Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Genres/Themes: Sci-fi/fantasy, video games, young adult, dystopia, adventure
★★★★☆ 4 stars
This book and I had issues. I first of this book in my Reading Videogames class, where I with my casual gamer knowledge attempted to learn more about videogames and other games. I’ve been requesting this book since about the beginning of the semester (around Feb?) Apparently, it came in like 2 or 3 times and the e-mails telling me when it arrived never came, or I didn’t check my eReader in time…
Such frustration. The semester ends in one week and I’ve finally FINALLY finished this book.
Phew~ Now that that is out of the way on to the review!!
Why live in reality when you can live in virtual reality? In the year 2044 reality sucks and most people spend as much time as they can as their avatars inside the VR game/program OASIS. There is pretty much nothing you can’t do in OASIS. The creator of OASIS passes away and in his will he says that the person to find the hidden egg within OASIS will inherit his mass fortune and ownership of the company. This starts a mad hunt and a revival of 1980s culture since he was obsessed with his childhood. Wade Watts is determined to find the egg and rise up out of his poor life. Unfortunately, he has no money to travel within the game, therefore unable to actually search for the egg.
After years of no clues of progress by anyone, Wade (Perzival) stumbles upon a clue and starts the hunt up once again. It isn’t just normal people he is competing against either, a vicious money and power hungry company (IOI) will do anything in order to have the egg. Anything.
This book was a wild ride. There is just so. much. here! There is so much information needed to understand the riddles given to aid people in their quests to find the egg so, I felt like I just had to hang on and enjoy the ride.
I do not know 80s pop culture all that much. I recognize names and places, most of the games really, but not to the extent of the characters. –I sometimes found this to be a downside of the book because the author had to explain out the games, the movies, pretty much everything so that the readers could understand. It adds to the book but, I also thought it took me out of the book.
“Dilettantes,’ Art3mis said. ‘It’s their own fault for not knowing all theSchoolhouse Rock! lyrics by heart.”
But the world of this book was really so cool. I mean… it sucks big time but, OASIS and the way the author set everything up was so awesome. OASIS is an utopia with no limits. Yet, this makes the story a dystopia because as the book mentions, the real world sucks and is more obvious because of OASIS. Sometimes while reading I would forget that Wade wasn’t really in OASIS.
“I’d come to see my rig for what it was: an elaborate contraption for deceiving my senses, to allow me to live in a world that didn’t exist. Each component of my rig was a bar in the cell where I had willingly imprisoned myself.”
The characters were interesting. It is one of those cases where ‘beauty is on the inside.’ Personality is much more important than looks. And it really shines here. Also there is character growth. Wade goes from being a nobody -to- a celebrity. He has to deal with this change and he isn’t perfect. He has to learn from his mistakes and mature.
Since the characters are geeks, some with anxiety issues and afraid of the outdoors there are lots of issues that are brought up and addressed. Trust is lost and earned and in OASIS one of the biggest pieces of showing trust is knowing the other person’s face and name.
–One little thing I had a problem with was that Wade developed a fear of the outside (Doesn’t affect story much so I don’t think it is a spoiler). But, he gets over it really quickly with no mention ever again… I wanted a little more on this.
LOVED the diversity of the characters and mention of variety of shows and games — not just American ones. So, seeing Gundam and Ultraman mentioned was super cool to me.
Really enjoyed this book and I’m glad I finally got to it. I might read the author’s next book Armada but, it seemed most people in class didn’t like it so, I might pass.
If you like 80s references, shows, classic arcade games as well as futuristic aspects –this is a book I think you should read.
If you like adventures and/or quirky characters — probably a book you should try out.