Today’s review is on Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
Ready Player One is set in 2045 where the world is bleak place to live in for several serious reasons such as sea level rise, fossil fuel shortage, etc. However, a beacon of hope to most of earth’s inhabitants is the OASIS, a virtual reality universe that provides escape from the harsh realities of the world. When the founder of the OASIS, James Halliday, dies, he leaves behind the instructions for the hunt for an Easter egg that will give the winner ownership over the OASIS. But in order to get to the Egg, there are three keys that need to be found and three gates that need to be passed by the participants. For several years no one is able to find the keys until a teenage boy by the name of Wade Watts discovers the first key and then it is a race to Easter egg, especially since he is also up against a competitive corporation that seeks to gain control of the OASIS.
Ready Player One is a fun novel, especially for those who are interested in gaming and 1980s pop culture references. However, readers will also notice the warnings about using escapism, such as a virtual reality program like the OASIS, to live life instead of spending time in the real world.
In many ways Ready Player One is a love letter to geek culture, but it is still enjoyable for others. However, those who are not familiar with most of the ’80s culture referenced in this book will sometimes find themselves lost. The plot itself was decent, although there were times were the author chooses to dump information on readers on certain details that aren’t important to know, and there are other aspects of this futuristic world he has created that are left unexplained to readers. There are also a couple scenes in the novel that seem to be just thrown in for the sake of explaining how certain things work that, again, have no impact on the plot.
There are also a few passages that are uncomfortable to read just because of the subject matter, however, it should also be noted that the novel is told from the point-of-view from an 18-year-old young man and in the first person, so it could very well be realistic of the kinds of things that they think about. Also, the main character, Wade Watts, is extremely flawed and there are many things that he does that either cringey or just plain jerky, but yet isn’t that how most humans are? The side characters are also interesting, and I wish we could have found out more about them besides from what Wade learns about them over the course of the novel.
It was also interesting to see that the villain of the story was the head of a major corporation that seeks to destroy the OASIS that most of the characters know and love. It provided some interesting food for thought, especially when looking at history and how the “little people” have had to fight against corporations for various reasons, such as workman’s compensation, safer working spaces, etc. and it still continues to be an issue in the present day. Even though IOI is a fictional corporation, it is interesting see similarities to situations have occurred throughout history. It also shows how morally corrupt that some corporations can be in order to get what they want, even if it means silencing people.
I recommend listening to the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton, who does a really good job. My only complaint is that he sounds older than 18, but he was still entertaining to listen to. Overall, while I did enjoy reading Ready Player One it also had a few things that bugged me, but nevertheless it is still worth reading, especially for those who are interesting in watching the movie that recently came out! 3.5/5 Stars.
Janelle L. C.