465 of 546 people found the following review helpful
This is going to be on my best of the year list,
This review is from: Ready Player One (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Brief summary and review, no spoilers.
The year is 2044 and the world is an unpleasant and grim place. Famine and poverty are rampant, and to escape the bleakness of real life most people choose to instead enter the world of OASIS.
Let me explain OASIS - this is a virtual world that is very elaborate and realistic,and it contains multiple planets and landscapes. It was created in main part by a man named James Halliday, the ultimate lonely computer geek, who was obsessed with the 1980's. Halliday died some time before the start of this story but had stated in his will that his vast fortune would go to the person who could find three magical keys hidden in OASIS, pass the portals associated with them, and then find the ultimate prize - the hidden egg. Over the years many people have searched for these magic keys and gates but none have prevailed. Those who search call themselves gunters. Also at play is a villainess corporation called IOI led by a man named Sorrento - who's agents searching for the egg are called Sixers.
The main protagonist of this story is an 18 year old named Wade Watts. Wade lives in abject poverty with his uncaring and cruel aunt. Because Wade's life is so grim, like so many others he spends almost all of his time in OASIS. It's where he goes to school and it's in OASIS where he meets his friends - avatars named Aech and Art3mis. Because everyone he meets via OASIS is an avatar, it's hard for anyone to distinguish friend from foe.
Because of his real world lack of money and help, Wade has few powers and weapons for his avatar (which he named Parzival, a takeoff of Percival the Knight which was already taken.) Even with this disadvantage, because of his intelligence and his obsession with anything Halliday or 80's related he is able to figure out how to find the first key - the copper one, and figures out how to pass that first gate. The race is on, with other gunters and the Sixers in hot pursuit. The future of OASIS is at risk because Sorrento intends to start charging money for the use of OASIS, which would keep so many offline and unable to access it. And this competition poses real life dangers for the players as well.
This is really a quest novel in the grand tradition of great fantasy literature. We have obstacles to overcome and evil-doers to defeat, and "magic," albeit computer generated, along the way.. There is plenty of action in this book and you will be turning the pages eagerly to read what happens next.
One of the (many) things that makes this book so wonderful are all the 80's references, especially to the video games and music and movies that so many of us fondly remember.
Note - don't worry if you weren't or aren't a big video game player or don't remember a lot about the 80's - if you are it might only add to your enjoyment of this novel but anyone can follow along. The story is both innovative and old-fashioned and it should appeal to anyone who loves to lose themselves inside a good novel.
At heart, this is a book for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider or a geek, and for those of us who love to read. I haven't fallen in love with a book like this in a long time and I hope it gets the recognition and readership that it deserves. As an added plus, and without giving away any spoilers, there is an interesting twist of sorts at the end, that poses an ethical dilemma for anyone wielding power over OASIS.
Highly recommended. Just a magical book with a cast of characters that you will really care about. Even though this takes place in the year 2044, the sense of nostalgia and the world created will take you back in time to the way you felt when you were 18. I promise.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 13, 2011 11:49:09 AM PDT
julie downey says:
I love this reviewer.
Posted on Aug 14, 2011 7:05:56 PM PDT
Fiction Librarian says:
I got an advance reading copy for this book and loved every minute of it. Wonderful book.
Posted on Aug 24, 2011 6:26:24 PM PDT
Jack Of Alltrades says:
Love these dystopian novels! Grim future indeed! Reminded me of one I just finished: Sisters Of Glass. Read it? God it was creepy!
Posted on Aug 26, 2011 6:32:11 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 26, 2011 6:47:09 AM PDT]
Posted on Sep 4, 2011 7:35:56 PM PDT
C. Hite says:
Great review! Never knew what a geek I was until I read this book and was thrust back into my youth with 2112 on the turntable (generally followed by Hemispheres and Farewell to Kings!)
Would make a superb movie.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2011 9:05:59 AM PDT
It's actually been optioned by Warner Brothers and the author has been hired to write the first draft of the screenplay (he previously wrote the film Fanboys).
It should make a great film if done right.
Posted on Oct 8, 2011 6:53:34 AM PDT
merrell m says:
I found myself humming the Super Mario "victory music" as I read the book on my Ipad. Excellent review. Best book of the year.
Posted on Dec 27, 2011 11:58:19 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jan 2, 2012 11:43:34 AM PST]
Posted on Feb 11, 2012 10:56:47 AM PST
Thanks so much for this review. I especially appreciate that you are able to write what you liked about the book without spoilers! This book is on my TBR list!
Posted on Feb 16, 2012 1:26:11 PM PST
Mara Spaccarelli says:
Love this reviewer as well. Would love to know what best of the year books made the list.