Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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My favourite hellogiggles.com writer Rachael Berkey (bookoisseur.tumblr.com) has described this book as the scariest book she’s ever read, so naturally I had to check it out.

The book takes place in the post-apocalyptic 2050s – a time when people spend most of their lives online because the real world is just too close to dystopia. People’s only solace is the pop culture of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s captured in OASIS – an online alternative reality created by a billionaire James Halliday who dies in the prologue. Our protagonist, Wade Watts, is an average American geeky teenager with a superhero name who, like everybody else on the planet, has discovered the joys of OASIS and regularly uses it to escape reality. Almost sounds like paradise for us geeks and nerds, right? That’s the scary part – the book is way too relatable. Although, on the first glance, the idea of OASIS sounds pretty cool (and it is, for the most part), and it is practically a feast for any geek, nerd or a pop culture junkie, or anyone from the early years of Generation Y, the reasons why it had to have been set up hit a bit too close to home – the failed economy, the exhausted natural energy sources, and things like that. Also, the protagonist does literally everything in order to avoid the real world. How many times we ourselves have used social media and games a little too much in order to escape the real world? This book talks about taking escapism to a whole new level.

The driving force behind the plot is the death of the creator of OASIS and the hunt for an Easter Egg of the system, for which a massive sum of money is given as a prize. Spoiler alert – Wade is the one who wins.

This has got to be the best non-YA science fiction novel I have read in years! Of course, I may be biased because I am a massive nerd and the book is full of references to my favourite nerdy things. While these references and the sciencey stuff are the driving force behind the book, it also has hugely relatable diverse characters and a fascinating plot that keeps you glued to the book for hours. I have a feeling it would largely appeal to any Dungeons and Dragons player, any lover of sci-fi shows such as “Firefly” and “Doctor Who”, and, in all fairness, anyone who loves nerdy and geeky things.

My rating is 9/10 – only because I got confused with some gaming terms at one point!

Favourite character:

Art3mis – not only is she named after my favourite mythological character, but she is also, quite simply, awesome – smart, sassy, nerdy, Canadian and relatable. She kinda reminds me of Comic Book Girl 19 – check her out if you love comic books!

Most relatable character:

Wade – the beauty of this character is that he is a completely average person. Well, as average as you can be in the RPO universe. Except he is a total geek and a fanboy (think Rick Castle). I can honestly say that he is every single geek’s spirit animal.

Character who gets the most development:

James Halliday – he may be dead by the start of the book, but his character development is central to the story

Favourite relationship; 

Parzival/Art3mis – and Wade/Samantha by extension

Favourite quote:

I have to say, I am having a hard time picking one – most of this book is quotable! Here is one of my favourites:

 “You’re probably wondering what’s going to happen to you. That’s easy. The same thing is going to happen to you that has happened to every other human being who has ever lived. You’re going to die. We all die. That’s just how it is.”

Dreamcast: 

In all fairness, this would work best as an animated film or a movie with A LOT of CGI.

Wade – Logan Lerman

Art3mis – Jenna-Louise Coleman/Ellen Page

Aech – Carmen Carrera

Nolan Sorrento – Joseph Gordon Levitt

Recommendations:

You might like “Ready Player One” if you liked:

– Anything from the 1980s obviously:

– War of the Worlds, by Herbert Wells:

– Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

(Source of the photo: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12600138-ready-player-one

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