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Epic

Narrated by: Samuel E. Hoke
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to a society governed through computer games!

On New Earth, society is governed and conflicts are resolved in the arena of a fantasy computer game, Epic. If you win, you have the chance to fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life both in and out of the game is worth nothing. When teenage Erik dares to subvert the rules of Epic, he and his friends must face the Committee. If Erik and his friends win, they may have the key to destroying the Committee's tyranny. But if they lose....

©2004 Conor Kostick (P)2018 Conor Kostick

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great read especially if you are a gamer.

Would you consider the audio edition of Epic to be better than the print version?

Have only listened to the Audio edition.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cindella is out of charactor for this author..... she is a woman.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the main character realizes the government is tracking his every move.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Gamer Heaven

Any additional comments?

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A true progenitor of LitRPG. Amazing & Immersive!

This book is claimed as being one of the forerunners to the increasingly growing LitRPG genre and it is easy to see why.
This book has a wonderful premise, a society that has done away with violence and uses VR instead to deal with conflict and give an outlet for humanities savage urges.
The book deals with topics in its stride such as Sociology of a populace that uses a RPG game to determine all facets of its society. Politics whereby various opinions and anti government sentiments are presented and explored. A possible precursor to how society might use technology like VR to hold public forums and meet as a group through the use of this technology.

There are some wonderful twists at various points throughout the story that give depth and texture to the story. Some of these come out of left field and you don't see them coming, others are a little easier to see.

The narration is without a doubt on the money, the vast array of characters have their own distinct sound and this helps draws you further into the characters. Samuel Hoke has given life to these characters and in my opinion has delivered the essence of the book.

In summation this book is without a doubt a must read for anyone that enjoys the LitRPG genre or is even a casual fan of RPG games.
I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys fantasy with a little science fiction.
I will definitely be placing the two follow up books on my to read list.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily provided this review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good narration to a great story

The book was simply amazing every step of the way. No overcimplication of how the game system works, just pure awesomeness. I will totally be recommending this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Early LitRPG Novel, RPO for Adults

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.


Epic is an early LitRPG novel set in a dystopian future where all violence has been abolished in favor of combat in an MMORPG, Epic which has been around for decades. The economy has stagnated and most people live a subsistence lifestyle while a small collection of the few live in virtual luxury since the economies of the real world and the game world are intertwined.


This novel was originally published in 2004. Ready Player One was published in 2011. why do I mention this? If you are familiar with RPO from the book or movie then you may see some parallels. That's not to say that if you have read one then you can skip the other - they are different beasts. If you are one of the people that could have done without the litany of pop culture references crammed into every nook and cranny of RPO or want a more mature take on the theme - then you are in luck.


Epic is its own world with creatures and races derived from mythology and fantasy from various cultures. It's so sprawling and immersive that there are areas that are still unexplored and enemies that have never been vanquished. It asks big questions that don't necessarily have easy answers. and the characters have real emotional stakes. It's a more mature story while still being clean such that a YA could read it, enjoy it and mull over it a bit. If you've read many LitRPG you may expect more stats, levels or experience points or skills. The story is more Lit than RPG in that respect. The majority of the story takes place in a game but we are meant to understand the world more than the game mechanics themselves.


Samuel Hoke puts in an excellent performance. His voice is pleasant to listen to and compelling. He can be expressive when the moments require it but the reading doesn't draw attention to itself and distract from the text.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Million Times Better than Ready Player One

If you listen to this book you will wonder why Ready Player One got all the hype. This book explores the possibilities of an immersive Virtual Universe in an incredibly interesting way.

The story and characters are amazing, and the narration is fantastic. The voices bring all of the characters to life, and the pacing and narration style make an already great book even better.

I only wish the next two in the series were available.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Early LITRPG style story

Take a society where the economy is based on game play. You can see an almost virtual hunger games as well as many other stories that have definitely pulled some inspiration from here and vice a versa. The tale of the down and out community rising up against those in power and those in power betraying each other for more power is always amusing. The trim style MCP making deals with the real life Dylan style character is great. Get ready for an awesome listen with some great plot twists, story arch’s and great characters. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, I love the idea.

The story is great. Personally i would have liked to see more depth to the game itself. More information, more time spent in the game and more focus on how it played into their society. I liked the MC, he was interesting, clever, and a little naive. The supporting characters could use a little more development, but that will come with time. The narrator I found a little irritating at times. He seemed to stutter a lot when characters spoke, like they were shy or unsure what they were going to say. Of course this could have been how the story was written, I didn't see the actual text because I didn't buy the Amazon Kindle edition until much later. In conclusion, the story was fun and interesting, however I felt it lacked some of the gaming jargon most story's of this genre have. Good read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • S A
  • Portland, OR USA
  • 03-06-18

Interesting Twist on the LitRPG Genre

I'm not a gamer, but I've enjoyed a few books in this genre. This one has a nice twist in how the game integrates into another world and culture. Using a game world as a method of government is a novel and interesting spin on the standard story line. The story develops both in the real world and in the game and they play off each other well. The book is well written and flows quickly along.
I found Samuel Hoke's narration worked well with the story and characters and enhanced the experience.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the end of the world.

who would expect or hope for this as our future. I for one would be scared. but for reading about it I was riveted. if u like onling gaming and professional players and pseudo dystopian world's. I recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

LITRPG in a much more classic SCIFI type of story

Like LITRPGs? This may or may not be for you. Like classic SCIFI stories? You'll love it. Like all great SCIFI stories, it takes a concept and tries to stretch it out and see how that idea would affect the world as a whole. The main character is a true gamer, going into the game in this world and finding the flaw to exploit to better his position and defeat an untouchable boss monster.

I was given a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob Cooke
  • 03-02-18

"A true progenitor of LitRPG. Amazing & Immersive!

This book is claimed as being one of the forerunners to the increasingly growing LitRPG genre and it is easy to see why.
This book has a wonderful premise, a society that has done away with violence and uses VR instead to deal with conflict and give an outlet for humanities savage urges.
The book deals with topics in its stride such as Sociology of a populace that uses a RPG game to determine all facets of its society. Politics whereby various opinions and anti government sentiments are presented and explored. A possible precursor to how society might use technology like VR to hold public forums and meet as a group through the use of this technology.

There are some wonderful twists at various points throughout the story that give depth and texture to the story. Some of these come out of left field and you don't see them coming, others are a little easier to see.

The narration is without a doubt on the money, the vast array of characters have their own distinct sound and this helps draws you further into the characters. Samuel Hoke has given life to these characters and in my opinion has delivered the essence of the book.

In summation this book is without a doubt a must read for anyone that enjoys the LitRPG genre or is even a casual fan of RPG games.
I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys fantasy with a little science fiction.
I will definitely be placing the two follow up books on my to read list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Norma Miles
  • 04-27-18

All the marshmallows you can eat.

Centuries before the time sitting of this story, a game was created to while away boredom, an entertainment for the travellers to New World, an inclusive multiplayer computer game called Epic, where people could work off their aggressions and have fun. But, over time, this psychological release became all pervasive, ruling life both in and out of reality. In order to succeed in real life, players - and that is everyone - had to succeed in the virtual world, building credits even to further their education and to select the levels in society in which they will be placed. There are many losers, chosen to do the hard work of provisioning New World, and only a few winners who rule both the game itself as rich members of Central Allocatons and decide the life placements of everyone else.

Eric is a talented player but, with the Graduation Ceremony fast approaching, he is destined to fail as he keeps being killed in the game. He can no longer afford to re-equip new characters to acquire the desired monies to to fight, defend himself and so claw his way upward. So he changes his usual player character to that of a girl he names Cindella with the attributes of the long forgotten Swahbuckler, and invests all he has left in beauty. Then he sets about the task of raising his financial profile and trying to rescue his parents fallen victim to the harsh reassignment regulations and, in the process of changing the world itself.

The story concept is a good one, but, although there are flashes of excitement and some excellent descriptive passages, for this reader the book never really comes alive. The characters themselves are the main reason as they remain stoically two dimensional without ever engaging a feeling of empathy which would have increased a feeling of excitement. Changes in plot directions, and too easily won battles, compound the overall lack of involvement.

Narrator Samuel E.Hoke has a pleasant, deep timbred voice. His reading is clear and steady with a good single pace throughout which adds to the fairytale unreality of the story, further compounded by a lack of emotional imput even when the tensions are rising. His voicings of the characters other than the main protagonist are also minimal even if clearly defined. In many ways his input is excellent, matching the text itself, but it also has the effect of making the whole seem overlong and, to be perfectly honest, tedious apart from the central portion of the book.

Epic is very much a Dungeons and Dragons type story which, if rewritten now would probably be far more thrilling set in the full LitRPG world. A clever idea but not one I would recommend, even to game players unless very young and really into their gameing. My thanks, however, to the rights holder who, at my request, freely gifted me a complimentary copy of Epic, via Audiobook Boom.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 03-26-18

Interesting.

A solid story with good narration.

The writing is good, well paced and with characters with plenty of personality. The in game parts are easy to understand and does not go in to too much detail about the systems in game. Letting it be more about the action, conflicts and characters.

The narration is easy to listen to and clear. Each character is enhanced with unique voices and plenty of emotion. I would happily listen to more books with this narrator.

In a world where everything is controlled by those who have the most powerful characters in a game it can be hard to get by if you have work to do instead of being able to dedicate yourself to improving your character. It is an intresting lesson about what can happen if keeping power becomes more important than using it wisely.

This was an intresting listen and I can recommend it.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.