Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Armada Paperback – August 1, 2005
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
For one, the blatant rip off of ideas from "Ender's Game" made me cringe as I consider this book to be a much less engrossing and developed adventure than Orson Scott Card's classic. I understand the concept of paying tribute and drawing inspiration from previous works, but Armada takes ideas from great works of science fiction and then inserts cheesy, one-dimensional, and predictable characters into its storyline.
Speaking of characters, the protagonist is just so darn unlikeable, that I can't stand it! An angry-at-the-world, oppositional defiant, geeked out gamer with daddy issues has got to be one of the most unappealing hodgepodge of character traits you can place into a protagonist. Sometimes a story can be saved by really well developed supporting characters, but there are none to be found in this book. There are so many one-dimensional archetypes in this book that it was impossible to develop an attachment to any character whatsoever. All the love interests are completely forced and the romantic dialogue (and I'm being generous by calling it "romantic") sounds like stuff you would read in cheap Valentines Day cards. Heck, the old school "do you like me, check yes or no" is more romantic than any love scene this book has to offer.
Another area of insult to me was in dealing with the military rank structure as portrayed in this book.Read more ›
Armada’s only subversion is the way that Cline bucks against the works of sci-fi greats by only using tired character stereotypes to populate the story. Everyone is flat, unendearing, and so painfully boring as to make Wade Watts from Ready Player One look like Daniel Plainview from There Will be Blood. The inter-character dialog is so simplistic and unrealistic that it could almost be mistaken for satire. There are a few moments where it almost seems natural but the vast majority comes off as childish.
Nor it here anything in the least that qualifies as thrilling. There’s no suspense as major events and twists are literally mused over chapters in advance of when they actually happen. Not once, not twice, but three times with every major plot point. Not to mention Cline constantly references the stories Armada takes inspiration from with a wink wink, nudge nudge.
Cline also managed to take the multitude of references peppered though RPO and remove any meaning or plot importance. They’re now merely shoehorned side notes that overwhelm with the blunt force of a hammer. Many of these references come in twos, a single sentence where the the subject is compared to two separate pop culture references at the same time.
After enjoying Ready Player One several times it's heartbreaking to see how badly Armada missed the mark.
Ready Player One was original and inventive. Armada is neither, and it is very predictable. It’s so predictable that I thought it would surely end in another way, as the author points us so strongly in the direction of the predicted ending. Plot points along the way were also predictable, and Armada falls back on tired clichés (like the school bully accompanied by his two “big and dumb” thugs).
I totally bought into the world of Ready Player One. I can fully imagine our world disintegrating into the chaos of Ready Player One by 2044. I did not buy into the world of Armada, which is set in 2018. The whole scenario – sentient beings on a moon within our own solar system, a secret plan to prepare all of Earth’s citizens for war through popular culture and video games – did not seem plausible. I felt like I was reading a script for a forgettable alien invasion movie. I did not get caught up in Zack’s world.
Zack was also not nearly as likeable as Wade from Ready Player One, and Zack’s band of compatriots felt clichéd (African-American, check; gay, check; middle-aged, check; Asian, check).
I’m not a gamer, but that bothered me not a bit in Ready Player One. The gaming in Armada is much more focused on one type – “space invader” shooting games. I was bored by the long descriptions of game playing and combat.
The popular culture references in Armada feel forced.Read more ›
Armada tries the same stunt, but it fails horribly. As many others have already noted, it's basically a very light spin on The Last Starfighter. Cline creates an in-universe justification for the rip-off (basically, that The Last Straighter and other sic-fi movies were all attempts to prepare humanity for the events covered in Armada), but it doesn't make the story any less of a rip-off.
But still, Armada's derivativeness (of RPO, tonally, and The Last Starfighter, plot-wise) wouldn't necessarily make Armada a failure, if it had been executed well, or even competently. But it's not. The characters are tissue thin, and the dialogue is horrible. I like the occasional reference to dialogue from Star Wars, Aliens, Star Trek, etc. just fine, but Cline pushes it so far that at times I wondered if he was actively satirizing himself. There are pages where almost every line is a call-out to some sci-fi/fantasy movie or another. It was so over the top that it prevented me from ever thinking these characters might be real people (because nobody talks that way), as opposed to plot devices for Cline to show off more of his geek knowledge.
The female characters -- and I use the word "characters" advisedly -- are particularly awful. There are only two of them, really, and they're both so cliche that, again, it almost feels like a satire of shallow female characters in science fiction. There's Zack's mom, aka Manic Pixie Dream Mom, who is (1) hot; (2) brave; (3) geeky; (4) cool; and (5) utterly devoted to Zack.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed it, but didn't live up to the bar READY PLAYER ONE set for creativity.Published 7 hours ago by C. Martin
I hesitated because I didn't think EC could live up to RP1 but I just finished Armada and I am still in a state of delighted awe and wonder. Read morePublished 13 hours ago by Billy Pilgrim
I really enjoyed the pop culture references. It was fun and full of adventure. Two books written, two books enjoyed. Can't wait for the next one.Published 1 day ago by Joseph B. De Cruz
Just as tropey as the tropey tropes that he's troping on. Needed a better twist ending.Published 1 day ago by B. Norton
Not as good as RPO but a page turner none the less. I'm interested where he'll take this universe next.Published 2 days ago by Cody Micheal Harner
Sometimes the exposition is painfully awkward and the thread of the story seems forcefully moved forward. Compare to Ready Player One, this feels "incomplete"Published 2 days ago by MP
I loved this book! I am a huge Si-Fi fan and this book blew me away! It had lots of adventure, mystery, and action! Read morePublished 3 days ago by RPD
While this novel starts out as any good 80s themed, geek-focused, coming of age story should, it quickly falls to its own references. Read morePublished 4 days ago
disappointing sophomoric effort - nowhere near as original as the authors first work.Published 4 days ago by Michael Brown