Review: Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

An unexpected quest. Two worlds at stake. Are you ready?

Days after Oasis founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. The last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade’s life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline. Book # 2 in the Ready Player One series. Narrated by Wil Wheaton. Audiobook is published by Random House Audio, November 2020. Run time is 13 hours and 47 minutes.

Ha, well… I’m not really sure how to review this one? RPO was better that I thought it would be, but I wasn’t really interested in revisiting the series in book 2. I was good. Buuuuutttttt book club had us reading Ready Player Two the month after we read book one. So here we are. This is my life now.

RPT is a little……. strange. Something feels very off and I can’t really put my finger on it. :/ This time, the story just feels a little flat. Lifeless? It felt like FORever went by before the plot really even got moving. Then, we had to rush through all 7 shard quests. Much of the story just felt a little vague and glossed over somewhat. Perhaps not full fleshed out? Rushed mabye? Maybe the author was just trying to cram too much stuff in to this plot?

Along with all of the above… the characters felt strange as well. Again, just something was off. Nobody was really that likeable, except maybe the Low 5? Which we hardly see much of. The High 5 were just annoying. They didn’t feel the same at all…. AND, I don’t mean that as in a social commentary way of oh the money and or power has changed them sort of way…. no, I mean it more as in the way when a movie franchise you love suddenly has a new director and writer by the time movie 4 comes out and everything feels completely different. You know what I’m saying? It felt exactly like THAT.

Samantha is mostly the same in both books, but her righteous -soap-box- attitude in RPT is just grating. I don’t even CARE that she is correct or not! Just STFU already…. We GET. IT. You are are amazing and a Gandhi warped in Mother Theresa’s habit. *eye roll* I mean, seriously, could you make this character any more annoying? And she’s supposed to be the good guy voice of reason?! UGHHH.

By FAR, though, the most annoying thing for me were all the references. I don’t mind the 1980s pop culture references. No. Those are fine. Why? Because the author set up his universe explaining the whys and hows the entire planet was in love with the 80s and that that decade was EVERYWHERE and that our main core of peeps were DEEP down the 80s rabbit hole. They breathed it, they ate it. Ok. Cool. I get it….

So why in the fuck (sorry, I tried to find a word that fit better but there ISN’T one, ok? ) are there so many 1990s and 2000s pop culture references for a time that takes place it 2040s?? Sorry but that is a big ol’ NOPE. Not gonna buy that. Never once did the author previously tell us Wade and co. were into ALL pop culture, from EVERY decade. When the hell did they even have time for that if they were so busy drowning their life away in the 1980s?? Not to mention WHY someone under the age of 30, in 2040, would give a flying crap about something that was popular in the 1990s or early 2000s.


I can barely find a few people IRL, let along everyone 40 years or younger, in 2022 who care at all about pop culture movies / games/ comics / cartoons/ books / toys / etc. from the 1950s, 60s, or 70s!! I know people in their 30s who can’t even tell you about the 1990s! Ok… so, It was NEVER established previously that Wade had any knowledge of anything else beyond the 1980s and his 2040s time period. I buy that the decade of the 80s was well studied due to the contest, but I do NOT buy that these kids cared to learn so much of the 1990s and early 2000s AS WELL. So no. I’m sorry, but that can just GTFO. It is unbelievable and that is just BAD writing.

Ready Player Two is narrated by Wil Wheaton again. He does fine. He may not have a ton of versatility between voices but he nails the emotions and personality of the main characters, especially Wade. He gets the job done.

I didn’t TOTALLY hate this book, but it was not that great. D: It felt MEH and was frustratingly glossed over, vague and unbelievable. I hated that it took so long to really get moving and the non- 80s references slayed me (and not in a good way)! I guess Ready Player Two is OKish? It’s not that great, and it’s kinda BS…. but it wasn’t the WORST thing I’ve ever read? It’s just kinda….. there. *shrug*

* a 2.5 rating that I’m GENEROUSLY rounding up to a 3….


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