Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Book: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 
For: Fun
From: first the library, then we bought it at B and N

The premise of this book sounded so intriguing! And one that I figured I'd probably love, so I managed to get it from the library, despite its popularity. However, since I didn't finish it in time, we ended up buying it because it came out in paperback AND because I hoped my son would end up reading it. More on that later.

So, the story is about this kid who is playing a video game. In fact, his life is basically a video game. It's set in the not so distant future where some genius reclusive video gamer has created a sort of internet that is much much more "real" than what we know today. The world of this time is falling apart and is a really really bad place, so most people log into this connection (called The Oasis) and live most of their lives there.

One day, the guy dies, and has no one to leave all his fortune to, so he has hidden an Easter Egg for the world to find, and everyone jumps into the game with a frenzy. Our hero, Wade, is no exception and because of his cleverness, he manages to do quite well!

In fact, the whole book is his adventure with this Easter egg hunt and all the perils and trauma that goes with it.

The fun thing about this book is the sort of computer and pop culture history that is mixed up in it. The creator of the game (and also the author of the book I'm sure) is fascinated with the 80's time period. So there's much talk about movies, books, music, computers and video games from those years. Of course, being an 80s child myself, this was pretty cool.... if a bit over the top.

However, that being said, I did find some of the detailed gaming descriptions to be a bit over my head. This book is definitely written for an audience that is very much into video games, something I've not bothered with much. So that stuff was a little bit yawn worthy.

Also, I think there's quite an agenda being pushed throughout, but in my anxiousness to just get to the story, I was able to skim over and dismiss most of all that stuff. The writing wasn't the best either, sorry to say.

In the end, I gave it four stars because it was fun and unique, but I was wishing for a 3 1/2 star choice because I sometimes just liked it and sometimes really liked it.

About the time I got my hands on this book, we learned the author decided to have a real life contest simiilar to the one in the book, with the prize being a Delorian car. My son (age 17) jumped on this band wagon and figured out how to clear the first gate without any problem! The next gate opens on July 1 and then the third on August 1. I think he will be right there trying his hand at it! BUT... I still hope he reads this book, it being right up his alley. So far, he's only about 1/4 of the way in. I'm thinking that he might just have to read it  in order to "know" things for the contest! We'll see I guess how that goes.

Bottom line: I liked it... sometimes even a lot! :)

Other Reviews:

Alison's Book Marks
Devourer of Books
Leeswamme's Blog
Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity
The Written World

P.S. Everyone is raving about the audio book, I think mostly because Wil Wheaton narrates!

Interview with the author... pretty interesting:


  1. Wow, I am not sure what to make of the cover... Very different from the edition I read!

    1. Kailana: Yeah, it's the paper back edition, the one we bought. It shows the stacks of trailers, pretty wild looking.

  2. I just can't decided if I want to read it now! I have it on my TBR list but some of the things you mention have me worried. Sigh!

    1. Jenny: Don't worry, you should still read it sometime.

  3. I am hearing about this book everywhere. I must get my hands on a copy and check it out for myself. Thanks for the review!

  4. I agree with your gaming point -- I'm not a gamer, so a lot of that I didn't quite get. However, not being a gamer, I still really enjoyed the book and think the audio was pretty amazing. Wil Wheaton was a great narrator!

    Great review!

    1. Reading: I do agree that non gamers will enjoy it, but I'm not sure about non geeky people... hmmmm....

  5. I think I'm going to take this one on vacation with me. I'm thinking that my 24yo son who has been a big gamer might like it even more than me from your description.



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