Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

‘Ready Player One’ is set in the future in which the current world has been badly damaged.

In theory, OASIS is just a game but for majority of humanity, it is a virtual utopia which allows them to escape to a world in which anything and everything is possible. The advanced technology allows people to experience millions of planets of the OASIS world through all of their senses and forget the hardships of reality. Once Halliday, the owner of the OASIS, passes away with no heir, his fortune and control of the game is going to be given to the winner of the treasure hunt filled with puzzles based on his obsession with the 80’s.

Just like everyone else, the main character Wade Watts is obsessed with the hunt, Halliday and by default, everything relating to the 80’s – games, movies, music and more. He becomes the first person to stumble across the key to the first puzzle and so we follow his journey across OASIS, aided by fellow virtual reality friends in a quest to find Halliday’s egg.

Ready Player One is a very specific book, it is a pinnacle of geeky/nerdy. Coming into it, I expected a lot of references but this read has blown me away. The author’s knowledge of the 80’s is vast (I assume it’s all correct, I wouldn’t even know if it wasn’t) and unfortunately I couldn’t compete.

On one hand, I was utterly lost as a reader, all the trivia and information were too specific for me. And because there were so many of them, I wasn’t bothered to look them all up.

On the other hand, I just couldn’t help but respect his knowledge. The way the author took all that he knew and managed to come up with a number of puzzles all in relation to it and to one another in a fluid way, was fascinating to read! I only wish I could appreciate it more and not be naturally so oblivious to many references.

For majority of the time, Ready Player One is a fast paced novel which keeps a reader in suspence, wishing to keep on reading. However, you must first get through the unbelievingly monotonous beginning. First 80 pages or so, before Wade finds the first key, is only a background story – of the main character, of the current world and of the OASIS – and it’s a little too much. It got repetitive at times.

Since OASIS is such a big part of Cline’s universe, majority of the story happens in it, about 95%, and it’s perfect. The descriptions of the virtual worlds are detailed and intriguing. However for that small amount of time that the action is taking place outside of the game, it is disappointing and far-fetched. With the technology as advanced as it is in the world to create OASIS, some things that are done in the real world, just seem improbable knowing what we know and it read so.

I enjoyed this read enough, once I got through the first part, it actually became intriguing. Even though I didn’t understand all the references, I liked the treasure hunt part of the story and the characters themselves were relatable and fun. The plot was imaginative and the rivarly between the players and the big corporation added some spiciness and sense of serious rivarly.

I can see why people would and wouldn’t like it, so I’d be careful about recommending it, it may be a big waste of time for some!

Thank you for reading this review! If you’ve read Ready Player One let me know your thoughts on it, down in the comment section!

Until next time, Dream On, Dreamers!

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