I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Published by Crown on August 16, 2011
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-fi
Also by this author: Armada
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?
When I first heard about this book, I was intrigued but I wasn’t running to read it because I don’t think I was expecting a whole lot out of this. Once I started reading it though, I realized how fascinating it was and how I certainly did not expect it to be as intricate as it was. Wow. Talk about world building.
The summary of the book to me sounded like a cross between the Tron concept (of people being able to insert themselves into video games) and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (where the purpose was to find the golden ticket and compete against the others to win the big prize). But the ‘quest’ in RPO was waaaaay better than Willy Wonka could ever dream of being.
The complexities of the virtual world named OASIS that Ernest Cline created in Ready Player One are astounding. It was so elaborate yet easily understandable and also completely believable. Set in the year 2044, OASIS has become a sanctuary for humans to escape to allowing them to be whoever and whatever they choose. Considering how destitute the real world is, many people spend almost their entire lives plugged into the OASIS.
The creator of OASIS, James Halliday, dedicated his life to his creation. When he dies, he leaves everything he owns including the mass worth he’s accumulated over his lifetime to the single individual who is able to solve the puzzles and acquire the ‘egg’. Sounds easy? A lot of people thought so and many proceeded to dedicate their lives to finding it. Years later no one has been able to decipher any of the clues James Halliday left behind. Wade is the first person to figure out the puzzle and obtain the first key and this is his story.
This sets off a wild chain of events that totally makes you strap on your gear and go on your own quest. I loved the characters and the relationship that they shared with one another. I loved how the author’s writing style had the ability to completely suck you in to the story and almost made you feel like you had your own avatar in the OASIS. I loved everything about this story.
This is highly recommended for video game lovers, lovers of anything 80’s, and anyone who’s looking for a highly enjoyable book!