Book Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy
Pub Date: 08/16/11
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
Ready Player One was the ride of a lifetime! Ernest Cline’s soon-to-be-released-as-a-movie dystopian futuristic novel is immersive like no other book that I’ve ever picked up. It pulls you into a totally new (but very realistic and sadly possible) future world where we meet teenager Wade Watts, a poverty-stricken kid who lives with his aunt in the “stacks” – trailer homes built on top of each other like towers. Wade informs us immediately that it is 2044 and the world has basically gone massively downhill over time. First the Great Recession of 2008 had never ended, then the energy crisis/shortage causes mass hysteria, wars between countries have erupted all over the world (we get hints that the War in Afghanistan is still ongoing) and lastly disruptive climate change has destroyed the natural habitat of the world. Many people are destitute, living in hotel rooms (if they’re lucky), while many are homeless and need help from government subsidies. Wade also introduces us to OASIS – Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation, which is an interactive world that people can dive into with their avatars. Think the matrix, but wayyyyyyyyyy cooler. Wade spends most of his time in OASIS; school, avoiding his drug addicted abusive aunt, and trying to find the creater of OASIS, James Halliday’s fortune. Mr. Halliday has passed away, leaving his fortune hidden in the game, letting one lucky winner have the possibility of becoming a multi-billionaire! Problem is, corporate conglomerate IOI – Innovative Online Industries is after the fortune too, and they’re at a complete advantage because they have the money, power, and influence over modern-day society. In 2044, little hope is promised, but Wade is up for the challenge.
I’ve been sitting on Ready Player One now for months and kept making excuses on why I should hold off on reading this. I saw a commercial for the movie on a YouTube ad and figured, ugh why not pick it up now so I can complain about how poorly the movie was made, right?! Well, I am so glad I did because I was completely hooked into the story and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I just needed to figure out what was going to happen, who was going to win, and if Wade was going to get the girl! Ready Player One invites you to an ingeniously creative world that is also magnificently written. I was legitimately like a kid in a candy store while reading this book. USA Today calls this“Enchanting…Willy Wonka meets the Matrix.” and they hit the nail on the head with this one. I urge you all, please pick this one up before the movie comes out!