Hello happy readers! So there are some books that you always want to read but keep pushing off for one reason or another and for me this was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I heard so many amazing things from reviewers I trusted but it was always something I would check out “soon” but that never seemed to be the right time. Then the movie was being made and I knew I had a deadline. I wanted to read before the movie. Again was on my wish list but hadn’t bought it until I saw the trailer for the movie and knew it was time. So I got the audiobook because it seemed like the best idea (plus I had a credit so it was cheaper) plus it was narrated by Will Wheaton which I found rather fun. Now I finished it before the movie and here are my thoughts on the book alone.
Ready Player One takes place in a future world that has went down the drain. The world is horrible a living dystopia really and the main way of life is virtual reality the utopia known as the OASIS. Worlds upon worlds exist within this space and you can do anything and be anyone you want. Most people spend more time in the OASIS than in the real world, even more since the creators’ death that launched the hunt. Upon his death all of his wealth including control over the OASIS is on hold for whoever finds his hidden Easter egg. He has hidden keys throughout the game and you must get all three and pass through their challenges to move on but the winner will find the ultimate prize. The creator was obsessed with 80’s life from games and pop culture and lived for this world. Now the race is on and everyone is searching for the egg some willing to kill to control the OASIS and if they do life as it is known will end in the utopia world you can create.
So I’m not a big gamer. I enjoy playing some games for sure but mostly with others. Still I can see the appeal just as I would rather spend hours reading/listening to my book hold up somewhere in my own little world I can see how others find the same in games. I also suck at most games which is probably why I never got really into them. Still the world that is built is amazing. The OASIS is amazing. This whole virtual world that basically turns to raising people in it from education, work, and so on. I understand it right away and was pulled in. Wade is one of those kids he makes his own way in this harsh world and has dedicated years of his life to solving this puzzle. He clearly loves the hunt and research for it logging in every show/movie/music/game/etc from the 80’s he is an encyclopedia of knowledge and can site most of it off the cuff. He is doing what he can to search but traveling in the OASIS costs money and he doesn’t have any hence the copious amounts of research.
“For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.”
The search had gone so long without the first key being found that many had given up the hunt. Still as a discovery is made the hunt has a huge resurgence and things get a whole lot more interesting. Wade is suddenly a OASIS celebrity and everyone is trying to find out who he really is (because no one uses their real data online when you can be anyone/anything you want to be) and the information he found. Soon the game is a foot yet again and the stakes become even higher as a cooperation reaches out and makes an offer for his assistance making the consequences clear if he chooses not to take the offer. Danger is real and not just in the virtual world. This is pretty great since the majority of the story takes place in VR making the consequences seem less than dire but really it never occurred to me. I always felt the stakes were high for sure. If you die in VR you start from scratch including everything you had earned which when you are in a race that would be a hard blow.
“You’d be amazed how much research you can get done when you have no life whatsoever.”
Cline also has a way of writing that makes the VR world seem as vital as the real world. It is in many ways given the importance and prevalence of it in the world. The world is full of fantastic characters that you want to know more about, moral dilemmas, and questions about life all on top of this epic journey full of 80’s nostalgia and some of the best lines and quips around. I fell in love with this book and the writing. Some parts made me cringe, laugh, gasp and more. It was a thrill ride from start to finish and I couldn’t wait to see how it all played out in the end. For a book wrote several years ago it was shockingly on point and I loved every moment of it. It has also given me this urge to check out some classic/older games and some of the older more obscure movies referenced in the book I had never heard of before. The only down side is having read it so close to the movie release now when I see a trailer I see differences and I just hope the movie is even half as good as the book because I’m stoked to see it. And I will see it the earliest time it’s available!
“That was when I realizes, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality if real.”
Until next time…