Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Publisher: Broadway Books
Genre: Science Fiction, YA
>> SPOILERS ARE INCLUDED
James Halliday created the OASIS, a virtual reality world that has been highly integrated into humanity. Before Halliday’s death, he had created three puzzles that upon completion would give the user sole control over the program and his entire fortune. Years has passed when our protagonist, Wade Watts, figures out the first clue. Not only does he have to compete with his fellow gunters, but also stay a step ahead of the Sixers, an organization that participates only with the intentions of gaining the OASIS to earn a profit.
[TLDR: This was a fun read.]
Before I decide to tackle down the books on my bookshelf I had to finish this book first. This was a remnant from last year that I just kept putting back down due to the slow pace near the middle of the book. (Erk. I typically struggle with slow paces especially after a lot of exciting scenes.) This slow pace occurred after Wade got the Jade Key and started feeling lovelorn. Honestly, I would have liked to see more interaction between Wade and Art3mis than just snippets of their virtual time together. I know it’s a small in comparison to the entire plot, but maybe I would have been more sold on Wade’s inexplicable attraction to Art3mis.
The entire concept of massive online really reminded me of the .hack// series, but on a much grander scale. The virtual world, the OASIS, is more widely accepted and used by everyone for their everyday activities. I was expecting this book to comprise of parties forming to finish quests (my mind totally created its own summary of the book) and this was not the case until later on in the story.
There are a lot of 1980s references in the book. While I would like to think that I am well versed this book just proved how lacking my knowledge truly is. Turns out I know mostly nothing of the 1980s. I mostly looked forward to seeing which consoles were being referenced though because that was my only knowledge. (Pathetic I know.) I squealed whenever I found an anime reference too. (Sadly, there was not a lot.) Regardless, I enjoyed this book. Ernest Cline did a good job introducing concepts that played an important part to the story. Such as the concept of hikkomori to better understand Daizo. I actually enjoyed the explanations because they gave me a better understanding of the object. I loved reading how the puzzles were figured out. They were always very interesting and so eccentric. I enjoyed the side quests Wade partook on such as the Pac Man Easter Egg especially during such dire times.
While the first half of the book was a good premise I enjoyed the second half of the book more. There was just more going on and the pace picked up. I especially enjoyed when the top four players came together in real life and online to thwart the Sixers evil agenda. I had enjoyed their banter. This is what I imagined of a massive multiplayer online game. Most people go online in hopes of gaining a human connection with someone else with the same interests. I wouldn’t mind seeing this idea explored upon. The first half did touch upon parties but it was mostly just referenced and the quests were not explored upon. (I nitpick too much.) I did feel bad for Wade whenever he couldn’t go on the extravagant quests due to his limited funds. I found myself being able to relate to him in this aspect; however, I know that he is a more capable online gamer than I will ever be. (I prefer RPGs.)
I do have to mention though. Mechagodzilla!!!! I chuckled a little when I came across this because it really surprised me. When Wade chose his robot I just imagined the typical robots like from the Power Rangers. This was fortified by the Neon Genesis Evangelion reference. Of course, no one is allowing Mechagodzilla to redeem himself except use him for his destructive power.
This book has found a permanent spot on my bookshelf. It is not often where all my interests are put together in a book with a likable plot.
Read in July 2017
Acquired from Amazon