Friday, August 14, 2015

[Review] Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Published August 16th, 2011
Random House NY
Young Adult Sci-Fi Dystopia

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.

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My thoughts: 

I really enjoyed this book. I was a 90's kid, and never really a huge fan of the 80's so a lot of the references were lost on me, but I still related a lot to the story and its characters. This book brought up a lot of cherished memories about me and my cousins as little more than toddlers playing Mario 3 on one of the first the Nintendo consoles for hours on end, on our summer vacations. It was really nice to read about people who share that similar affection and memories regarding video games.

The main character, Wade, was what everyone in high school would have called a loser, the kind of geek that is not cute, more like the annoying kind of know-it-all that would be a pain in the ass, unless you were as geeky as he is and he happened to be your friend. But he was a hero, a geeky-as-hell hero but a hero nonetheless. His values were much more significant than any other attribute he might've had, and at the end of the day that's what kept me rooting for him even when I had no idea what the hell I was reading with all the references. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm a geek alright, I love video games and I've played them since I was a child, I obviously love books and novels and I'm a fan of a huge array of music and movies. I'm also extremely competitive so I could relate to those type of feelings of excitement at a new challenge and complete bliss at being able to just sit and play a game and avoid the much less forgiving reality. But even then, sometimes I felt like a was swimming in a sea of obscure references that only a true 80's born or hardcore-fan would've gotten, and I'm none of the above. 

I didn't like Art3mis that much though. She was the only one of the whole gang whom I felt never did anything significant for Wade and somehow got more spotlight than any of the other guys. She was always doubting everyone's intentions and complaining about everything, I just didn't really care for her as a character, but I really wanted Wade to be happy so I rooted for them to be together in the end just as hard anyway.

The writing was pretty good and the pace was a nice fit for this adventure-type story. The structure of the story was great, it had the three acts structure well-developed in every stage, representing each one with a video-game level and also with one of the gates/keys Wade was looking for. This story was more about the journey than the ending, since it's pretty clear from the very start how it will end. Wade had to go through numerous trials, because of the quest being the main plot line of the book and the win/defeat ratio was well balanced making the whole story much more believable and the quest itself all the more interesting.

I really enjoyed this book and I immediately recommend it to my little brother, who's a huge video games fan and also a reluctant reader, in hopes of catching his attention and finally get him to read something non-League of Legends related. No luck. When I told him about the plot I could see he was excited but all he said was "Is there a movie out yet?". Some things just never change.

Overall, this was a fantastic debut novel and now I can understand why so many people have been awaiting excitedly for Ernest Cline next book to finally see the light. I for sure will be reading Armada soon, in fact I can't barely wait!



About the author

ERNEST CLINE has worked as a short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone. His primary occupation, however, has always been geeking out, and he eventually threw aside those other promising career paths to express his love of pop culture fulltime as a spoken word artist and screenwriter. His 2009 film Fanboys, much to his surprise, became a cult phenomenon. These days Ernie lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, their daughter, and a large collection of classic video games. READY PLAYER ONE is his first novel.

1 comment:

  1. This one totally slipped past my radar until recently and now I can't wait to read it!
    Thanks for sharing - loved your review!