Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publication Date: June 5th 2012
Pages: 372
My Rating: 3 Stars

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.

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?

Ready Player One is about Wade Watts who recounts the journey of how he managed to get the egg that James Halliday left in his virtual reality game, the OASIS, for people to find. To find the egg, one must first find three keys and open three gates. The first one to find the egg would then be awarded all of James Halliday's possessions.

Ready Player One is a book with a brilliant concept, and it took me to a whole different world. The plot is excellent and very much unique, and it was clearly well thought of. Wade Watts is a very smart character, and I was sucked into his journey of how everything played out. I didn't understand all the references since I'm a late 90's baby, but I really enjoyed how Wade figured everything out. It was all very exciting, and I found myself being amused by the story. The world-building was on point too.

However, there were parts of the book wherein I just skimmed over the words because I felt like it was all narration. Maybe it's because I am not a gamer, maybe it's because I'm not used to reading books with very limited dialogues, or maybe I am just not familiar with 80's pop culture I don't know. Also, I felt like it was repetitive how Wade would mention that he watched/played everything multiple times, which I already know from the start.

Aside from those, I don't have any more complaints. I must admit, despite not being a gamer, this was pretty interesting. However, we just didn't click. I don't feel super compelled by the book, but it was quite enjoyable.

not-for-me stars

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