Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ready Player One (2011), written by Ernest Cline, is on the bestseller’s lists in over 58 countries. The science fiction novel is set in the year 2045 but revolves around everything 1980’s. Much of the story takes place in the OASIS, a virtual reality gaming system. The creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, hid an Easter egg containing his massive fortune inside the game. The story is about a young man named Wade Watts (or his avatar, Parzival) and his quest to find the hidden egg before the evil Sixers.
For one, I did not read this book— I listened to it. I am a huge fan of Audible and podcasts since I can listen to them all day while I’m at work. One of the best things about listening to Ready Player One (besides the fact that I could listen to it for hours every day and finish it in under a week) was that it was read by Wil Wheaton. That was the icing on the cake to the extreme nerdiness of this book. The book is broken into levels with chapters inside them which gives the book a more gaming feel to it. Right from the beginning, I was hooked by the different way that Wade lived and how the world had changed. Although you do not have to be into the eighties to appreciate this novel, it would have been more exciting to me if I could actually relate to half the things that Cline brought into the book. I became the most excited when Monty Python and the Holy Grail came into play and I wish I could’ve loved every part of the book as much as that scene. But once again, I could still enjoy this novel without knowing all the games and references Cline incorporates. If you would like to experience R2D2 as a DJ, then you will like Ready Player One.
For as much as I enjoyed listening to this novel, I did compile a handful of complaints in my notes. One, some things seemed too easy or convenient for the story. Everything lined up too perfectly, especially for Wade. Even when something would go wrong, there was a quick solution to the problem. Second, the dialogue came off as forced in a couple of conversations. It just seemed corny and fake but that’s only a couple of times and maybe it’s not as noticeable when reading the book. Third, and this one may be a bit of a spoiler so skip on to the next paragraph if you can, but the battle that the novel has been leading up to in the end didn’t really do it for me. The author had so much imagination at his fingertips and I think he fell short. Also, Wade should have felt more emotion in that moment. He did not have to stay and fight and it comes off as almost pointless, even though it was meant to be heroic and revengeful. And lastly, after Wade has played so many games, by the end of the novel I don’t need the games and movies described to me in a bunch of tedious hints. If the character is so well versed in eighties games and movies, then he should just blurt out what game he’s in rather than taking so long to figure it out.
With all that being said, I did still give the novel 5 stars on Goodreads. I really did like it! I could easily picture the story and became completely immersed in it for a week. I had to take breaks from listening to bring myself back into the real world on occasion. In preparation to write this review, I went onto Cline’s website. It’s very nerdy and has a lot of information on there about the book and everything else he is doing. If you read and enjoyed Ready Player One I recommend perusing his website: ernestcline.com/. I have not seen the movie version of Ready Player One but I have heard only great things. If you have seen it, or have something to add, please comment below!