May 20, 2013

Review: Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by: Ernest Cline (2011)
Publisher: Crown
374 pages
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Source: This book was given to me by a family member.
Goodreads Summary: It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

My Review

Ready Player One rocked my world. It took me on an epic adventure that I wish would have never ended. I continually wanted to hit myself over the head for waiting so long to read this. I know this book centers around video games, but I’m telling you right now that you don’t have to be a die-hard gamer to enjoy Ready Player One. It actually made me want to play video games. My husband is a big gamer and I know he will love this book. Also, the book made me realize that video games to Wade, the main character, are like books to me, a chance to escape the real world, and my husband is ever grateful that I understand that connection better now. 

I will do the best I can to give this book the amount of praise it deserves, but I'm telling you it's going to be hard, because this book was geek heaven, and I never wanted to put it down. If this review starts to become a jumbled mess of excitedness I apologize. I did my best. I suggest you read the synopsis above before the review in case you skipped it, there is way too much going on in this novel and it is way too complex for me to explain it all well, but the synopsis can give you a brief idea of what you need to know.

Wade, a teenager who got a bad hand in life and does the best he can with what he has, was and will forever be one of my favorite literary characters. I rooted for him to win Halliday’s game.  I mean I think I actually cheered for him out loud a couple of times. I never once gave up hope. Ernest also did an amazing job at creating a life-like character that is not only easy to relate to, but that actually has realistic and interesting character development throughout the novel.

Are you seeking action, adventure, a few laughs, and a good puzzle? Ready Player One has it all, filled with such great descriptions that sometimes I actually felt like I too was in the OASIS, the video game that has pretty much taken over society. (I pictured OASIS as a bigger and better real-life version of SIMS. You really have to read the book to really understand how cool it is.) Ernest did an outstanding job all around with this novel, and his world building of the OASIS and beyond was way outside the realm of anything I could have imagined, it was pretty much done with perfection. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book.  Reading this book was a roller coaster ride. There were quite a few twist and turns that I never saw coming, moments that had me screaming in rage at the book, always cheering on the good guys and not the horrible corporation, yes of course there is one of those. Not to mention that behind all the awesomeness this book has to offer, there is an important message about the internet and technology and how they are taking over and pushing people to be disconnected from the real world to a crazy degree. Surprisingly and yet not so surprisingly I could see this actually happening sometime in the near-ish future. 

I had only two tiny problems with this book and this is why I only gave Ready Player One 4.5/5 stars. There was a slight lull in the novel where I was bored, but don’t worry that only lasted about 30 pages toward the middle, I easily climbed that hurtle. Second, there were times where I felt like some things were described too much, such as pounding an 80’s reference over your head to make sure you understood exactly what Wade was talking about, or the couple of times that described a video game technique/idea a little too in depth. Other than that this book was golden.

Do you still need more reasons to read this book? If you are a fan of anything to do with the 80s, whether it be the music, movies, video games or television shows, then this book is for you. There are so many amazing references that had me laughing and that I had to share them with my husband immediately. I just really loved relishing in the geekyness of it all.

This book is for everyone, but especially gamers. Your inner or outer geekyness will enjoy every aspect of Ready Player One. This book will get your palms sweating, your heart racing, and your competitiveness gene will be kicked into high gear. So basically I’m saying that if you haven’t read this book yet then you need to. So let the games begin. Are you ready player one?

RATING 4.5/5 

This book counts towards my TBR pile challenge. Check it out HERE.


  1. Hmm so I'm not a gamer and I don't know if I will get all the 80s jokes but I am convinced nonetheless. You sound so excited about this book that I must give it a try. And I must say that I am excited to see this gaming world, especially if is something like the SIMS. AND I do have my own qualms with the internet/technology so I think I will like to read the message there! Thanks for another great review! :)

    1. I would say to check it out the some time when you are at the library. It is worth a try and if you don't like it you don't have to finish it. :) I'm not a gamer (unless you count Lego Harry Potter video games) and it was still a very enjoyable read.

  2. I have no idea why but I really thought this was a LGBT YA book o_o But it's actually the story of a gamer! I've now bumped it up a notch in my TBR list <3

    1. It is still a young adult book kind of, I mean the kid is 17 I think, but not so much on the LGBT, but that topic does come up. It was a great book!

  3. My husband is into video games too. I don't think his games are as important to him as books are to me since he's a reader too (he came home from work last night and read the new Dan Brown book straight through -- man do I wish I could read that fast!) He seems to go through phases in terms of what he likes to spend his free time on -- books or games. Maybe this book would help me understand the games a bit better...

    I've heard that one of the best things about this book is the 80s references, so I'll have to give it a go sometime!

    1. The 80s references were fantastic. The whole book was just a lot of fun!

      My husband enjoys reading but loves video games more. There are some times when I can read that fast, but I have to be totally into the book. I'm a little jealous of his reading speed myself.

  4. First off, I am a purveyor and owner of Trivial Pursuit - The 80's Edition, so umm, count me in! Also, I am a bona fide nerd and dig video games (of the classic variety) so this book definitely sounds like it's up my alley. The synopsis kinda reminds me of 'Under The Never Sky' in regards to the living via a virtual word mixed with the movie 'Gamer.' And I liked both, so yeah. I think we're good here. :)

    1. Oh my friend, then you really should read this one. I can't wait to see what you think!

  5. I loved this one when I read it, but I've head such good things about the audiobook, I'm mightily tempted to try it that way as well!

    Marlene Detierro (All Alaska Outdoors Fishing Lodge - Alaska Ptarmigan Hunting)


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