[xrrgroup][xrr label="Characters:" rating="6/6" group="s1" ] [xrr label="Plot:" rating="5.5/6" group="s1"] [xrr label="Writing:" rating="5.5/6" group="s1"] [xrr label="Just One More Page:" rating="6/6" group="s1"] [xrr label="Overall:" overall=true group="s1" ][/xrrgroup]
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, was one of those books that seemed to be garnering plaudits, left, right & centre last year on its release, which I’ll be honest, put me off a little from reading it. *smacks forehead* What an error of judgement that was!
I absolutely adored this book! I grew up in the eighties, so every little geeky reference and nuance, just made me grin wider every time.
Even if it wasn’t rooted so much in the eighties, the world of OASIS (the virtual world the majority of the book is set in, is fascinating enough to hold your attention, you can see why people choose to live their lives there, when the real world around them is crumbling around them,
But if the story wasn’t there, then the trip back into my childhood would still be pretty pointless. Thankfully, Ernest Cline, has built a pretty solid base from which to hang his shiny bits, and the challenge, Wade and his friends face, makes for page-turning (if not quite heart-stopping) stuff.
Talking of Wade. What a fantastic main character. Likeable and engaging, he’s one of my favourite characters of the year. In fact I’d go so far as saying he’s my top solo lead of the year. (Hazel and Augustus probably just edge him out, if I take into account pairings.) He’s the person we see the world of Ready Player One through, and it just wouldn’t work anywhere near as well, if the book was written in third-person. The other characters are pretty good as well, but even main ones like Artemis, Wades love interest in the book, are secondary.
My first thoughts on finishing the book, were: “Be still my geeky heart. I loved that book.” They worked then, and I can’t think of a better way to end this review, so:
“Be still my geeky heart. I loved that book!”
It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.