Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (thoughts)
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.