Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ready Player One Book Review

Rawr Reader,

  I'm in a science fiction mood, plus I'm just really excited for this one. This is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, I typed the synopsis out from the back of the book because the one on Goodreads was hella long:

It's the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their' creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take his ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperately trying to escape.

  A bunch of booktubers have liked this, and while I was at first turned off, I decided to give it a shot.

(safe for those who haven't read this book yet)
  And thank the game gods I did because I am so absolutely in LOVE with everything in this book. I'll go into detail later on in my review, but first, let's talk about the external features.
  Man I'm picking some nice covers, because I love this one. It's so cool. It's what I imagined when reading when first being introduced to this world. A+ to the cover designer I'm too lazy to flip the book over to name. >_<
   Okay, where to even begin? This puts a whole other level of epic to be defined in the dictionary. I mean, this is central to the awesomeness of video games?? Let's take a moment to appreciate that fact. ~~~I said a moment~~~~ And another moment~~~~~And moving on~~ I myself am not too into games, only really playing when I was in elementary/middle school and even high school (no judging allowed—this is a safe zone) when I played games like Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Dance Revolution, Children of the Nile, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Runescape and many others. No joke, when reading this book, I felt like I was playing the game along with Wade. So technically, you could even go so far as to say I was doing two things at once. (wooooo~~ soooo cool!) While I don't play video games anymore since I spend my time at school/reading/writing (which regretfully I should do way more of), I really did enjoy it when I was younger and wish I could still be up to date with all the awesome games that are being released or have already been released nowadays.
   I want to first talk about this world. It's a dystopian, and since there about a million and one dystopians being released nowadays, let me take a moment to explain how it's different and why it's technically more realistic than one you've probably read before. And that is, Wade almost always lives his life through another form. Meaning, he spends the majority of his time in a virtual reality, instead it isn't a computer as the generations nowadays are living it through (myself—guiltilty— too), but a LAR game. I can't say LARPing since there's all this technical gear Wade has to wear so he can connect to the game— the infamous OASIS— though it is techincally "playing." So scratch that last comment, it is LARPing. But way way cooler! I'll continue this thought in a moment.
   Now back to what I was trying to talk about. This story is set in a dystopian future, where traveling outside of major cities is highly dangerous. Where privacy is exclusive to the wealthy and elite, where homes are trailers stacked up on top of each other that could reach to twenty stacks and higher! (Can be seen on the cover—reference above picture) The world is ultimately starving and in debt and there doesn't seem to be a promise of a better tomorrow. Only there is! For the winner of Halliday's Egg who can win a small fortune of 200+ billion. Public schools exist but the elite can attend OASIS public schools where one can have access to every movie/song/history/book/ the list goes on, all of it free access for the masses! (Hmm what would our world today look like if that were free every where and to anyone...) But back to this world, it's scary (not 1984 scary which I just finished, I don't think anything will ever be 1984 scary) and the future doesn't look too bright for anyone who isn't smart. There's even a moment when Wade says that trying to get a job at the nearby fast food restaurant had a wait list for applicants. Talk about depressing! Well, just read it yourself to learn all about more about this world. ;)
  ..."But way way cooler!" Why? because you could participate in games, shopping, quests, world-building, space travel and so much more in this incredibly complex universe I just want to sign up and make my own OASIS account so I can participate. Honestly I think this would be the dream game world for any gamer. I hope I'm not being too extreme in saying that, but seriously the possibilities are endless, what's there to argue? Like said in the above paragraph, if you attend school in the OASIS (which is strictly enforced under a safe-zone, no-PvP (player-vs-player)) you have access to all the Earth's history and its societies and the cultures within it all, spanning from art to music to history to biographies to languages to anything and everything. If it weren't for the whole reality sucking, this place would be thee coolest place to live.
    Now taking a step from the world, let's take a look at our characters. Wade Watts is a reclusive, shy, introvertive character and because of that I could relate to him more. He says himself that when interacting with others virtually, he's really easy to talk to and sociable, but when it came to the real world, it was really hard. I don't want to say that all video gamers are like that, but I connected with that at least if not the video gaming part. 
   Something that I also loved about this book was that it didn't have one sole main character or two with a bunch of secondary characters, we had eight—and they weren't hard to keep track of. Wade Watts, Art3mis, Aech, Daito, Shoto, James Halliday, Ogden Morrow, and Nolan Sorrento. Protagonists and antagonists alike, I loved them all. They each had their own voice and I never mistook one for another. Which I daresay many young adult writers (which I predominantly read) need to work on.
   One of the last things I loved about this book that made it stand out was the jargon particular to this world. We have the OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation), IOI (Innovative Online Industries), gunters ("egg-hunters"), Sixers (in reference to it's members who ID'd by their six number employee numbers), and others I can't remember from the top of my head.
   Arguably the only thing wrong with this book that I think bothered me more than anything, was the disconnect I personally felt with all the references. While I praise Cline for all of them, I only recognized a few of them (like Gaiman, Tolkien, Firefly, Star Wars, Stephen King, and a few more). And that isn't the author's fault. Only, since James Halliday is a fictional character, even if I was slightly well versed in some of these iconic people/entertainment references, you couldn't really predict what the next clue would lead to, and you had to rely on Wade to figure it out. 
   But to be honest, what made me fall in love was the first reference of Firefly. I finally watched the show for the first time about a month ago (though I had it on my Netflix instant queue for so long) and I hate how underrated it is, second hate to only how it only had one aired season (curse you Fox). The acting, the sets, the stories, the plots, everything about that show is awesome. Joss Whedon is a genius and I rest my case there. Go watch it now. Go! Go! Go!
   Back to my review, sorry I needed to give that show some publicity. I found maybe one dull moment and it honestly wasn't that dull. It was just technical game jargon I am so most unfamiliar with so it was hard to understand, but the rest of the book is great. I mean the writing isn't the most unique I've ever read, but it's easy to follow and the big paragraphs don't intimidate me (thank the Heavens after 1984 I thought I'd be scarred for life). 
   OH yeah! Almost forgot. Should probably prepare you for some game-ception that goes on in this book. It's awesome!!

I give this book 5/5 stars. That isn't really shocking is it? :P

Author's Quote:
"Going outside is highly overrated."
—Anorak's Almanac, Chapter 17, Verse 32
—Ernest Cline, Ready Player One

My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
i, Robot by Isaac Asimov

River Song's Spoilers:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
   When reading I had so much to say, but unfortunately I only wrote several things down...
   Firstly, in the beginning, I had a problem with the family situation between Wade and his aunt. Now, I honestly can't remember what it was because I didn't write it down, but I know I had a problem with how that was arranged. (Sorry, when I reread the book I'll tell you!) ^^
   Second, before the final showdown between Sixer and Gunter, I really grew to appreciate the gunter clans as a whole. From the beginning they were designed to function as a team, gaining friends and fulfilling quests at the same time, what more of a greater way of gaining long-lasting comradership. Millions upon millions of them fight Sixers, knowing they'd rather have another gunter find Halliday's Egg than let a Sixer or the IOI win the prize, even if it'll never be them or even have a chance of being them. After Wade acquires the crystal key, when he's traveling to Chthonia and he sees the clans of gunters blasting at the sixer shield, I think I connected to what Cline was aiming for. And since I realized it way before hand, I felt uber smart. :0)
  At times I felt the romance part of the book a little distracting, but by the end I knew it was necessary. And not to say I don't like reading romance, I do, but I figured that this wouldn't really venture near that that genre so when I read how positively smitten Wade was over Art3mis after they first met, I was little turned off. And when he kept saying how crazy he was over her and how much he was thinking about her instead of the quest, I kept rolling my eyes and saying "oh brother." And then when the final pages were coming and I guessed that it would end with a little "romantic moment" between Art3mis aka Samantha and Wade, I was dreading it a little bit. But by the end I knew that that was what made Wade's develop, that he grew to be from an insecure boy who relied on the OASIS to bring the best in him, but now he found someone in real life to do it, and it was so much better. Cute message, and I'm not that much bothered by it. ^^
  One of my favorite moments has to be when Wade is reenacting Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Need I say more?
  Seriously a fantastic, amazing story! 

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

No comments:

Post a Comment