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Armada: A Novel Hardcover – July 14, 2015

3.4 out of 5 stars 1,714 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A thrilling coming-of-age story.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Nerd-gasmic…another science fiction tale with a Comic-Con's worth of pop-culture shout-outs.”
--Rolling Stone

“An amazing novel [that] proves Cline has the ability to blend popular culture with exciting stories that appeal to everyone.”
—Associated Press

“Mixes Star WarsThe Last StarfighterIndependence Day and a really gnarly round of Space Invaders into a tasty sci-fi stew.”
—USA Today
 
“A fantastic second novel…fans of Ready Player One, it is time to rejoice.”
—Huffington Post
 
“A joyous, rollicking read…will garner Cline an even larger group of fans than the formidable crew he’s already assembled.”
—Boing Boing
 
“A great romp…Cline (ever the fanboy) is both reverent of and referential to the books and movies and games of his childhood.”
—Mother Jones

“Video games come to life in this witty, extraterrestrial thriller.”
New York Post

“Built like a summer blockbuster…Cline recombines the DNA of Ender’s GameStar WarsThe Last Starfighter, and old-school arcade games like Asteroids into something that’s both familiar and unpredictable. It’s a mutant homage to sci-fi tropes past.”
Gawker

"Hugely entertaining…a paean to the videogames of a bygone era, and like Ready Player One it is a tremendous amount of fun for anyone who remembers that time and played those games." 
–George R.R. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Game of Thrones

"A novel so fun, you'll want to reboot it and read it again…the best novel this gamer geek has read in a long, long time."
Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool

"Those conspiracies you imagined when you were fourteen turn out to be true in this masterful tale of Earth's desperate struggle against a powerful alien foe."
—Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian

"Armada proves Ernie Cline is the modern master of wish fulfillment literature - and of reminding us to be careful what we wish for."
John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling author of Old Man’s War

“With another winning teen protagonist in Zach, Cline mines the nostalgia and geek spheres just as successfully as he did in his acclaimed debut, Ready Player One. The works that obviously influenced the story line, such as Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and the films The Last Starfighter and Star Wars, feel like homages rather than borrowings- a rap artist sampling the best beats our there to create an irresistible jam.”—Library Journal, starred review

“Cline once again brings crackling humor and fanboy knowledge to a zesty, crowd-pleasing, countdown-clock, save-the-planet tale featuring an unlikely hero, adrenaline-pumping action, gawky romance, and touching family moments.…Cline’s sly, mind-twisting premise and energetically depicted and electrifying high-tech battles make for smart, frenetic, and satisfying entertainment.”
Booklist, starred review

Praise for Ready Player One:
 
“Enchanting…Willy Wonka meets the Matrix. Its geeky characters are geeky cool. And its action is imaginative, always cinematic.[Cline] even weaves a sweet romance into this hero-vs.-villain tale.”
USA Today 
 
“The grown-up's 'Harry Potter’…the mystery and fantasy in this novel weaves itself in the most delightful way, and the details that make up Mr. Cline's world are simply astounding. Ready Player One has it all.”
Huffington Post
 
“A rollicking, surprise-laden, potboiling, thrilling adventure story...the best science-fiction novel I’ve read in a decade.”
—BoingBoing.com
 
“Ridiculously fun and large-hearted… Cline is that rare writer who can translate his own dorky enthusiasms into prose that's both hilarious and compassionate. You'll wish you could make it go on and on."
—NPR.org
 
“A smart, funny thriller that both celebrates and critiques online culture... layered with inside jokes and sly references.”
San Francisco Chronicle
 
“An addictive read… part intergalactic scavenger hunt, part romance and all heart.”
—CNN.com
 
“Incredibly entertaining…a geek fantasia, ‘80s culture memoir and commentary on the future of online behavior all at once.”
Austin American-Statesman

About the Author

ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His first novel, Ready Player One, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller and appeared on numerous “best of the year” lists. Ernie lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition, First Printing edition (July 14, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804137250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804137256
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,714 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh boy. Where do I begin with this one? I really wanted to like this book, especially given I am such a fan of Cline's "Ready Player One." But after forcing myself to the end of this mind-numbingly boring and unimaginative story of clichéd alien conquest, I can't help but feel extremely disappointed.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don’t know what publisher wrote the Amazon’s description for Armada but it’s terribly misleading.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved Ready Player One and I wanted to love Ernest Cline’s new book Armada just as much. Unfortunately, I did not. (I apologize to Mr. Cline for comparing his second book to his first, but it’s just the easiest way to review the book.)

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved Ready Player One. 6 out 5 stars! Sorry Cline, but this book is honestly boring as hell. When I put myself in the characters shoes, not a whole lot really happens in this book. This could have easily been the same length, if not shorter than, Ready Player One. This book is too much talking with a whole lot of nothing. I didn't grow, shoot even care for, to like the main character, or root for the home team. There is no other character development.

The story is a decent foundation, just poorly executed. Not funny, suspenseful, the culture references barely make the book any better.

Instead of being excited about what is on the next page, or what the next chapter holds which keeps me reading, I powered through this book just to finish it.

Mr. Cline, if you do bother to read these I will still be excited about your next book if there is one. After Ready Player One, I can give you a few more tries before I decide that you just got lucky on your first book. But Armada was a flop.
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