Book Review- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Only I could get a parking ticket on my first day. Seriously. I can’t make this up. Metered parking is the devil, and those who enforce it are its minions. So, I get to pay $30 for my time today, and have a great story to tell.

Other than that my time at the Library this morning was fairly routine. I got to sit in on a staff meeting, then I filled out the mountain of paperwork that comes with being a new hire. And then I was regaled by tales of the Circulation Desk. I expect this job to be entertaining, and probably stressful.

In other news, I came across THIS last night:

OhmygodIcan'twaitforOctober!

OhmygodIcan’twaitforOctober!

October 6th is the scheduled release date, and I’ve already marked my calendar! The amount of squealing at midnight last night was just preposterous. I don’t even care, I am counting down to this book.

Speaking of books, I’m pretty sure I promised a book review sometime this week…

Spoilers!

readyplayerone

I had some really high expectations of Ready Player One. Trevor read it in about two days and loved it. But, I had a really hard time with the first 70 pages or so. Cline spent a large amount of time building the world, which he had double duty for, since there’s both the real world and a virtual world in the book. And, if you’re not up on your nerd culture, I think you’d need every minute of it.

But when you’re me, rocking Doctor Who and Kingdom Hearts tattoos, you don’t need a ton of explanation. It made the opening of the book pretty boring for me, since he had to explain what a Firefly class vessel was, and immediately mentioned an area of OASIS called the Whedonverse afterward. I don’t need you to tell me about any of those things. I know a ton already.

If he had explained the Holodeck, I would have put the book down.

But, Trevor kept telling me to wade through, that it would pick up. And right about chapter 7 the books cranks things up.

So, the premise is sort of a virtual reality Willy Wonka. Super rich video game programmer dies, and creates an in-game puzzle to decide his heir. It’s been 5ish years since his death and no one has found the first key. Until Wade Watts, aka Parzival, finds it on his school’s planet.

From there it’s a wild ride of nerdom, with riddles and clues buried deep within retro movies, games, music, and books. The book has a serious love affair with all things 80s, which really, who doesn’t?

But, it’s not all fun and games. There’s a corporation who will stop at nothing to win the contest. Including killing off gamers who come too close. Suddenly it’s a life and death scenario, and Wade is the largest target.

Add in a love interest who happens to be competition (and a totally badass female), and the perfect smartass best friend, and the cast becomes entirely too loveable. Even side characters, who aren’t around that much, have something that endears them to you. One such character dies, in real life, and I had to pause my reading I was so stricken.

(Speaking of stricken, I literally just found out that Leonard Nimoy has passed. Please observe this moment of silence.)

Spock Nimoy Nimoy2

Farewell, Mr. Spock.

Farewell, Mr. Spock.

Ahem… excuse me while I wipe away the tears. Now then, the characters in Ready Player One are just great. They’re funny, witty, and imperfect. They feel real, even though you know they’re just an avatar, that they could be a false representation. You know these people, and they’re awesome.

The setting in Ready Player One is unique in that it constantly changes. The OASIS is an endless virtual reality. You want to go play in Sunnydale and stake vampires with Mr. Pointy? You can do that! Wanna relive your favorite arcade games? There’s a planet for that! Wanna go to an outrageous Zero G dance club, where the floor revolves, everyone floats and an epic Wizard wields the turn table? Oh hell yeah! You can do that!

But, the real world is much less awesome. The real world is more or less destroyed. Indentured servitude is back with a vengeance, and most people work grueling hours at manual labor to be able to afford sharing a tiny trailer with two other families.

But, it’s the characters and the contest that really blew me away. This book is like equal parts Willy Wonka, The Matrix, and Indiana Jones. And I don’t care who you are, there’s no way that’s a bad combo!

Dreamers of Dreams

Dreamers of Dreams

"There's a bomb on the bus..." Wait, wrong movie.

“There’s a bomb on the bus…” Wait, wrong movie.

I'm just gonna leave this here...

I’m just gonna leave this here…

So, in short, this book was fantastic. It had great world building, if a little slow for my taste. It was just jam-packed with nerd culture, and had me laughing out loud with every page. The characters weren’t just believable. They were loveable, I wanted to be their friend. And the story line, with all it’s riddles and clues was extremely satisfying.

So, if you’re feeling like a quick read that will have you laughing and feeling nostalgic, I’d give Ready Player One a shot!

I’ll see you soon Blogland, when I finally talk about Writing Excuses 10.6!

BZ

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