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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (thoughts)

June 21, 2012

From the author’s website:
 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.

Ready Player One is a book that I would have never even considered reading if it hadn’t been for book club. A book about video games?? No, thank you. But, when the book club selection for June was announced, the couple girls in our group who had already read it nearly squealed in excitement. With their endorsement, I thought it might actually be an okay book to read. As it was, when I picked up the book from the library, I read the first few pages before I even left the building and was immediately hooked.

What first drew me in was Cline’s writing. The story starts off in the real world, in the Stacks, one of many neighbourhoods of mobile homes and busses and whatever else that have been stacked on top of each other. Cline’s descriptions of the Stacks and the state of the world was so vivid that I felt like I was right there. Or at least that I was watching a movie complete with all the background noises. We get a brief glimpse of Wade’s home life, and it’s enough to make you understand why he’d much rather spend his time in OASIS.

And then, with Wade, we enter OASIS. Which is pretty much 3D Second Life meets World of Warcraft. It’s a huge universe that people come to not only for entertainment, but also to work and go to school. And it’s in OASIS that our story primarily takes place.

Wade is a gunter, someone who devotes all his time to hunting Halliday’s egg. It’s now years after the hunt began, and there hasn’t been the slightest glimpse of the first of three keys needed to find the egg. But that all changes with Wade. As the story progresses, the lines between reality and fiction blur and at some points completely disappear. And let me tell you, it is thrilling.

I’m not going to go further into plot details because I don’t want to give anything away, but if you are looking for an action packed adventure, Ready Player One is your book. I can’t wait to see how it will all play out in the movie adaptation.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2012 7:36 am

    I wasn’t so sure about this book either, as I barely qualify as a casual gamer. Second Life meets World of Warcraft? Iv’e spent less than 10 minutes in each place.

    but the characters were fun, the world was great, and the plot was compelling. with all that going for it, it could have been a book about people who play competitive checkers and it still would have been greatly enjoyable!

  2. June 22, 2012 6:54 pm

    wow, this would definitely be out of my reading comfort zone, but the premise sounds so interesting! i’m only a casual gamer–just cards, words with friends, that sort of thing–so i don’t know if i’d be able to relate, but your synopsis made this book sound appealing. i’m going to download a sample on my ipad and see if it’s for me!

    hope all is well over here, sorry i’ve been MIA. school’s out now and i’ve got nothing but time to read and blog until september. yay!

  3. June 23, 2012 12:20 pm

    I’m not a gamer either but people have told me that I’ll still enjoy it. From what you said above, that might be true. :)

  4. June 24, 2012 11:30 pm

    I’m so happy you loved this one! I read it some weeks ago and it was, without a doubt, a favorite of mine this year. I still haven’t finished my review because it was fully of raving with barely any real commentary, hehe :)

  5. July 2, 2012 10:11 am

    I really WANT to read this one. After reading just a few reviews I knew it’s one of those books that will get me excited about writing again.

  6. July 4, 2012 7:29 pm

    I really want to find the time to read this one.

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