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 Saga is trying to

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

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)

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
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)

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142414224
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/11/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
174,669
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Conor Kostick is the author of the acclaimed Epic Trilogy — Epic, Saga, and Edda.

He was a designer for the world’s first live fantasy role-playing game, based in Peckforton Castle, Cheshire. He lives in Dublin where, having completed a Ph.D on the subject of the crusades, he now teaches medieval history at Trinity College Dublin. He has published widely on history, culture, and politics, including coauthoring The Easter Rising: A Guide to Dublin in 1916, and co-editing Irish Writers Against War, an anthology of writings by Irish authors in response to the war in Iraq. He has twice been elected chairperson of the Irish Writers’ Union.

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Eric and his new girlfriend are vacationing when a new computer game infiltrates the system of EPIC. Everything except Cindella disappears, and a new game is left in its place. The new game of Saga has similarities to the old game; it revolves around class and trying to improve one's standard of living.

However, Cindella begins to realize that this new game - is not really a game. She also learns that the mastermind behind the game put a little something extra into it that seeps out into New Earth, infecting the players so they become addicted to the game. Cindella could kill the Queen of Saga, but in doing so would have to kill two million of her people simultaneously.

With the help of Ghost, a girl who doesn't know her own power, Eric must find a way out of this disaster.

The twists and turns of life on Saga make this science fiction novel a quick and enjoyable read, especially for those who play video games.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is realy good. Read it. It is a sequel to "EPIC". Its so cool.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book-definetly a great buy for teens. Exciting and a reasonable length. Make sure to read Epic first though.
Antiatem More than 1 year ago
When I first read Epic, the first book of the series, I was excited to find a wonderfully written tale. This excitement was doubled by the fact that a central part of the story was based on a video game. Besides that, the book held an thought-provoking, yet comprehensible message about human nature, fun and engaging characters, and a thrilling plot. As I excitedly opened Saga and read the first few chapters, I was rather disappointed that this book did not have as much the video game aspect as it's predecessor. To be sure nearly the entire story is actually IN the game, but it is told in a way that the game world is the real world. My point.....readers of Epic who are moving onto Saga, do not expect more of the same if that is what you are looking for. But to be sure, the story did provide when it came to a thrilling plot (this time with a sense of mystery sprinkled through), another message on about human nature, and strong characters that are distinct from the previous books group (which disappointingly, with the exception of Eric, do not appear except for an occasional cameo). In short, and excellent standalone book in it's own right that is a must read for any sci-fi/corruption of power fan. But just be sure to check any expectations of seeing the old "bunch" from Epic at the cover.
Mr.Awesome More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read, if you like Harry Potter you will really enjoy this one. It is a mysterious thrill ride and is so good that I really wish it was real.
I would reccomend any books by Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paolini, John Flanagan, Charles Dickens,J.R.R. Tolkien, Adrian Mckinty, Patrick Carman, and Emily Rodda.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ooh da mushiness. O.o
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh, okay. The next part is here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I sat down and read some of my old parts yesterday..... they were so bad! Literally this story greatly improved my writing ability. Again I'll talk about this after the last part. Next part at Edda. This part will be in Sam's p.o.v. On with the story! --- We fell into the darkness and I felt nothing but regret. There was just enough light for me to see my friends. They were all clustered together. I was falling on my own. How could I face my friends after this? I've doomed us all. I felt a light tap on my shoulder and turned to see Julia. I could see that she had been crying. "Sam, can we talk?" "Yeah, what's wrong Julia?" She wiped her eyes. "Sam I-I love you!" I was caught off guard. "What?" "I've loved you ever since we had that talk at my Camp and I need to know. Do you feel the same way?" "Julia I don't know what to say." "Just tell me you love me back." "I'm sorry Julia, but I can't. I don't feel the same way and I'm sorry." She stopped crying and closed her eyes. "I should've known. After all you and Emily are perfect together. You've found your love." "I think I know why you loved me. Is it because I reminded you of Marcus?" Her eyes shot open. "Yeah..." "I hate to get your hopes up, but I think we can return him to the way he used to be." She smiled at the thought. "How could we do it?" "I have an idea, but I'll explain it if we live." "Do you promise you'll try?" "I'll do more than that. I swear on the River Styx that I'll try and save him." It sounded as if a cannon went off in my ears. "Alright never do that again while we're down here. Now come on and join the rest of us." We joined the rest of the group. Everyone was teary eyed. I knew and they knew that this was probably the end. "Well does anyone have anything they need to confess?" Reese and Max were staring at each other. "Are we thinking the same thing?" Max asked. "I think we are." "If that's the case." Max grabbed her and pulled her into a kiss. "I love you." They said in unison. Harriet grabbed Jose. "Jose," she said quietly. "I like you alot and uh...." She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Harriet...." Jose seemed unsure of what to say. Kayla and Shawn were already kissing. When did that happen? John grabbed Cary's wrist. "Don't even say a word." Cary said. She grabbed John and kissed him. "Aw Cary!" Alexandra said through the darkness. The pit grew a bit brighter which ment we were closer to the bottom. I could see my friends faces more clearly now. I saw happiness in their smiles, but sadness in their eyes. I must've had that look because Emily grabbed my shoulder. She looked me in the eyes. "Stop it!" She said as she slapped me across the face. "Ow!" I said. Geez, for a small girl she could hit hard. "I can tell you're blaming yourself. It's not your fault. We knew the danger starting this quest. We're all in this together!" We were approaching the bottom. "I love you." I told her. "I love you too Sammy." I kissed her and we prepared ourselves for the fall. The ground was a few feet away when....... --- CLIFFHANGER! Well how was it? Let me know. - SK
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story thats going to take your breath away. I loved epic but it was nothing compared to saga. Congratelations on such a fine book mr. Conor Kostick. ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great, incredible, and left me wanting for more. The first book in this series, Epic, was really amazing and had me wanting to play the game, too. If only, if only... but I can dream...
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Do you a cat by the name of Darkangel?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yo yo! I need cats for my clan! You can have any job you want except deputy and leader.
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