Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm not a science fiction fan. I'm not a huge gamer. I'm not all of things that you'd think you'd have to be to enjoy this book. I wasn't sure going in that I was going to enjoy it. What a pleasant surprise! Wow. Just wow. I loved this book. Completely, totally and utterly loved it. Between the 80's references that took me straight back to my childhood and the unabashedly 'geeky' story, it was almost like coming home for me!
I love the world building that Ernest Cline has done so effectively in this novel. The characters just jump off the page, the world at large so familiar yet completely changed, and the great writing ... it all adds up to a fantastic, can't put it down read! I want to go back and read it again because it was so packed full of amazing things, that I'm sure I missed a few. I very rarely want to read a book a second time, given the size of my TBR list but this is an exception. This is, so far, my favorite book of 2011.
It might be a good idea to give a quick synopsis of the book (which I usually don't do in my reviews). This novel takes place in 2044, in a world that is essentially a wasteland. The main character (and most people in the world) spends most of his time in a MMO (massively multiplayer online) virtual reality game known as OASIS. Upon his death, the creator of this online game has decided to give away the game (and his financial empire) to the first person who can complete a quest created by him that takes place in OASIS. The plot entails the main character and a group of fantastic other characters working on completing the quest.
The entire premise of this novel was fantastic, believable and intriguing. The idea of a 'egg hunt' within an alternative reality - an interesting take on the idea behind Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - is fantastic! All of the clues, riddles and puzzles were fascinating to me! I couldn't wait to get to the next one, to learn more about the world of Oasis and its creator. Halliday, Wade, Art3mis and the rest of the cast of characters came alive for me. I found the writing to be witty and multi-dimensional. I couldn't stop reading this novel. I wanted more and more and more. I was not happy when I reached the end and had to leave the world that Ernest Cline has created in this book.
The book is extremely easy to read and it's pacing is fantastic! It moved quickly and efficiently but it never felt rushed. Although technically a science fiction novel, the concepts of the book are easily understood and there isn't a lot of science fiction or any of the stuff usually associated with science fiction. It is in some ways science fiction for people who don't love science fiction. The endless 80s references and other 'geeky' references are fantastic if you're someone who likes that sort of thing. As a child of the 80s, I related to it. If you aren't a fan of the 80s, perhaps this aspect of the book might become tiresome.
I definitely recommend this novel. Without a doubt. Pick it up ... you will not regret it! As I said before, this may well be my favorite novel of the year! It's a great book!
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