Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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4.5 stars

I have to admit I don't know the first thing about videogames. The only game I've ever played was StarCraft, a gazillion years ago, and to be honest, I sucked at it. So when this book started with a story about videogames and their creators, I figured I was in serious trouble. However, Cline really took the time to explain OASIS, and he did it in a way that is accessible to everyone, even someone like me. What's more, his descriptions were detailed, but never boring. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Halliday, Morrow and their amazing creation, OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation), which is essentially a way to escape the grim reality.

The OASIS would ultimately change the way people around the world lived, worked, and communicated. It would transform entertainment, social networking, and even global politics. Even though it was initially marketed as a new kind of massively multiplayer online game, the OASIS quickly evolved into a new way of life.

Our story begins when James Halliday, creator of OASIS, dies without an heir. He leaves a short video with instructions for what is basically a treasure hunt. He explains that he has hidden an Easter egg somewhere in OASIS, and that the person who finds it will be the one to inherit everything he owns. He has also hidden three keys that can help hunters in finding the egg. Hundreds of millions of egg hunters (gunters) spend the next five years searching without success.

Our hero, Wade, is a very poor 18-year-old boy, obsessed with Halliday and OASIS. From the day Halliday died, Wade has spent every waking moment trying to learn everything there is to know about OASIS and its creator, convinced that the key to finding the egg lies somewhere in details of Halliday’s life. At one point he even admits he knows more about Halliday than Halliday himself. So it’s no surprise that after five long years, Wade is the one to figure out the location of the copper key and become famous over night. As a result, he suddenly has to face blackmails, betrayals, life-threatening situations and outright attempts of murder.

There’s another gunter close to finding the egg. Her name is Art3mis and she's a girl Parzival (Wade) has had a crush on for the last five years or so. They’ve never met in person and they don’t know each other’s real names, but they soon start running into each other all over OASIS. They’re supposed to be rivals, but Wade just refuses to see it that way.

I wouldn't exactly call Ready Player One dystopian. First of all, the comparison with real dystopian YA novels won't do any favors to this book. I think it would even turn away a part of the intended audience. Second of all, the world described is ugly and hopeless, but not in an exaggerated way, meaning that everything in it can be reasonably expected in the foreseeable future. I'm guessing that the world in 2045. will look very much like the one Ernest Cline described.

I would love to comment on Cline's writing, but I really can’t. His story is so compelling that, after a time, I stopped noticing the actual words and started living everything he wanted me to. In Wade’s words: I quickly lost track of time. I forgot that my avatar was sitting on Halliday’s bedroom and that, in reality, I was sitting in my hideout, huddled near the electric heater, tapping at the empty air in front of me, entering commands on an imaginary keyboard. All of the intervening layers slipped away, and I lost myself in the game within the game.

Ready Player One is an intense, action-packed story. Incredibly enough, it is Ernest Cline’s debut novel. I can’t wait to see what he does next!

Favorite quote:
I watched a lot of YouTube videos of cute geeky girls playing ‘80s cover tunes on ukuleles. Technically, that wasn’t part of my research, but I had a serious cute-geeky-girls-playing-ukuleles fetish that I can neither explain nor defend.
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Reading Progress

June 9, 2011 – Started Reading
June 9, 2011 – Shelved
June 9, 2011 –
page 35
9.36% "I already love this book! It's set in the future and it's about gamers. What's not to like?!"
June 9, 2011 –
page 58
15.51% "Ready Player One is every sci-fi fan's dream! :D"
June 10, 2011 –
page 112
June 10, 2011 –
page 120
32.09% "Oh, great! Now Art3mis found the copper key, too. This should be fun!"
June 11, 2011 –
page 166
June 11, 2011 –
page 225
60.16% "That's right, get up and do something about it!"
June 11, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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jesse Oh My! You're reading it NOW? It's on my to-read list too!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yes! I've just started. I have to say I have a great feeling about it after only a few pages. I've been very lucky with my books lately.

Wendy Darling Really! My ears have just perked up.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I'm not sure you'd like it as much as I did (which is A LOT), but I'm sure you wouldn't be bored! It's very original!!

Wendy Darling I got this one on Monday. :) 4.5 stars means I have to at least check it out!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I'm almost certain you'll love it. There's something about this book... Maybe it's the male POV, maybe the fact that there's no whining. Wade is a great character. A part of me is sad that it's a standalone.

message 7: by j (new) - rated it 5 stars

j i think this is still safely dystopia for now... it is hard to imagine things being quite so bad in just 30 years. but maybe i am being too optimistic.

♥ Unaeve ♥ this has to be great-the theme is so familiar-getting lost with our avatars in virtual worlds..every world of warcraft player like me,will find it familiar hehe.Will definitely give it a try,thx for the great review!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Joel, I partially agree with you. I don't think the world will be that bad 30 years from now. But the technology will advance and something like OASIS will be quite possible.
That being said, it was important to me to point out that Ready Player One is nothing at all like your average YA dystopian novel (Divergent, for example). Come to think about it, I wouldn't exactly call it YA either. Some of those 80's references gave me a headache, and I was born in the 80's.

Olga, I really enjoyed reading this, and, incredibly enough, I enjoyed reviewing it. I hope you will, too.

message 10: by j (new) - rated it 5 stars

j i do disagree about it being YA, which is why i think the book is weird. the plot structure, writing, character situations, message, etc. are all VERY template YA, but the appeal of the book is to people who remember the '80s.

it is strange.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) It is, but it's also perfect for someone like me. I like YA up to a point, but there are times when it seriously annoys me, which is to be expected since I'm not the intended audience. However, it seems to me that most of the YA readers aren't young adults at all, but people born in the 70's and 80's. I think most of them will appreciate this book just as much as you and I did.

message 12: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana I totally missed this review and book. Going to see if it is still available on NG.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) It is, I just saw it this morning. I hope you'll like it. It's very different, I had a great time reading it.

Lamia Maja, your reviews are like magic. They never fail to make me want to read a book. It's a gift!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Haha, thanks so much, sweetheart. :)

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