It is SO WORTH twelve bucks. How much did you spend the last time you saw a really great movie at the theater? At least $8 for the ticket and more than $12 if you also got a drink or snack... And that was only two hours of fun! Ready Player One will suck you in and rock your world. The plot is imaginative and well-spun, the characters are likeable and sympathetic, the action is tight and exciting, you'll laugh your ass off, and if you have any connection whatsoever to video games or 80s nostalgia you are going to lose your mind from all of the nods to the culture of your youth.
For the small risk of $12, you have the opportunity to enjoy the best book you'll read this year.
I forgot to mention, this book will also get you thinking. It's a hard and fascinating extrapolation of a future that's not so terribly unlikely, including technology that's right around the corner. As dismal as the real-world future is in Ready Player One, the alternate reality stuff will have you wishing you could fast-forward to 2044.
I really enjoyed this book. It's a future that is dismal due to a world economy that has crashed and burned and people are living in a "computer fantasy world" just to escape the dismal REAL world. The 1980s references to music, culture and video games brought back vivid memories and really added a great deal to me as I read the book. The characters, the plot and the pace of the book were excellent.
I'm glad I borrowed it from the library. It was fun, it was quick, but it wasn't worth buying. The characters and world are one-dimensional and inconsistent. The occasional existential nihilism was annoying. The only thing that truly surprised me was the lack of surprises. I kept thinking, "Well, he won't do THAT because it's too predictable." And I was wrong every time. I would consider future novels from this author, but I won't be reading this again.