Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Review: Ready, Player One by Ernest Cline

Genre: Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Random House)
Purchase: Indie Bound

Michelle's Two Cents:
This book came my way from the lovely Tom at Random House. I knew it would be on my list at some point to read but I really thought my husband would like it even more. I've heard rave reviews and even convinced a library co-worker to read it without having read it myself.We are children of the 80s so the subject matter is nostalgic for us.
Here is a description from Goodreads and Sean's review.

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

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?

Sean's Review:
Many dystopian novels share predictable plot devices, and though this one did share a few; I felt the counterpoint of the past and current computer, video, and RPG gaming references set this book apart. This debut novel is a great read, and I think illustrates how the global network, while bringing us closer together, can in fact isolate us from each other in a uniquely 21st century way. I found the characters relatable and endearing, and the banter realistic. A few plot devices seemed unlikely, but the story revolves around a virtual world occupied by normal humans, seeking to live out extraordinary lives. One aspect of the book I enjoyed was how possible this grim future is, and how many of the references are drawn from actual history.
A fun read, I would refer any gamers past or present, computer programmers, or lovers of the '80's in general.

Author Website:

Thanks Sean for taking the time to read and review this!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Jen said...

I've got this book on a tbr list for an upcoming book group read and can't wait. Nice review!

Siobian said...

I loved this book even though I'm not a huge gamer. The 80's references and the story line made it so worthwhile. Thanks for the awesome review!

Jenny said...

Without bloggers I never would have considered reading this, but I'm definitely considering it (for audio). Sounds good!