Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Series: Ready Player One #1
Publisher: Broadway Books
First published August 16th, 2011
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
I’ve avoided this book for quite a long time, mainly because I’m not much of a fan of sci-fi… It was not the easiest of books to read for me, but I did like a lot of things in it. It took me a long time to manage to try to put all my thoughts in order and to be honest, I don’t think I fully succeeded. So this will be a bit of a different review for me.
I can’t say I loved Ready Player One, but I also can’t say I hated it. Like I said, I’m trying to wrap my mind around it still… I know this is a favorite for a lot of people, but this type of books is just not my style. But I surprisingly did liked it? Especially the idea… Which I found phenomenal, the world is incredible, realistic, and I was definitely mesmerized by it. It’s quite a different book, and I’m happy I read it but… I did have some problems with it. I’m not sure how to rate this book because there’s a lot of things I liked, and I did start enjoying it more towards the end… So my review will be a series of pros and cons for this book, which will hopefully help me make my mind.
Let’ start with the pros…
- Like I said, the idea of the book is just amazing. It seems like something that could totally exist, and the quest in the book was really exciting and surprising. So world-wise and plot-wise it was also really good and thrilling. Actually, world-wise (both the fictional world OASIS and the future real world), this book was phenomenal. That worldbuilding… God. It was just really well put together, really well described and… somewhat scary.
- The characters were interesting and different. I liked to see the differences between the person itself and the avatar version of them. It was really unique and the fact that we saw their online-friendship evolve to real life-friendship was very relatable to nowadays. Also, around halfway to the end, I started really enjoying the whole gang – Parzival (Wade), Art3mis, Daito, Shoto, and Aech (as in H). But especially Wade!
- There were quite many surprising and thrilling moments and a LOT of action.
- If you’re a child of the 80s then this book is for you. There’s a lot of references to books, movies and video games from the 80’s. Sadly for me, this part didn’t really work (if only it was the 90s…)
- The end (especially the last 100 pages) was epic! I absolutely loved it. It was SO good! Full of tension, excitement, and emotions! It left me in tears.
- The writing was undeniably good.
Seems like an amazing book right? Yeah… It does, and I understand why a lot of people love it, and it really surprised me that I actually liked it as much as I did… But now for the cons…
- It’s the nerdiest book I’ve ever read, which it might be great for some, but for me it was complicated… I didn’t really get much (or none) of the 80’s references and as you might imagine, that’s problematic when the book is based on them.
- Also, I don’t know much about games in general, it was never my thing. Which is basically saying this book is just completely out of my comfort zone. A lot of things were explained, but it just didn’t really do much to make me interested in them.
- Some parts (especially at the beginning) bored me to death. Some parts really excited me but others… It was a bit difficult to get through because I just couldn’t get some stuff, and it made me less interested in the book itself.
The cons are quite a big part of the book for me, but overall, I did enjoy it. The thrilling elements definitely kept me going, and the last 100 pages were super exciting. The world, and I will say it again, was amazing – super interesting, realistic, creative and just really enjoyable, and I’m happy I finally read this book.
After reading my pros and cons though I think I actually did enjoy this book more than I didn’t. I think for me the main and only problem, was the 80s parts that I didn’t really get, and the moments where the author tried to explain, which bored me. I will end up giving it 3.75/4 stars tho, which I never thought I would since I never thought I would end up enjoying it. But I really did, so…
It’s a nice and interesting book, full of action and suspense – and possibly amazing for people from the 80’s, especially if you like 80s pop culture. It’s not particularly my taste but it was definitely good, and it slowly grew on me… I’m excited to see how the movie will portray it.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? What about the movie? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!