Friday, 22 April 2016

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Arrow
Pages: 384
Genres: Science-fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian

Ready Player One
It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS - and his massive fortune - will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle.

Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions - and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.
The future dystopian world painted in Ready Player One was so interesting, Earth seems to be dying and it is such a shame that the reader doesn't really learn much more about it. The virtual world of OASIS is humanity's escape from the depressing reality of life in 2044 and that is a future I can honestly envision happening. Hell, sign me up! The world in 2016 isn't the greatest place and I would have loved to have the awesome OASIS education that Wade experienced. Learning about space by being transported to a virtual solar system that looks exactly like the real deal, heck yes! Fabulous virtual world building aside, there are quite a few downsides to this book.

Wade is an annoying protagonist, I just have to say it. He is just brilliant at everything he sets out to do, some of the stuff he does is executed flawlessly because he is a very special snowflake. Very special snowflakes aren't my favourite kind of character to say the least. The romance in this book was just so toe-curling and cringe worthy. Mega ick. I could never forget to include the most irritating thing about the whole book for me, and that was the 1980s. I do not give a flying fudge about the eighties, I did recognise some references but most of the time I was trying to stifle massive yawns. I'm sorry but I honestly do not believe for a second that anything from the eighties was better then everything else that has ever or will exist. Ready Player One is a giant love letter to the eighties and if you enjoy that kind of thing it's the perfect book.

Despite everything that I hated about this book, I still liked it a whole lot. I loved the premise of the ultimate egg hunt and the perfect portrayal of the evil corporation. I just wish there was more detail about the neglected world outside of OASIS and how it got that way. I'm sure the movie will be epic.


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