Ready Player One is Sci-Fi Novel written by Ernest Cline. Set in the year 2045, Society is crumbling after multiple catastrophies and worldwide neglect as almost everyone in the planet choses to spend all their time in the virtual reality “OASIS,” a massive, no, epic online multiplayer game, like World of Warcraft or Runescape but multiplied by a million! The games creator, James Halliday, was absolutly obbsessed with 80s onward pop culture, as it was the period he grew up in, and so fills his game with countless references from everything from movies, video games, tv shows, music, books and much much more! When he dies in 2040 he leaves a will that says his now multi-billion dollar fortune, and control of his game, are hidden inside his game as an Easter egg, and the player who finds the 3 keys and gates first will find the egg and inherit Hallidays immense fortune. Egg Hunters, know as “Gunters,” have been searching for the egg for 5 years without any luck, until 18 year old Gunter Wade Watts, and his avatar Parsivel, finds the first key, and the story progresses from there. It is a story of absolutly epic proportions set in both a harsh depressing future and the worlds best video game imaginable at the same time. It is very well written and I found it impossible to put down, best book I’ve read in a long time!
I’ll start with the real selling point of this story, and that is the video game world Ernest Cline creates! As a video game fan I was amazed by the level of detail he put into making this feel like a real game. It helps to have a knowledge of how online game works to understand some of the basic things that go on (but you don’t need to to love the book, my mum loved it and she’s never touched a game in her life haha). It’s not just a game though, as I said people live in the game. They go to school, run businesses, see films, read books, browse the web, watch the news, all through the OASIS. People have entire relationships through this virtual reality without even meeting the real person on the other end, just interacting with the avatar they created. The Game is so popular that the in game currency is more valuable than real money. And as nothing new is being made in the real world anymore and the games creator (who is revered and studied like a god) was obsessed with the 80s, the whole world is too! I’ve already mentioned the amount of references in the story, it is an indescribable amount! It’s like the biggest crossover of everything you can imagine! In this game you could fight the Balrog from Lord of the Rings using a lightsaber and Spiderman’s web shooters (this doesn’t happen in the book but things like this do) whatever you can imagine is probably on one of the thousands of planets that make up the game world. And the books constant references aren’t forced in or over-bearing, they fit in perfectly and are very imaginative and entertaining! Every time I got a reference It made me smile, which was a lot cos I’m a pop culture nerd, and every time I didn’t get one, which was also a lot because there’s practically everything in there, it didn’t matter because Cline describes everything so well. If you don’t get something you don’t feel left out, you feel like your part of it!
The actual plot of the novel is great as well! It feels like a classic adventure story, full of twists and turns, moments when everything feels great then it’ll all go South! The quest to find the egg is at base a simple and fun tale, but in reality is an epic of Greek proportions, spanning fantasy, science fiction and history. The characters are well written and the dialog is natural and fits the setting well. Wade, or Parsevil, is a great lead character, being compelling, sympathetic and determined. The other characters also feel very real and compelling, especially Art3mis (avatar name).
I’ve said that the book has two settings, most of it takes place in the game, but the representation of the real world is a very dark one and an interesting contrast to the wonder of the game. The world feels abandoned as everyone chooses to be in the OASIS instead, and this shows some smart satire about how we neglect our world to follow the fantasy of the media. The problem is the game is so much fun to be in that the sections that take place in the real world I just wanted to go back into the game, so while the parts in the real world are really interesting they’re not quiet as much fun to be in, but these are never annoyingly long and most of the story happens in the game so it’s fine in the end.
It’s also very descriptive, which I thought was great because it immersed me in the world, but it should still be noted that there are a lot of long expositional passages. It wasn’t a problem for me though.
Ready Player One Is a very creative book which was a lot of fun to read. I wish the OASIS was real so I could log on now, I could not put it down.
P.S. Read the introduction because it explains a lot and you’d be confused without it probably.
P.P.S Just googled this as a movie and apparently Steven Spielberg is set to direct this film and release it in 2018!! Thats amazing!!!