. In order to rule New Earth in peace, no violence of any kind would be tolerated – no yelling, hitting, or kicking, no matter how just the cause. Knowing that it would be necessary to ease tension and aggression somehow, the forefathers created a computer game, Epic, where the citizens of New Earth could fight in the arena and settle disputes. Generations later, Epic seems more real than life away from the screen. Children go to school to learn Epic strategies, the only way to earn money is through Epic, and the law is upheld through arena battles. Central Allocations, the government, has an unfair advantage in the game and rules with an iron fist. Erik and his friends spend all of their time playing Epic, like everyone else they know. One day, after dying in Epic, Erik decides to shake things up. He creates a new avatar with a skill set that seems impractical and no one has used before. Surprising things begin happening in the game when the new avatar, Cindella, begins to play. Her unusual skills seem to make the game more vivid and exciting than it ever was before; even fun again. As Cindella plays her way through the levels of the game, Erik and his friends discover a way to take down the entire corrupt system of their government and change the way the game is played, and the way their lives are lived, forever. The first-time novelist is the creator of the world’s first live fantasy role-playing game and brings his expertise in this field to create a compelling alternate universe. The story effectively explores the dangers of living purely in a fantasy world that are timely considering the growing popularity of games like Epic for children and adults. With both well-rounded characters and plot, this novel is a welcome addition to the science fiction shelf.

No comments: