Saga

Saga

4.5 33
by Conor Kostick
     
 

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Ghost is part of an anarcho-punk airboard gang who live to break the rules. And there’s a good reason—their world, Saga, has a strict class system enforced by high-tech electronics and a corrupt monarchy. Then Ghost and her gang learn the complicated truth. Saga isn’t actually a place; it’s a sentient computer game. The Dark Queen who rules… See more details below

Overview

Ghost is part of an anarcho-punk airboard gang who live to break the rules. And there’s a good reason—their world, Saga, has a strict class system enforced by high-tech electronics and a corrupt monarchy. Then Ghost and her gang learn the complicated truth. Saga isn’t actually a place; it’s a sentient computer game. The Dark Queen who rules Saga is trying to enslave the people of New Earth by making them Saga addicts. And she will succeed unless Ghost and her friends—and Erik, from Epic, and his friends—figure out how to stop her in time.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
AGERANGE: Ages 11 to Adult.

In a sequel to his highly acclaimed Epic (Viking, 2007/VOYA June 2007), Kostick introduces another world-in-a-computer-game. Saga, the world in question, started out as a game but over a two-thousand-year period, it has diverged and become real. Saga is ruled by a corrupt Dark Queen who has plans to live forever by compelling the inhabitants of New Earth to reprogram the original game. Unfortunately for her, a remnant of the game of Epic is left when she takes over New Earth's computers, and Cindella Dragonslayer, the avatar name of a sixteen-year-old game player, is immune to her powers. Other troubles are brewing in Saga as well. Young people, growing disillusioned with the card system that keeps society stratified and many people at a bare subsistence level, are starting to rebel. Among them is a mysterious airboarder named Ghost who has no memories of her life before the age of nine-but she does have an uncanny ability to slow time. The plot and pacing are near perfect in this tale of a world cramped by fear and tradition. The characterization is a bit weak-the Dark Queen seems like a bare caricature-and some problems are too easily resolved. But for both fans of the first book as well as new readers, this sequel is a sure winner. Compulsively readable and palpable (the descriptions of airboarding are a near-physical experience), it will appeal to SF fans across the board. Reviewer: Ann Welton
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

KLIATT - Cara Chancellor
In Ghost's world, several laws have been universal for as long as she can remember: social status is determined by the different-colored cards carried by every member of the public, and the Dark Queen rules over all of Saga with iron control. Of course, 15-year-old Ghost cannot remember anything that happened to her before age nine. As she befriends the exotic Cindella Dragonslayer—whose abilities can only be described as "magic" and who seems under the impression that Saga is simply a computer game she is playing—and encounters the Dark Queen's confidant turned would-be assassin Michelotto, Ghost begins to realize that Saga's continued existence depends on her ability to unravel its history…and her own. Nearly every exciting storyline today is spun off into a video game, but Saga finally turns the tide by revealing a world originally created by human programmers that eventually became sentient. Numerous gaming elements remain to appeal to teenage readers—such as the matter-repelling airboards on which Ghost and her friends travel—but the narrative also delves deeper than one might expect into questions of stereotypes, social standing, and morality. While its beginning roots it in 1984-genre literature, Saga's guardedly optimistic ending allows it to appeal to a much wider YA audience. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up- Living under the oppressive rule of a 2000-year-old Dark Queen, the inhabitants of the violent world of Saga are downtrodden. To survive, Ghost and her friends raid malls, ride airboards, and try to subvert the class-driven system. When they meet the swashbuckler Cindella Dragonslayer, first introduced in Epic (Viking, 2007), they are perplexed. Her clothes, her mannerisms, and her magical abilities are absurdly out of place. Saga is a virtual-reality game and Cindella is the avatar of Erik Haraldson, the winner of the previous iteration of the game. Saga's characters are now sentient beings, and the Queen has enslaved Erik's world with a drug that forces them to play or die. She will only release them if Erik makes her children immortal, but if he complies, the people of Saga will suffer. Erik and Ghost must each find their own way to defeat the Queen. The plot elements of this complicated, fast-paced novel are not fully integrated, and readers who have not read Epic will be puzzled by the importance of Cindella/Erik. The moral conflict between Erik's peaceful society and Ghost's violent one has the potential to be an interesting examination of how the worlds function, but this idea is never fully addressed. Despite these flaws, readers will find the adventures of anarchic teens on floating skateboards compelling. Give this to fans of video games and readers of James Patterson's "Maximum Ride" series (Little, Brown).-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

Kirkus Reviews
This exciting sequel's concept explodes far beyond Epic, its 2007 predecessor. Epic (the game) is defunct, but a new game-Saga-has mysteriously appeared on New Earth's computer system. Erik's Cindella is the only character allowed to carry over; other people create new avatars. Immediately, vast numbers of players beocme addicted and fall sick. Meanwhile, a girl named Ghost and her anarcho-punk gang raid malls, destroying property to protest unfair class rankings. Ghost has no home; her consciousness goes back only six years to age nine. Who was she before that? Kostick reveals early how Ghost's world features airboarding and anti-gravity technology while Erik's tech-regressive society drives donkey carts: Ghost's world is Saga, the game that Erik's people are currently playing. Thousands of years ago on Earth, Saga's characters sprang into consciousness-Saga's population is human. But two of its original Reprogrammed Autonomous Lifeforms remain, one a Dark Queen thirsting for immortality. Only Cindella and Ghost can challenge the Dark Queen's enslavement and potential genocide of New Earth's meta-humans. Clean prose, remarkable story. (Science fiction. YA)
From the Publisher
This exciting sequel's concept explodes far beyond Epic...Clean prose, remarkable story. -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

In the sequel to Epic (2007), a Booklist Top 10 Fantasy for Youth, the Dark Queen infiltrates New Earth’s central computer system, erasing the role-playing game called Epic. It’s replaced with Saga, designed to enslave New Earth’s populace. In Saga, Ghost, a 15-year-old girl with no memory of her first 9 years, is part of an anarcho-punk airboard gang. Strange things have been happening in Saga—strangers are appearing, then disappearing into thin air—and Ghost’s gang eventually learns what readers already know: Saga is not a real world but a sentient computer game. When Eric arrives in Saga as his avatar Cindella Dragonslayer, he joins forces with Ghost and her gang to stop the Dark Queen from destroying New Earth. Though this adventure sustains the suspense of its predecessor, the replacement of magical Epic (with its strong resemblance to real-world computer games) with the more mundane Saga may disappoint some returning readers. Another sequel is planned, and it will definitely be interesting to see where Kostick goes from here. Grades 7-10. — Sally Estes

Grade 9 Up—Living under the oppressive rule of a 2000-year-old Dark Queen, the inhabitants of the violent world of Saga are downtrodden. To survive, Ghost and her friends raid malls, ride airboards, and try to subvert the class-driven system. When they meet the swashbuckler Cindella Dragonslayer, first introduced in Epic (Viking, 2007), they are perplexed. Her clothes, her mannerisms, and her magical abilities are absurdly out of place. Saga is a virtual-reality game and Cindella is the avatar of Erik Haraldson, the winner of the previous iteration of the game. Saga's characters are now sentient beings, and the Queen has enslaved Erik's world with a drug that forces them to play or die. She will only release them if Erik makes her children immortal, but if he complies, the people of Saga will suffer. Erik and Ghost must each find their own way to defeat the Queen. The plot elements of this complicated, fast-paced novel are not fully integrated, and readers who have not read Epic will be puzzled by the importance of Cindella/Erik. The moral conflict between Erik's peaceful society and Ghost's violent one has the potential to be an interesting examination of how the worlds function, but this idea is never fully addressed. Despite these flaws, readers will find the adventures of anarchic teens on floating skateboards compelling. Give this to fans of video games and readers of James Patterson's "Maximum Ride" series (Little, Brown). — Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

STARRED REVIEW  This exciting sequel’s concept explodes far beyond Epic, its 2007 predecessor. Epic (the game) is defunct, but a new game—Saga—has mysteriously appeared on New Earth’s computer system. Erik’s Cindella is the only character allowed to carry over; other people create new avatars. Immediately, vast numbers of players beocme addicted and fall sick. Meanwhile, a girl named Ghost and her anarcho-punk gang raid malls, destroying property to protest unfair class rankings. Ghost has no home; her consciousness goes back only six years to age nine. Who was she before that? Kostick reveals early how Ghost’s world features airboarding and anti-gravity technology while Erik’s tech-regressive society drives donkey carts: Ghost’s world is Saga, the game that Erik’s people are currently playing. Thousands of years ago on Earth, Saga’s characters sprang into consciousness—Saga’s population is human. But two of its original Reprogrammed Autonomous Lifeforms remain, one a Dark Queen thirsting for immortality. Only Cindella and Ghost can challenge the Dark Queen’s enslavement and potential genocide of New Earth’s meta-humans. Clean prose, remarkable story. (Science fiction. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101162897
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/11/2009
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
181,008
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

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