Greg's Reviews > Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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's review
Oct 05, 2012

liked it
Read in October, 2012

Ridiculously fun read. The momentum on this plot is pretty amazing. It almost self-generates forward movement. The engine of the story is what stands out to me. It's not 100% original, but that doesn't matter to me because Cline does such a good job laying things out. Sometimes Cline gets a bit too into explaining things to the audience, which always stops the momentum dead in its tracks. Exposition is the death of momentum. Do I really need to know all the minutiae? Some of it was interesting and useful, but is it absolutely necessary to explain that Art3mis uses l33t for her username because someone else took Artemis? I don't think so.

I do have some issues with the writing. The characters are not really dynamic enough to make the final theme (harsh reality is always preferable to comfortable delusion) seem anything more than tacked on and shallow. As usual, I question the use of 1st person. So many authors use it, but I don't know why. I think 1st person is the hardest thing to get right and at its best can only give nourishment to a specific group of readers. I know that for me how I see things in the world is not how they always are because people tell me that all the time, also I'm partially color blind so there is that. I just think people tend to use 1st person as a crutch because they think the reader is more likely to "like" the story if they know what the narrator is thinking. But to appeal to the broadest audience, I think authors tend to sandblast the viewpoint character into flat, blandness. A 1st person narrator can't help but be an unreliable narrator. The successful 1st person novel is the one that remembers that. Everyone else should use 3rd person limited.
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