Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Posted November 17, 2014 by Bee in Reviews / 8 Comments

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline
Pages: 390
Published on August 16th 2011
by Crown Publishers
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Also by this author: Ready Player One, Armada, Armada

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?

4.5 Stars

So here’s a challenge: count every 80’s reference made in this book. Seriously guys. Too many to count. This book exploded with awesome and it made my nerdy heart cry tears of joy the whole time. But I’ll be honest… If you’re not into video games of any caliber, you may have a hard time getting into this book. You may not even enjoy it. BUT since I do love video games, I loved this book a whole lot. Consider my mind blown.

It’s the year 2044 and the real world isn’t a nice place to live. Like most people, Wade escapes the grim reality by spending his time in OASIS, a virtual reality where you can be who and what you want. When the creator dies, he leaves something for the whole world. The ultimate lottery ticket. And you can only win it by solving all the puzzles he has left. After a couple of years, the excitement for this hunt has died down a lot, but then suddenly Wade solves the first riddle and before he knows it, the whole world is watching and thousands of eager players follow his example. The hunt is on and who will win?

Ready Player One takes a bit to get started. Give it a few chapters. After Wade finds the first piece of the puzzle, things get more and more exciting with every page you turn. Sure, the infodumps may put you off, but I found them so interesting! And you really need to know everything and I was hooked to the pages the whole time. The closer you get to the end, the more exciting things get. And the higher the stakes are. Some players are willing to go very far to win the prize. And some aren’t playing fair.

Wade is a very relatable character. In the real world he looks just about what you’d expect of a nerd/gamer. He’s not a hot supermodel. His avatar looks normal too, though maybe a bit fitter than he really his. Wade is smart and he knows just about everything there is to know to solve the puzzles. He’s not very social in real life and he has had a tough life so far, so I was really rooting for him to win because he deserved it. He was such a genuine and nice guy and he learned from the mistakes he made. I also adored Aech, Art3mis and the others. All the characters were great! There was also a romance on the side, which was very sweet and didn’t take over any of the excitement of the hunt.

If you’re not very familiar with everything from the 80’s, you might find yourself a little bit lost. Well… A lot actually. Like I said before, there are too many references to count. I’m very happy now that I’m such a nerd. I got most of them even though I wasn’t alive in the 80’s. If you were young in that time and you’re into video games, you will devour this book in a couple of hours, just like I did. The end is epic and perfect and so very, very awesome!

Ready Player One is a thrilling roller coaster ride that had me hooked to the pages from start to finish. Fans of video games and all things 80’s will love this book. Though if you’re not a fan of one or either of those, you might not enjoy this one that much. I, however, loved it and I can’t recommend this enough.


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