Ready Player One

Title: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: August 16th, 2011
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Pages: 374
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Going outside is highly overrated.”

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. – Excerpt from Goodreads

The 80s kid in me smiled the whole way through.

Ready Player One shows us a world that has gone almost completely online. Everything you do is suddenly gone digitized – people have no clue who other people are in reality, which means you can create any life for yourself and let your avatar do the rest. The man who created this online suddenly passes away and his vast fortunate is up for grabs, only one catch – you must complete the game and tasks he has given before any other gamer. Stakes are high and odds are low. Let the games begin!

Before I start fangirling about this book, I should say that this book is 100% accessible. This is not just a book for 80s kids or gamers. Everything is explained and any references to movies such as The Breakfast Club are more shout-outs and not important to the storyline. All of the aspects of gaming are explained in detail, more than once. It’s done in such a way that it just flows with the storyline though and so you don’t get bored or feel like you are being talked down to. I know several people have been worried that they might not understand the book because of all the references but one of my close friends  is not a gamer or an 80s kid and she adored this book as much as I did.

Now for the fangirling – OMG! This book was everything! I grew up on a fairly bad and somewhat unknown film called Ewoks: Caravan of Courage. When this book referenced that movie, I knew were were about to enter into a very serious romantic relationship. I might have gotten a little too giddy over that small scene, yes I said giddy. So many fun movie references – author has a love for John Hughes movies for sure. I can’t say I blame him.

I happen to be a gamer, so I already knew everything that was being talked about in terms of gaming. Basically this world has turned into a giant multi-massive online game (mmo) and anyone who’s been addicted, or currently is, the idea of an mmo becoming your entire life is going to be very relatable. The way they described the tasks and the gaming elements – I wanted to be there a little too badly. The fact that I wanted to be at the end battle more than anything my little heart can dream of says a lot for the gamer in me.

The characters in this one are fantastic and you don’t really know who is real and who is pretending or what they are hiding until the end. It makes things really interesting trying to figure it all out. I related the most to Art3mis because her gaming style seemed very similar to me and I respected that. She didn’t ask for help from guys and she earned every single thing she won and could hold her own completely. There were a few times I wanted to slap her upside the head but I knew she had her reasons – still would’ve slapped her though! I probably liked the character of Aech the most and by the end I was completely all for this character.

There really aren’t any weak characters in this book. They were all well-written and well-developed characters. It made it enjoyable to not only watch the heroes of the book but the villains were just as fun. I can’t really think of anything to criticize this book for. The fact that the author found a way to make a potentially polarizing topic completely accessible to the average reader is amazing. Kudos to Cline.

I highly recommend this read. I will certainly be re-reading this one in the future. Five stars.

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