Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Review- Ready Player One

Title: Ready Player One
Release Date: 08/16/2011
Source: NetGallery
Publisher: Crown
Author: Ernest Cline

(From NetGallery) At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut-part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

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?

Wow, okay that is a really long pitch! Anyways, this book sounds really good so I requested it from Netgallery.

When I started reading it, after being approved by the publisher, I expected to really like this book. And I did. But one of the biggest turns offs for me was the 80 pages of pure explaining. The story finally starts after that many pages. And in a way, I understand that a lot of the information you needed to understand the story, but most of it I thought could have been integrated into the story. I almost stopped reading it. So this makes me wonder if the author has ever heard of Showing not telling?

Anyways, the concept of this story and the whole dystopia feel I got from it was pretty cool. Once I got into the story I really liked it. The story is original and I thought it was amusing how everyone in the book is obsessed with the 1980s. That being said, it was kinda annoying, but as a reader who knows almost nothing about the 1980s it was kinda nice to have an explanation of what all the games and stuff were and what they were about.

The characters were cool and I thought that they were portrayed realistically. I enjoyed the first person point of view. At times the narrator and main character came off as arrogant and stupid to me but other times he was funny and creative. All of the other characters were smart and funny although I thought at times that their humor was crude and somewhat offensive.

Once the plot finally started up I enjoyed seeing where it was going. I loved seeing the virtual world and learning how it worked. I enjoyed seeing how everyone was fighting to get the Egg. The plot itself was fast paced for the most part and exciting with twists and turns I wasn't expecting.

So, who would I recommend this story too? Mostly adults and those who enjoy video games/ the 1980s.

On Goodreads: Ready Player One

So have you ever read a book about a time in history that you remember? Did you think that the author portrayed the time correctly or did the author twist it to fit the story?


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