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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.
How far can this game go, and who will be served? The thought-provoking ending is oddly beautiful. Science fiction. Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote.
Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men one tortured, the other less so.
Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.
The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality.
Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge! There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan.
Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. Already have an account? Log in. Trouble signing in? Retrieve credentials. Sign Up. Page Count: Publisher: Viking. No Comments Yet. More by Conor Kostick. Page Count: Publisher: McElderry. Review Posted Online: Jan.
Show all comments. More by Cassandra Clare. Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family. Pub Date: Sept. Page Count: Publisher: Henry Holt. More by Leigh Bardugo. Please sign up to continue. Almost there! Reader Writer Industry Professional. Send me weekly book recommendations and inside scoop.
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Irish author Kostick's powerful debut imagines an agrarian world where violence is illegal, except within a massive computer game that provides the economic and governmental structure for society. When they're not working in the salt mines of New Earth, everyone spends their time in the online game, Epic, accumulating resources and completing quests. Erik is frustrated both with the game and with his father, Harald, who refuses to play. Harald does eventually appear in the arena to demand more solar panels for his community, but his appearance unearths a secret in his past, and he is sent into exile. Erik finds a loophole that allows him to defeat a red dragon, making him one of the wealthiest players in the game; suddenly he is a threat to Central Allocations, a team of powerful players that are the world's de facto rulers, even though they do not fully understand the system they are manipulating.
When Erik, seeking revenge for the unjust treatment of his parents, dares to subvert the rules of Epic, he and his friends find themselves up against with the ultimate masters of the game: the Committee. But if they lose. Watch a QuickTime trailer for this book. In Epic, we see a society that has been shaped by VR More positively involved adults than usual for a YA.