Monday, November 7, 2011
I adore this book because of how the author utilizes the power of duality. The society of New Earth relies on the virtual game world of Epic to resolve all conflicts, banning violence in their physical reality by allowing it exclusively in Epic. But by becoming dependent on a game to function as their legal and economic system, poorer citizens are forced to waste valuable time earning wealth in a virtual world in order to gain a meager allotment of resources in reality. While a person’s entire livelihood can be wiped out with their player’s death, those players who amass enough wealth in the game can become privileged members of New Earth’s elite Central Allocations. The young boy Erik tries to beat the system by creating Cindella, a swashbuckling character who attracts the attention of an ancient electronic sentience in Epic. I could go on, but I don’t want to spoil the story. I think what draws me into this story are the simultaneous double stakes—Erik must balance two identities, his own and that of his female player Cindella, and exist in two worlds, New Earth and Epic. What happens in one can have dire consequence in the other. That’s cool (whichever way/world you slice it!)
*Check out this fan made book trailer on Youtube:
P.S. The sequels Saga and Edda are equally delicious mental fare.