Title: Ready Player One
Author : Ernest Cline
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Publication Date: 08/16/11
Dates Read: 12/16/17 – 12/22/17
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
“No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful.”
It’s the year 2044 and Wade Watts, like the rest of the world, has hidden himself away inside of OASIS, a virtual reality video game. The world as we know it has fallen, and the high levels of poverty and energy crisis has made travel out of the question for most families and individuals. But through the eyes of their virtual identities within OASIS, people are able to immerse themselves into a world where the possibilities are endless–they can do anything, go anywhere, be anyone.
When the creator of the OASIS, James Donovan Holliday, dies, a mysterious and captivating video surfaces on his website, serving as his last will and testament. Holliday has left behind his entire OASIS empire and fortune to the lucky player who can decipher all of his clues and locate the Easter egg that he has left behind for them. However, this was not an easy task–a multi-billion dollar inheritance requires layers upon layer of secrecy and security. Wade Watts is one of the “gunters” (professional egg hunters)–whenever he isn’t attending virtual school, he is studying every facet of Holliday’s life and searching for clues that will lead him to the location of the egg.
Ready Player One takes readers on a journey with Wade, better known as Parzival in the world of OASIS, on his ride to the top of the leader board. Twists and turns around every corner, Wade encounters friendships, love, conspiracy, riddles, violence, and even death. This is way more than “just a game”.
I absolutely loved this novel and without the recommendations of the bookstagram/Goodreads communities, I don’t think I would have ever picked it up. I have never been a ‘gamer’–maybe a little Sims when I was younger, a little Life is Strange here and there now–but video games have just never been my ‘thing’.
So what could a “gamer book” have to offer me??
I’ll tell you what it had to offer. Everything.
This novel is about so much more than a virtual reality video game. The author uses beautifully constructed compositions of words….
“Whenever I saw the sun, I reminded myself that I was looking
at a star. One of over a hundred billion in our galaxy. A galaxy
that was just one of billions of other galaxies in the observable
universe. This helped me keep things in perspective.”
Cline is a plethora of seemingly-useless knowledge about the pop culture, video games, art, movies, etc. of the 80’s. Useless unless you are writing a kick ass novel that pertains to it, that is. I love when I can see the knowledge and research that an author put into their work just effortlessly spill out onto the pages of their writing. I admired that so much about one of my recent reads, The Martian, and it was really awesome to see this knowledge in the form of 80’s culture in Ready Player One.
Another great thing this title had to offer–there was the perfect touch of fun, realistic, not-“insta-love”, romance. Art3mis, Wade’s competition and love interest, is an awesome, bad ass female character and I enjoyed reading their banter and watching their relationship grow.
“A river of words flowed between us.”
Lastly, this book had many themes and discussion starters to offer that a middle school teacher like myself could really appreciate. Economy, environment, socioeconomics, technology, gender equality, racial equality, sexual equality… I could go on and on. So many little things happened in the novel that made me stop and think… wow, I could really shape a great discussion out of this scene. To me, that makes a novel.
If you haven’t read it, read it.
If you have read it, stick it on the shelf to reread later.
And if you love it, share it with someone you know.
You don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy playing.