In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying Halliday’s past to unlock the puzzles and win the ultimate prize. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
Ready Player One was a welcome surprise after hearing so much hype about it. Between the world building and the mass of interesting characters I agree that it’s a fantastic read although it does have some issues. I’m usually hesitant about hyped books because what if I don’t like it? but Ready Player One is the kind of book you don’t have to think too much about if you don’t want to and it’s enjoyable to read.
For the first chapter, we’re introduced to Halliday’s Easter Egg Hunt. I especially loved the footnotes here explaining how the gunters were finding hints in each section of the video. The annotations immediately showed me that this quest has been really thought out by Halliday, the gunters and of course Cline himself. The whole set up was extremely detailed and I enjoyed how in depth it went.
All of the references to the 80’s obviously set up this book full of nostalgia. But it did feel slightly overwhelming at times. I was only born in the 90’s so a lot of the references I didn’t understand fully, although some are very prevalent and so I do know. This means that this book is going to age like crazy. It’s already slightly outdated now for the YA audience it’s supposed to be targeting. Ehich is why the film has less references than the book (please correct me if I’m wrong, I haven’t seen the film yet).
The world building is impressive. We have the real world but also a thorough understanding of the OASIS which is a digital world. The OASIS is made up of multiple places from multiple other video games, books, shows etc. So the world building sometimes isn’t Cline, but the way he stitches them all together to create the digital universe for players is brilliant.
The characters are okay. I found that the main focus was the world and quest, so the characters to me weren’t that memorable. I didn’t like the romance at all because Wade seems to be chasing the girl too much even when she tells him no. This is just too reminiscent of guys who often harass and follow you online and you can’t fully get rid of them. Which made the whole thing a little bit darker than what it was meant to be like.
+ World Building
– Overwhelming references
– Romantic plot felt creepy