What it is: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a dystopia/sci-fi novel set in the 2040s. The world has become a complete wasteland due to human overconsumption, and people stay sane by escaping to the virtual reality world of the OASIS, created by a man named James Halliday who releases a quest after his death to find his “Easter egg.” The winner inherits his entire massive fortune and control over the OASIS. 18-year-old Wade Watts embarks on this quest, and readers follow his journey through the puzzle as he teams up with other players and fight corporate enemies who want the OASIS for themselves.
What I liked about it: Ready Player One is completely entrancing. It’s not short, and I raced through it over four days. The plot is captivating, Wade’s character is flawed but not pitiful, and the description of the OASIS immerses the reader in that world too.
What I didn’t like about it: I’m a big fan of plot-heavy books, but occasionally I found myself wishing there was more analysis and recollection instead of action action action. The reflection on technology and humanity that Ernest Cline does include, however, is poignant and relates perfectly to our world, as great dystopias do.
Memorable quote: “No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.”
Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Challenge satisfied: #12, read a sci-fi novel.
Additional notes: If you’re at all interested in video games or technology, you absolutely must read this book. The fact that most of the geekiness was lost on me and I still really enjoyed it proves that it’s brilliant. If I could appreciate the nuanced references, I’d be completely obsessed with this book.
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