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Review: Ready Player One

September 2, 2011

It’s 2044 and the Earth’s in pretty bad shape.  To get away from the harsh realities of life, most people take refuge in OASIS – a virtual reality of sorts.  When James Halliday, one of the founders of OASIS dies, he leaves his fortune to whoever can solve a series of puzzles he coded into the software.

Most of the world tries to solve the puzzles, some as individuals, some as corporations, and others banding together in less formal groups.  People search for solutions for years and when no progress is made, some people begin to think it was all a hoax.  And then, seemingly out of the blue, eighteen year old Wade solves the first puzzle, changing the nature of the game for everyone.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a mixture of science fiction and dystopia with a strong geek factor, so it’s not my usual fare, but I loved it!  I’m not a gamer, but do have a twenty four year old son, so I understood a lot of the gaming references.  I really enjoyed all the flashbacks to the 1980’s and fondly recalled the first computer we ever bought – a Commodore 64 with 64K of memory.

Wade is a wonderful character.  His parents are dead and he lives with an aunt who doesn’t care about him.  He doesn’t have the money to have a well equipped OASIS avatar, but he does have intelligence, determination, and a passion for all things related to James Halliday.  I couldn’t help but root for him because he has such strong values and ethics and is loyal to his friends.  He comes up with a crazy scheme that had me on the edge of my seat and I kept hoping things would work out for him.

Cline does a wonderful job of world building in Ready Player One.  The world felt believable and it was easy for a non-gamer, like me, to understand it.  The book was full of tension and suspense and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.  There were a few twists and turns and things didn’t always go the way I wanted them to but, in the end, I was satisfied.  This book will appeal to gamers and geeks, as well as to those who enjoy action and adventure.

Review copy provided by Crown Publishing. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
37 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2011 6:43 am

    I can’t wait to get to this one — It’s sitting on my stack.

  2. September 2, 2011 6:44 am

    Yes! Seriously, I am loading this on my iPod as I speak. I think it was Alyce that said everyone in the world has to read it. It may go on the list of potential audios that Heather and I will listen to up to Charleston.

  3. September 2, 2011 6:50 am

    I have this one in my pile too. I like that I’ll still be able to understand all of the references given my age!

  4. September 2, 2011 7:31 am

    It’s going on my to-read list right now!

  5. September 2, 2011 7:49 am

    This one sounds like fun. I’m not a gamer either, but I have friends who are, so this sounds like something that I’ll be enjoy (thanks to them :). Glad you reviewed it, because I had no idea what it was about. Sounds like a good read!

  6. September 2, 2011 8:14 am

    I’ve never heard of this book, but it sounds like a fun read!

  7. September 2, 2011 8:58 am

    I want to read this one! I thought it looked good but sci fi is a stretch for me too – but if you said it was good, I bet it is too 🙂

  8. September 2, 2011 8:59 am

    I wouldn’t get the fortune. I’m terrible at solving puzzles especially puzzles like the Rubik’s Cube. My son solved that one more than once.

  9. September 2, 2011 10:11 am

    I’m glad to hear this is easy for nongamers to understand. I tried reading Cary Doctorow’s book about that gold trading game and couldn’t get my head around what the heck it was all about!

  10. September 2, 2011 10:21 am

    This would not be my normal type of book either but you made it sound so appealing.

  11. September 2, 2011 10:34 am

    I am so excited about this book, and want to get the chance to read it! I have also talked it up to my husband and son who think it sounds right up their alley as well. In one way or another, this house is filled with gamers, so this book should be very popular with all of us. Fantastic review, Kathy!

  12. September 2, 2011 11:02 am

    I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this book so much, Kathy! I have it sitting on my night table and hope to start it this weekend. I don’t know much about gaming but I know some about the 80s lol and I’ve read such great reviews of this book that I wanted to give it a try! I’m looking forward to this book even more now! Thank you :o)

  13. September 2, 2011 11:20 am

    This one is new to me, but it sounds great. I’ll be adding this to my wishlist. Great review!

  14. September 2, 2011 11:44 am

    I would never pick this one up but the fact that you enjoyed it makes me reconsider. I do, however, think I will buy this one for my husband because it sounds like something he would love.

  15. September 2, 2011 11:45 am

    I was kind of on the fence about picking this one up. The idea seemed interesting, so I’m glad to see you enjoyed it.

  16. September 2, 2011 12:30 pm

    I’m glad you liked it as much as I did! I was not expecting to, but now it’s one of my favorites of the year. It’s been my go-to recommendation for a the last 2 weeks!

  17. September 2, 2011 12:49 pm

    This sounds interesting, will have to look into reading it.

  18. September 2, 2011 12:50 pm

    Not sure this is something I would read, but glad to know that nongamers can understand it and I’m glad you loved it.

  19. Kirsten permalink
    September 2, 2011 1:14 pm

    I loved this book too! I only put it down long enough to tell anyone who would listen how fun it was.

  20. September 2, 2011 2:24 pm

    I’m not a gamer either, but this does sound like a fun read.

  21. September 2, 2011 2:26 pm

    This is not one that I would usually pick up but your review definitely has me interested!

  22. September 2, 2011 4:45 pm

    Who knows, perhaps 🙂 Sounds different and I do like that

  23. September 2, 2011 6:15 pm

    I was also pretty impressed by how easy it was to read this book even if you aren’t into scifi or gaming. There was a lot of the 80s references that I didn’t quite catch, but the book never dragged because of that. I’m still thinking about this book, weeks later, so it just might be one of the favorite books I’ve ever read this year,.

  24. September 2, 2011 9:22 pm

    I have this book and now I want to read it as soon as I can…

  25. September 2, 2011 9:38 pm

    I just requested a review copy of this one because of Alyce’s gushing about it so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it too. One of my concerns was that I’m not going to get the references but that doesn’t seem to be an impediment from what you say.

  26. September 2, 2011 10:17 pm

    I have seen this book making the rounds and checked to see if my library had it. They do, but that’s as far as I have got so far…

  27. September 2, 2011 11:17 pm

    Sounds like a really good book. I’m not sure I would have picked it up without your review, but now I want to read it.

  28. September 2, 2011 11:58 pm

    i’m not huge on the sci fi and dystopian books either, but my friends are always trying to convince me to join the dark side. i might just have to pick this one up since you enjoyed it and you’re not a sci fi reader either.

  29. September 3, 2011 2:25 am

    I was so excited to see that you liked this one! It was one of my favorite reads so far this year.

  30. September 3, 2011 2:26 am

    I just added thosto my list yesterday. Love all things 80’s/ He grew up in Ohio and was happy to escape so that makes me even more curious.

  31. September 3, 2011 9:13 am

    This is not my usual fare either, but put it on my TBR list. So glad to see that it was a hit for you.

  32. September 3, 2011 12:14 pm

    I could totally see both of my boys loving this one!

  33. September 3, 2011 1:51 pm

    Glad you enjoyed this book. You had me at 80s references + dystopian. I think I may check out the audiobook version since it seems to be well liked. Your review has me more excited to read it!

  34. September 4, 2011 1:05 am

    I just started reading this yesterday. Only a few chapters in but already this is my kind of book.

  35. September 4, 2011 10:13 am

    Commodore 64 – I remember those! It was the biggest thing to hit the times along with having to create DOS commands for those entries on the weary PCs. Great to hear this dystopian adventure got you smack dab in the reading mode, isn’t it fab when you discover something that exceeds your expectations. 🙂

  36. September 5, 2011 1:45 pm

    This one sounds like a read that is right up my alley. I’m going to have to add it to my wish list.

  37. September 7, 2011 1:19 am

    This one sounds like a must read for me, I can’t wait to read it!

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