Maggie's Reviews > Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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's review
Jul 08, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012, book-club, notable-asian-character
Read from July 08 to 16, 2012

Note to VH1: No one loves the 80s as much as YA authors. This is the 3rd book I've read this year set in the 80s, and it's BY FAR the most comprehensive.

This may end up being one of those "on the other hand" reviews where I seemingly have 3 hands and keep contradicting myself because while I enjoyed the book, I also had issues with it.

Good hand: The premise was intriguing and grabbed my attention immediately. A virtual scavenger hunt for billions of dollars based on a rich man's love of the 80s? I'm game! Bonus points for keeping my attention in audiobook form. I've listened to exactly one audiobook in full before -- Finnikin of the Rock -- which had 3 things working for it: 1) It had an Australian narrator, 2) I'd read the book before, and 3) Hello, it's Melina Marchetta. None of those factors were in play for Ready Player One, and since I'm more of a visual person, I worried about how much of the story I would be able to retain without reading it. I actually didn't have any problem understanding or retaining the story because...

Bad hand: ...the beginning was really repetitive. I started this while stuck in my car for hours and at one point, I checked to make sure I hadn't accidentally hit the back button on my iPod because he was saying the same. thing. I think part of the reason may have been to make sure the audience understood this virtual world but the thing is...

Ugly hand: ...the world Ernest Cline is describing isn't SO incomprehensible or wildly imaginative. It's a few steps beyond our current reality, but nothing I can't easily wrap my brain around. I think many readers would say that this is a good thing, but when I read sci-fi, which isn't often, I want to be wowed and blown away. For example, I loved 1984 . I loved that it was the world as George Orwell saw it in 1948. Ready Player One is looking at 1984... from 2012. A lot of the world building felt tedious because we don't need all that explanation in 2012. We're already there. It's like when I read articles in the New York Times last year explaining Twitter. Gee, thanks for the tutorial 20,000 tweets in.

Still, the story made me curious enough to stick around for all FIFTEEN+ HOURS of the audiobook, and I'm definitely not the target demographic. The Comic-Con crowd would probably eat this book up. I went to Comic-Con with my friend and when we saw Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, our reaction was,
"Eric from Days of Our Lives!"
"And Dean from Gilmore Girls!"
"What are they doing here?"
Wil Wheaton as the narrator was great, except for when he went into his Asian voice for Shoto. Um, why? He didn't suddenly make his voice higher for the female characters so I don't get why he went all Joy Luck Club for Shoto.

Ready Player One was an intriguing concept that lost its novelty for me partway through, but one that I had to finish nonetheless.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

This review appears on Young Adult Anonymous.
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28.0% "I finally started an audiobook! All it took was Sunday Vegas-to-LA traffic + 114˚ heat." 3 comments
51.0% "Stop thinking with your dumbstick, Wade.

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

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Reev Robledo I don't get why he went all Joy Luck Club for Shoto. Now I want to hear the audiobook.

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