Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneTitle:  Ready Player One 
Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publishing Date: January 1st 2011
Pages: 372
Genre: Sci/Fi Cyberpunk Thriller (Adult/YA)
Series: Stand Alone
Source:  Audio


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?

I don’t usually read too many books that are targeted to the adult crowd, even though this one is I could see many young adult readers enjoying this book. I would definitely classify as YA. This book was great. Action packed, suspenseful, humorous, intense… I could go on. 

The plot of the story was so original from anything I have read in the past. I wasn’t sure how I would receive the story but it has some great reviews, so I decided to give it a try.

The story is told from a 17 going on 18 year old boy, Wade, who spends all his time in an online simulated world in the year 2044. He goes to school, socializes, and works in this alternate online reality. At the beginning one of his icons, the inventor of this online world dies. Before he dies he creates a video will that announces a contest in which the winner will receive his legacy… the online world and his billions. From there the contest begins and the race is on.

I loved wade. He is smart, committed, a little crazy, and very geeky. I found myself deep in his story and I never ceased to be amazed and surprised at what he accomplishes. Other characters are introduced in the story, but we do not get to know them too well, what we do get to know was enough to make me adore them. 

The world the author created was mystifying. I could see how things today could progress into this world in the future. Everything technical and computerized. The author didn’t just create a new world for me to visit but also made me nostalgic for the past. The entire book is like a dedication to the 80’s, from the commercials to the movies and games.

The writing is very detailed and at some points a little confusing with the futuristic jargons, but it did not take away from the enjoyment of the book. It is a little slow at the beginning but once it takes off about a quarter of way through the book, it’s becomes a page turner. I did not want to put it down. 

I really liked the narrator of the audio version. He brought the voices to life and did a great job with the feel for the evil and the cyberpunk atmosphere.  He brought everything to life for me, vividly I might add. 

At the end I found myself happy and satisfied but I still couldn’t help to want a little bit more. This will be a book I am sure I will find myself reading multiple times.


Ernest Cline

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.

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