Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Genre: Adult science fiction
Release Date: August 16th, 2011
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Source: Downloaded as part of a 30 day trial on Scribd
My rating: 5 stars
(Cover picture taken from Goodreads.com)
I think I might be hooked on audiobooks for in my car and when I’m walking. Anyway, let me just say that I LOVED this book! I can’t explain how much I enjoyed it. It was narrated by Wil Wheaton, a fact that I loved, especially in the chapter where they talk about Wil Wheaton being vice president of the online virtual reality world, Oasis.
So, the main character is Wade, or as his avatar goes by in the Oasis, Parzival. The year is 2044, and the world has been given the ultimate Easter Egg hunt by THE technology computer giant, James Halliday. When he died, he left all of his money and control of the Oasis to whoever found the egg at the end of the quest. Wade has been looking for it for five years, since Halliday’s death. The people who search for the egg, are called gunters, which is short for egg hunters. Wade doesn’t have a great life in the real world. His parents are dead, and he lives in a trailer, stacked very high up on other trailers. But he doesn’t live alone, no, there is his aunt, and her boyfriend, and like 16 or more other people living in just one trailer home. And there are stacks and stacks of these trailer homes. This is how the world has come to be in the time after fossil fuels have kind of been depleted. The Oasis is a great place, because it is free to anyone. You just have to have the goggles to get in. Now to get from world to world, or to have special things for your avatar, that does take money. But that’s okay. You can earn money through quests. Which is what Wade has to do, since his checks go to his aunt, who wastes them on drugs and things. The gunters have one big enemy, the Sixers, who are part of a large corporation. If they win, everyone knows that they will make it so that the Oasis is no longer free, and that there is no privacy, like there is now.
Well, one day Wade/Parzival figures out the first clue, and goes to find the first key. He finds it, and is able to achieve what he needs to take it. But on his way out, he runs into another gunter, a girl named Art3mis. A girl that he’s had a crush on from watching her Oasis channel and reading her blog. She admits that she’s been coming for a while, and when she finds out he beat it in one night, she’s a bit irritated with him. He gives her one tip. He takes off to reach the first gate. He sees that soon she’s also got the key, as they show up on a Scoreboard that everyone has been watching since the first announcement of the contest. Of course soon his best friend in the Oasis, H as the audio book said it, but I didn’t read so I guess it is actually “Aech” in the book, also gets the key. Then there are two Japanese boys, brothers, kind of, who get the key. Finally, the sixers swarm in and fill up the next so many spots on the Leaderboard. The book is all about these top five gunters search for the three keys, and gates, to find the egg and win. Along the way they will have to deal with the sixers, who are murderous as well as cheaters. There will be loss of friends, some romance, and as I kind of mentioned, deaths, along the way.
I loved all the 80s references. While I was never a big video game player. I did play PacMan and other games mentioned, I mean I grew up in the 80s, it’s what you did! And all the movies and tv shows. Family Ties, Ladyhawke, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Monty Python’s Holy Grail, School House Rock, and I could probably go on and on. The only thing I feel was left out, was the Smurfs and Scooby Doo Saturday morning cartoons. As I said before, I just cannot express how much I loved this book. I know it is supposed to be made into a movie. And I hope if they do, that they are able to leave as much of the nostalgia stuff in as possible. And too bad Wil Wheaton is too old, I totally pictured Wade as him since he was narrating. You basically know how it is going to end based on something said at the beginning, but it is still so exciting and nail biting as you listen and wonder how in the world it will actually turn out that way. There is a sequel, and I have the ARC of it, but I kinda want to listen to the sequel, especially if Wil Wheaton reads it as well.