Okay so the book is called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline but (and I know many of you will find this shocking) I have played a few video games from my childhood on and ALWAYS when its been an option I am player two. So when I realized what this title meant I could actually see the words READY PLAYER TWO blinking behind my eyes and I got that old rush of adrenaline. Now if you’ve played the old video games you know the anticipation I’m talking about, the one where you been waiting for your friend/sibling, cough, cough..SISTER to finally die off you you could get your turn. It was fun to take a walk down memory lane and Ready Player One will definitely remind you of any old games, movies, tv shows, etc from the 80’s. But lucky it proved to be more than that. First the blurb!
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
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.
I liked this book. A lot. And I was really nervous to start it, first because everyone was talking about how amazing it was, which whether you want it to or not, set my expectations higher, and then I had decided to read it myself. Normally that would be a good thing but other problem was I was reading the book not listening to it. It sounds silly when I type it but that’s how I felt. Many of the reviews that I read included the fact that they loved Wil Wheaton’s audio version and I’m not the biggest audio book person so I went back and forth on this one. Queued this book a few times in both formats. It got kinda ridiculous. But finally I buckled down and just got the read copy of this book, and took it seriously. Here’s my official thoughts.
I loved the concept of this book. I’m not talking about all the 80’s stuff that reminded me of being a kid, I mean the actual story. In fact I found this idea interesting, I loved the fact that gamers (or gunters as they were called in this book) didn’t solve the puzzle instantly. In fact some puzzles took years to solve, love that! Also I really like the main characters, Wade/Parzival, Aech, Art3mis, Daito and Shoto. I found them funny and geeky, easy to read, most of the time, and liked their interaction. I even loved the evil Sixers and their leader Sorrento (as bad guys of course) thought they played their part well and loved cheering against them. Okay I also enjoyed some of the 80’s references. I’m not sure how realistic it is to think that all these kids in the future would love everything 80’s, but it was fun to remember things from my childhood and IT’S FICTION PEOPLE..that means made up. So it’s okay that not everything is realistic.
So what didn’t I like. Well I think that Ernest Cline is a fantastic writer. There where parts that were like poetry to me in his book, he could paint a picture in my head with a few sentences. So that’s why I know that he didn’t have to go off on three page rants about random things, or I felt he didn’t have to, he just wanted to rant and then summarize the whole thing at the end of the chapter. I let him get away with it because I loved the story, enjoyed the trip down memory lane, and had fun with the character. Had this book not been firing on all cylinders for me, this review might be very different. Also this was a rare occasion when I wish there was zero romance. I get that he’s a hormonal boy so it made sense I guess but I would have preferred if it wasn’t even in this book, and I’m always the one hoping someone will get together so that just shows you how much I was into the actual quest.
In the end I think this is a very worthy read, especially if you like the blurb. I’ll be curious to see though what I think of other books by Cline. I might love them, I’ll never know until I read!