Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Length: 374 pages
Synopsis: The year is 2045 and Earth has been completely messed up by climate change and bad humanitarian issues (wars, famine, poverty, etc.). That’s why people seek sanctuary in the OASIS. Created by James Halliday, the OASIS is a completely realistic virtual world which is an entire new creation one can explore and live in. With thousands upon thousands of planets which feature regular everyday planets like Earth and everyday jobs and activities to supernatural places where one can be a magician and destroy monsters with magic, the OASIS is an escape from the troubles in the real world. After Halliday dies, he leaves his inheritance (billions of dollars) as well as the entire OASIS to the person who finds the Easter Egg he has planted within the OASIS. In order to find this Easter Egg, one has to solve clues and find three keys throughout this gigantic universe. Wade Watts is our main protagonist and he is one of the “gunters” who is on the hunt for this Easter Egg.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ stars
Oh my goodness this book was fan-fricking-TASTIC!!! I swear, I still have a book hangover from reading this. I cannot remember the last time I read a page turner like this. I just absolutely could not for the life of me put this book down, that’s how good it was!
This entire universe was just so perfectly constructed and the concept of the OASIS was just incredibly compelling and fascinating, I simply had to devour every piece of information I was given about it. I absolutely loved the way that Cline was able to write about the OASIS in a way that really made you forget about the “real world”, just like Wade did. The author managed to keep a perfect balance between the immense materialistic wealth, success and power that the OASIS was able to offer up to its occupants and the urgency of the current crisis happening in the non-OASIS world, including IOI.
I found both the plot as well as the dynamics between the main characters incredibly strong. Aech, Art3mis, Shoto, Daito, etc. were all great and individual characters. And strangely enough, while I didn’t get most of the 80s pop culture references, I still found each aspect of the Hunt to be interesting and none of it was off-putting at all (unlike apparently some other readers who found the constant reference to tv shows, video games and movies to be overkill – uhm hello? this is MEANT to be about 80s pop culture and video games galore? go read a different book…sheesh).
I also really loved how the plot always kept me on my toes when reading. I honestly thought that Wade would be the first one to pass all gates until the very end, but I loved how there was that one part in the book when Wade kind of goes off the deep end (after Art3mis “breaking up” with him) and actually misses out on the second key, the second gate AND the third key. It really did set the pressure high and made you realize that even the best heroes all have their downfalls for short periods of time. It made Wade very relatable and more human, which I appreciated.
Art3mis and Wade were just too adorable together. I love what a badass, intelligent, kick-ass girl she was. The fact that Wade had a massive internet crush on her was just incredibly sweet (and quite relatable haha) and made me ship them very much. Despite his “obsession” over her, I liked how the book never made Wade’s longing over her to be problematic or predatory. Sure, he pines over her when she calls it quits, but who wouldn’t? She handled herself very well and he ended up respecting the distance she wanted to put between the two of them, which I found admirable. What I also really loved was how Wade explained how he was falling in love with her mind rather than what she might have looked like in real life.
I also really apprecaited the way that Aech was revealed (although unfortunately I was spoiled for that while I was looking up the cast for the movie). What I appreciated most about it was how Wade and Aech were able to connect and still recognize one another intimately from the OASIS even though Aech turned out to look completely differently in real life than in the game. I loved how Wade spoke about making a deep connection with a friend because of who they are inside and not how they look.
Overall, this book was just unputdownable. It was so good and I would absolutely recommend anyone (especially those who love video games) to go pick it up! This book has definitely been added to one of my favorite books of all time.