I have just finished reading Epic, by Conor Kostick, and intend to read the sequel, Saga.
I was bored and decided to check the book out from a local Library. It was quite interesting really, and a fun read to boot.
If anyone has ever scene or heard of the .Hack// anime/manga, then you would have a rough idea on what to expect from this book:
Based in the far future, earth was corrupt and taring itself apart. People wishing to escape the violence set out in search for a new home, casting out into to space and searching for a new planet on which to settle. Through the many long years of space travel, to defeat the boredom a game was invented. Epic; a game vast in area and size, and more lifelike than any of its predecessors.
Over a thousand years has passed since the settlers made home on New Earth. Fearful of the violence that had torn their old world apart, the government has set up a new system. Now, all disputes, currency, and or otherwise, is settled in the game. However, even after a millennium, the system is still corrupt and faulty. With your wealth and standings dictated through your success in the game, growth in the advancement of the culture and the standings of the people is still deplorable and only getting worse.
In this period, our story takes place. A young boy, Erik, and his family - faced with the hard lifestyle so common to the millions that inhabit the planet - is about to loose everything. With the breaking of the families' solar panel, and the severe unfairness of his mother loosing in the arena, Erik throws himself desperately into the game. Fail after fail, and the melancholy that came with it, has caused Erik to become daring, and he tries a whole different approach to the game. Erik approaches the game, not as the governmental system it has become, but as the game it used to be.
Along the way, Erik has a little fun. By playing the game as it was intended, he begins to enjoy himself, taking up quest and talking to NPC's which were generally ignored by all the other players around the world as they struggle to collect meager pennies off weak monsters and support their family and home. His tactics are met with instant success, and he and his friends begin a quest for higher and greater things.
But things are not all as they seem. Central Allocations is more corrupt then ever, and there is something in the game that is stirring. Erik finds himself entangled in web of mystery and intrigue as the game reacts to his long desired for presence and C.A. begins to take a dangerous interest into the game's new heroes.
Wishing to change the corrupt government, Erick and his friends begin a dangerous quest within Epic. But as Epic comes alive, currupt, government officials become least of their worries, and life and death within them in the game, may very well mean the life and death of hope for hundreds of thousands of people across the world.