Reading Ready Player One is like stumbling upon the ultimate treasure when you've gone into a hidden dungeon not expecting to find much more than Rupe...moreReading Ready Player One is like stumbling upon the ultimate treasure when you've gone into a hidden dungeon not expecting to find much more than Rupees. This book is an addiction that I couldn't put down. The opening line snagged me, the first chapter reeled me in, the whole of the book entranced me. I have recommended this book to dozen's of people. I'll continue to recommend it because it is THAT GOOD.
In Ready Player One the world has become obsessed with every aspect of the 1980's in order to find a treasure hidden in the virtual world known as the OASIS. The OASIS began as a massive multiplayer online game that morphed into the global virtual network where the world works, lives, and learns. The richest man in the world and the creator of OASIS, James Halliday, has died. In his will he bequeaths his fortune to the first person who can locate the "Easter Egg" he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS. The catch? First they have to find the three keys, copper, jade, and crystal, based on a clue that Halliday sent out in a "last will and testimony" video to every user on the OASIS. A clue full of 1980's references from pop songs to television shows to video games. Instantly the world becomes obsessed with finding the keys to the fortune. Egg Hunters, or "Gunters" as they call themselves, have been searching for Halliday's treasure for five years.
The main character in Ready Player One is an out of shape high school student named Wade Watts who goes by Parzival in the world of OASIS. He lives in one of the trailer towers on the edge of a dwindling city in a rapidly dying world. Resources have been used up, employment revolves around the OASIS, with only a few coveted "real" jobs being available. People live of stipends and electrical usage. Like so many others, Parzival only feels alive when he's jacked into the OASIS. He is a self proclaimed Gunter, who has been looking for Halliday's treasure since he was a boy by studying the puzzles hidden within the digital world and the pop culture references of decades past. In his final year of high school the unthinkable happens, Parzival finds the first key.
Suddenly a scoreboard that has remained blank, but still watched by the world, shows Parzival's name in the number one slot. From here on out the race is on! Parzival finds himself the target of the IOI, players called Sixers, players willing to kill, not only his avatar, but his real life body to take the richest prize in the world. Parzival has uneasy alias in Aech, Art3mis, Daito, and Shoto. When things start to go bad Wade will have to come to terms with the reality he has been so desperate to escape from, but can he come out a victor? Or will he parish now that the Sixers and other Gunters are following his trail?
Yes, this book is based heavily on 80's pop culture references and virtual reality terms, but at it's heart this book is about people. Characters who are alone and searching for something more than themselves. This book is amazing. It is a twisted bit of storytelling that will entrance you and make you want more. Read it. Don't be surprise if you end up reading it two, three, or four more times just because you don't want to leave the world Mr. Cline has created. (less)
Armed & Magical is the second book in Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares series. Very little time has passed since the events of Magic Lost, Trouble Fou...moreArmed & Magical is the second book in Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares series. Very little time has passed since the events of Magic Lost, Trouble Found, Raine is now a "guest" of Mychael, a Paladin for the Conclave Guardians, on the Isle of Mid, home to the prestigious sorcery school and the Conclave of Sorcerers. Along for the ride, mainly because he insisted, is Raine's cousin, Phealan, a renowned pirate or as he prefers a seafaring businessman.
The reason Raine is a guest of the Conclave is a little, messy. After her and Quentin stole an amulet, she put it on, inadvertently linking her should with the ancient relic. She later learned that the amulet was the famed Saghred, a stone with cataclysmic powers and the ability to swallow souls. Those souls aren't lost either, they are taking up residence in Raine's head. She can't sever the connection because nobody knows how, which is why the Conclave is trying to figure it out.
Raine just wants her old life back and to protect her friends, but now lives are at stake, goblins are threatening to sue, mages are getting greedier, and the stone’s power is getting stronger by the hour. Raine's life is about to get messier. It's doesn't help when she finds out her former employer and one hot goblin, Tam, has shown up in Mid with his own agenda and she's making more enemies in the Conclave while blundering around. She even manages to entangle Piaras, the most promising student spellsinger since the Paladin Mychael, in her mad quest and evasion of the bad guys who are out to get her. Can she fix what's broken and save everyones lives? We'll see.
Did I love this book? Yes. Does it have flaws? Yes. Was it still fun despite these flaws? Hell, yes! This series is fun and crazy, not to serious but still adventurous. (less)
Talking with my fellow book lovers, I kept saying I wanted a fantasy that was light-hearted and fun but still an adventure. I've read plenty of Tolkei...moreTalking with my fellow book lovers, I kept saying I wanted a fantasy that was light-hearted and fun but still an adventure. I've read plenty of Tolkein, Brooks, and Eddings with their dire predictions, dark worlds, and stoic characters. Very few fantasy adventures are fun, even a little bit silly. Lisa Shearin gives readers a rollicking fun adventure with a heroine who doesn't take herself to seriously, but still gets things done!
Raine Benares is many things, an elf, a low level sorcerer, a seeker, and a magnet for trouble. Her friend, Quentin, comes to her for assistant in locating an amulet he's been hired to steal. Of course when she finds the amulet, it's hidden inside the house of the strongest necromancer in the area. Worried about Quentin, she follows him when he steals the amulet. It's a good thing she does because some unsavory characters are also trying to steal the amulet and they don't care if Quentin lives or dies just as long as they leave with the amulet. Raine steps in and save Quentin, then ends up with the two of them running from goblins, elves, and humans.
Frustrated with Quentin's ineptitude, Raine insists that he hand over the amulet for safekeeping, and that's when things start to go a little sideways. Suddenly Raine's gifts have increased beyond her limited abilities. And the amulet? It just happens to be a one of a kind relic that everyone wants to get their hands on, both good and bad. Can Raine and Quentin stay ahead of everyone until she can figure out what to do? Read on to find out.
Lisa Shearin has a lot of characters playing ball with Raine. When authors do this, I often find it confusing, but Ms. Shearin defines each of her characters and gives them a solid backstory, even if we're only given the surface of each person's story. I had fun with this book and I'm looking forward to picking up the rest of the series.(less)
I was in the mood for a bit of light-hearted smut. Nothing fancy, no long drawn out "love" story, just a bit of smutt. Georgette St. Clair was recomme...moreI was in the mood for a bit of light-hearted smut. Nothing fancy, no long drawn out "love" story, just a bit of smutt. Georgette St. Clair was recommended to me by a friend. She is one of the many authors who publish works under the BBW or big beautiful women series. I Married A Warlock was just what I wanted, nothing to deep, short enough to read in one sitting, and had a believable world.
Reading it, I found it more realistic than I expected, mostly because I empathized with the the main character, Fiona, a plus sized witch who is constantly being picked on and degraded by her mother for not being "marrying material" even though she is a successful earth witch who owns her own business. When her magic school crush, Erik who's now a police enforcer, returns and asks her to assist him on a case. She agrees and finds herself in a whole new world.
Rather than try to give you a synopsis of the novella, I'm just going to leave you with the teaser description from the book: "Every witch in Twin River City is eagerly primping for the annual Crystal Ball, where they will have a chance to be claimed by a warlock – except for Big Beautiful Witch Fiona, of course. The one warlock she yearns for, the sinfully sexy Enforcer Erik Bloodstone, would never claim a chubby girl like her – would he? He’s been flirting with her for years, but she knows it’s in jest – which makes it sting all the more.
To make matters worse, he’s investigating a series of warehouse thefts in her rundown neighborhood, so she can never get away from him and give her aching heart a break.
As Erik and Fiona grow closer, she comes to realize he may be leading a double life – and leading her on. Will the night of the Crystal Ball finally reveal the truth about Erik and his mysterious plans – and will the truth break her heart?"(less)