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Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline

genre: adventure, science-fiction, YA, dystopian

Ermisenda has already reviewed Ready Player One, but I wanted to throw in my two cents. I’ve had it on my TBR list for over a year and thanks to my new Audible account, I finally got around to reading it. I came in with high expectations and I was not disappointed. Keep reading to see if I agree with Ermisenda and gave Ready Player One a four star review or if I thought it was good enough for five.

Synopsis from Goodreads

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt–among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life–and love–in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

Review

Amazing! I was gripped from the moment it stated, in part because I recognized the narrator. Wil Wheaton. Eureka, Big Bang Theory, Star Trek, Wil Wheaton. I was completely nerding out. I have no idea what Wade Watts looks like, because I had an eighteen year old Wil Wheaton in my head. Even though I grew up in the 90s and I’m not the gamer Ermisenda is, there were plenty of 80s references I knew. I didn’t mind the random tangents that occurred when a reference had to be explained because the plot was well paced and full of action. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but there was one point when I gasped and thought, “s**t just got real.” When billions of dollars at stake, people were not playing around. This was also the first time I’ve used the phrase, “wow, that kid has some balls.”

Ready Player One was a mixed bag of everything, with elements of fantasy, adventure, romance, and murder mystery, all wrapped up in a YA sci-fi package. One of the best books I’ve ever read. It also had some very thought provoking themes, for example:

  • If you only know someone online, how well do you really know them? Are you only seeing what they want you to see, or are you seeing them for who they really are without the prejudices of knowing their ethnicity, age, gender, or sexual orientation?
  • What would you do to win a billion dollars?

5 out of 5 stars.

amazonbutton2 copy-Eliabeth Hawthorne

To see what other books we’ve reviewed, or request a review, see our Book Reviews page.

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