Many of you may have a copy of Ready Player One. Many of you may have even gotten said copy via LootCrate this year. For those who don’t, you really really really need to read this book. I only recently had the time to read something other than comic and textbooks, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel so fast (two days, with a day off in between so a friend could catch up). Usually the urge to never want a book to end trumps the urge to plow through it, but this time I was just dying to know what happens next.
I’ll try to remain somewhat vague, but this review will still contain spoilers.
Ready Player One can best be described as the ultimate geek “rags to riches” story.
I’d put the target audience at 80s or 90s kids and older, as it is indeed chock full to bursting with 80s references. I don’t think it’s suitable for anyone in their lower teens and younger, if for no other reason than it might not hold their interest and there’s some adult content.
It started off the way I kinda thought it would, in a way many futuristic stories have before. The creator of the ultimate VR MMO dies and triggers *insert events set by creator, unknown to anyone till now*. But after that, it’s a wild ride through some of my childhood I could never have predicted! The best part is, it’s all relatively plausible. The state of the world, the tech, the villain of the story – it all sounds like a realistic vision of the future. I must argue, however, that the dates should be tweaked a bit.
Things I really like about the book are the character descriptions, what little there are anyway. We don’t get too much detail about how the characters look, or their avatars, just enough to get a rough idea. I couldn’t really picture any of them in my head that well but I did like the info we were given. They’re not cookie-cutter impossibly perfect looking characters. They have flaws in their appearances, and a couple are at least “curvy” or whatnot. In other words: realistic! Cline also gave us a pretty diverse cast, with a few neat surprises thrown in that I won’t dare spoil here. Granted, some of the diversity felt a bit like it was shoehorned in rather sloppily.
Things that bugged me about the book was, although it flowed quite well, some portions were described in enough detail that I could picture it in my head, some bits described too much where I found myself getting bored and wanting to skim, and other things were given so little detail I couldn’t picture it at all. This is Cline’s first book, however, and this issue didn’t effect the story too much. Another small problem I noticed was that, originally Ready Player One was written (or published) in 2011 but is set mostly in 2044. Almost all the tech being used in 2044, however, is tech that’s already been in use in 2011. For a sci-fi book set in the future, I kinda expected the tech to be more futuristic as well. Do we currently have this VR MMO and haptic suits? Well, no, but since we have all the tech to do it, and have been playing with said tech even in 2011, we should still have surpassed that well by 2044. I guess I just feel that Cline isn’t…well…thinking outside the box.
This book is being made into a movie.
And all I could think while reading it was “How on Earth are they gonna secure ALL THIS LISCENSING!?”
Anyway, while there are a few bumps, I find Ready Player One to be an awesome read and highly recommend it. Can’t wait for the movie!