Book Review | Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Release Date: January 1st 2011
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 386
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"Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them. 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

A world at stake. 
A quest for the ultimate prize. 
Are you ready?"

My Thoughts
I loved this book so much! I'd heard a lot of people rave on about it which made me worry that I held it with to high expectations, but they were all met and surpassed. This book is sheer genius, it incorporates a kind of vintagey sci-fi feel that you would expect from the 'virtual reality' type story but sets it in the not so distant future. For one I found that the futuristic elements are featured in a realised way that fits with the current state of the books world. There are not 'flying hover boards' or other things that seem to always be lumped in with anything to do with the 'future', the only really stereotypical futuristic element is the virtual reality game 'the Oasis' but its shown in a way that it isn't so successful because of the progression of the current world but because all of the decay it has experienced  The game offers a world where people can escape their current environment and become literally anyone or anything they want. This is one of the main things that really drew me into the book, the realistic world building that Cline does is just phenomenal, it's really depicting what could really happen with the world as more and more people rely on the internet as an 'escape'.

The plot of the book I felt moved along at a really good pace, I liked how there were gaps of time that passed between the finding of the keys rather than they all be found at once and it just be one huge race to the finish. The events that happened were a lot more intense than I was anticipating but I really enjoyed that as there were moments that you were caught by surprise. Also like pretty much every other person who seems to have read this book I ADORED all of the referencing (mainly 80's), and how well it all connected together into the plot. I've read a few review where people found this distracting and a lot of the references seemed to be just shoved in to prove a point, although I can understand why people may think this I don't really agree as sometimes the way that things were mentioned it was in a very fact based way and this in my opinion is because this is the type of way our main character Wade thinks.

Although there are many other characters featured in the book, Wade is the only one that we truly get the chance to know. I found his character to be really engaging, even though I'm never that drawn to male leads, I think this is due a lot to the referencing he does and also down to the sheer determination that you feel from him. I like how he grows as a character, as at first he is a little selfish by simply wanting to win to just better his own life (which is also a little understandable due to his circumstances) but when compared to that of Art3mis who say's if she wins she wants to use the money to try to better the world. I really liked Art3mis as a character as I think she helped the changes that we see in Wade.

Overall this is an extermely engaging read and a book that I would definatly go back to in the future!

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