Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This is my review of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. The classic story of the underdog taking on the corporate giant. A David and Goliath for the modern age.
Ready Player One – if you’re new to Audible this will be free: http://a.co/3XGdFP9
Video review of Ready Player One
Ready Player One? What’s it all about?
Officially, this is the blurb from Goodreads:
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.
Anything going for this?
The background is one of a dystopian America in the 2040’s where the average working human is poor, corporations are strong, governments are weak and the only escape is to play the online super game invented by James Halliday, The Oasis. A bit like the UK in 2017 without The Oasis.
If you think of Tron, you’re a million miles away. Think instead of being inside any games you have played, such as those with magic or those with technology. People have magic swords and other artefacts and fly around in X-Wing fighters… now you are on the right track.
Well, the main plot is that Halliday has died but has left an Easter Egg in The Oasis that will allow total control. Egg hunters, aka Gunters, want this and so does the evil IOI corporation. At risk are privacy, net neutrality, freedom of speech and human rights.
It’s been hidden for years but now, the first key has been found! The race is on!
A couple of points. Firstly, I listened to the Audible version narrated by Will Wheaton and I have to say he performed magnificently. I really enjoyed the book and felt it was in good part due to his skill.
The book itself was a roller coaster ride, as they say, and well put together. Only a couple of points detracted from the overall score for me. Some of the extra characters were a bit one dimensional which meant I cared not for them. There was an interesting job done on the character “Aech” and I felt that the acceptance issues could have been explored more but were sufficiently done I suppose. The other main character “Art3mis” had self-esteem issues and again, without giving too much away, I thought some more could be done there too.
I’ve also seen reviews complaining about seemingly unnecessary references to 80’s pop culture, however, this was the absolute intent of the author… I would agree that some of it was a little bit clunky in delivery but in the narrated version it comes across great.
This was a fantastic ride which was truly engrossing. While the ending was good, I was expecting something a little more, however, the journey to get there was thrilling and excellently done.
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