Sherwood Smith is a well known author of fantasy for children and young adults. On her blog she has a note of what she is currently reading. In May 2005 she had some kind words to say about Epic. I can't link to the quote (it's in the middle of a long page) so I'm including the whole thing here:
Epic by Conor Kostick is out from The O'Brien Press in Dublin, so it might be a tad hard to find for us in the States. But what a fabulous read. The premise is not new--kids slipping between a gaming world and their real world of their planet--but how he uses it really is refreshingly new, convincing, and absorbing. The main character, a boy named Erik, designs a girl character to send into the game world. What he learns, what he does, how his family and friends react, how the Committee who control the allocations of goods react, I just couldn't put this novel down. It's one of the best YA novels I've read in a very long while.