Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

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?

Ready Player One by Ernest Clines. Book #1 in the series. Narrated by Wil Wheaton. Published by Random House Audio, 2011. Run time is 15 hours 46 minutes.

So straight up Sci-Fi and Young Adult are not my favorite genres. I don’t mind when the horror genre is add into those themes. But JUST Sci-fi and YA is a wary no thank you! When my book club picked Ready Player One, I was a bit hesitant. D:

I was pleasantly surprised…. I actually LIKED the book! 😮 It reminded me of games I have played as a kid, and of games I still play, such as Secondlife. On one hand, that was very cool to have a book talking about those sort of game play! But on the other hand, it felt a little boring…. like, I could just go play Secondlife and do a hunt or visit areas filled with 1980s pop culture instead of just reading about it. :/ If you are a gamer, or a pop culture fan of the 1980s, you might feel frustrated with some of the over explained references. Great for people who are unfamilar with the content. I felt it was a little over explained and repetitive.

I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about all the 1980s references. The complaints tend to feel there are just too many and it’s unrealistic to think the future would be so OCD with 80s trivia. I don’t know… I felt like the author does a decent job of explaining away why. With so many people all over the world going gaga over the contest, I could see 80s pop culture being relevant again.

I felt a little disappointed at some of the BIG twists. If you’ve been on the internet EVER, you understand how people are different from their avatars in hundreds of ways… These twists felt a little EH and not very twisty. :/ Maybe it wasn’t meant to be twisty?

My only other complaint is about how Wade got in shape and lost his curvier figure. Why didn’t the author just leave him as a cool, nerdy, plus sized badass main character? :/ But instead, he is a fat loser at the beginning but gets a “glow up” and becomes buff and goes on to beat the game and wins the girl, the money, the power, blah blah blah. That felt like the most unrealistic thing in the whole book.

Wil Wheaton does a reliable job narrating. He doesn’t really do accents or gender variations. What he really excels at is that snarky teenage vibe. NAILED IT!!

Ready Player One was entertaining. It was a fun homage to classic gaming and the decade of the 80s. I love gaming and pop culture, so I was on board with all references. A few Eh parts, but it never super ruined the book. 🙂 Fun ride, but not fun enough to really make me rush to read book 2, or anything else by the author. >.>;

PS. Yowwie WOWIE is the movie BAD! 😮 Talk about watered downed and butchered!


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