Monday, February 22, 2016
My Thoughts: Ready Player One By Ernest Cline
I have been dying to read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline for ages now! Some of my go-to reader peeps highly recommend this book and I have not really heard anything bad about it. So, in order to convince myself to read it, I added it to my List of Twelve and read it back in January- Finally! Here's the kicker- I am probably in the minority when I tell you, I didn't love this book. That's not to say I didn't like it, I just wasn't blown away by it.
Ready Player One takes place in the future- a future where the world's resources are limited and poverty is everywhere. People have resorted to interacting with one another through the OASIS, a sort of virtual reality- it's actually pretty cool. When the founder of this system dies, he plants an Easter Egg in the game and who ever finds it wins his fortune (which is a crazy amount). Naturally, everyone and anyone has been trying to find this egg, including our protagonist, Wade.
Ready Player One is a fun story. Really- the idea of an quest and an Easter egg was so intriguing. I really enjoyed the challenges and would get totally stressed out when Wade was in the middle of one, or when he was trying to decipher a clue. I was really rooting for him. I loved how obsessed participants of the Oasis were in finding this egg and winning this fortune, that they became scholars of 80's pop culture. It was pretty intense- albeit a little unrealistic- but it was fun none the less.
I also really like the friendships Wade was able to make with some of the other folks who were also hunting. Everyone was very apprehensive of one another and extremely distrustful, so when actual friendships were developed- it was pretty great. There were also some pretty nasty villains who do some pretty terrible things.
But, after all that, why wasn't this book as magical for me as it was for others. Here's the thing- Ready Player One pays homage to the 80's. And yes, I appreciated all the 80's references, but in all honesty, more than half of them were lost on me. I am a child of the 90's and give me anything from that era and we're golden, but the 80's that's a little tougher for me. Therefore, in that sense, I just could not connect with the story. All the references to movies and television shows were not that exciting to me. I wanted to be excited though, cause it's a pretty awesome idea! I want a book like this for my decade.
There were also times that I felt like the story was taking to long to go anywhere- Wade does something about three quarters in that I am not 100% certain was totally necessary for the overall movement of the plot. I found there was a lot of stagnant space, where I was on edge and waiting for something to happen or be revealed and nothing did or it was really slow coming. Now, this maybe just a style of story telling I am not used to, and therefore don't fully appreciate.
Overall, Ready Player One is such and unique and entertaining read that I would recommend this to everyone. I loved the gaming world (and no, you don't need to be a gamer to enjoy this book), I loved the adventure and I loved the quests. I am indeed curious about Cline's other work, Armada. I am pretty sure I will read it some day- soon.
Happy Reading Everyone!