Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Broadway Books
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Release Date: June 5th 2012 (first published January 1st 2011)
Page Count: 372
Millions of young men and women all over the country had locked themselves away from the world. They sometimes called these children the ‘missing millions’.
Wow. Just wow. I enjoyed every last bit of this book. The references, the detail, the unique and creative storyline. This should be on everyone’s must read list. I had been meaning to read this for a long time and I finally had the opportunity when one of my best friends had an extra copy that she let me borrow. My only regret is that I didn’t read this sooner.
Goodreads Synopsis: It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?
Ready Player One is completely original and unique. I haven’t read anything like this and I think it was the perfect story to introduce me to the science fiction genre. I have always wanted to get into science fiction and fantasy and I was never really sure where to start. I’ve read other stories within this genre and none have ever really grabbed me. Ready Player One has definitely changed that.
I think that the blurb on the front cover of this book describes it perfectly. “Willy Wonka meets The Matrix.” The idea of a worldwide hunt for the billions of dollars inside a simulated world called OASIS, left behind by the man who created it, is just such a unique and interesting concept. The thought that went into this novel is unreal. Everything was thoroughly crafted and detailed. There were no holes left in the story and I didn’t question a single moment. This was an insanely fast paced read and absolutely nothing dragged on.
I made a big entrance when I arrived in my flying DeLorean, which I’d obtained by completing a Back To The Future quest on the planet Zemeckis.
The references within this book are fantastic. Although I wasn’t alive during the 80’s, I grew up with parents who experienced the amazing decade while they were in their 20s. I grew up listening to the music and watching the movies that were popular during that decade. I feel very proud to say that I understood quite a lot of the movie and music references. I was very pleased with myself when I recognized Sorrento’s employee ID number to be the same as Alex DeLarge’s inmate number from A Clockwork Orange which felt like more of an easter egg than an actual movie reference. Some of my other favourite references were those that mentioned The Breakfast Club, Back To The Future, Billy Idol & Rush. Although I recognized many of the movie and music references, I will admit I was a little lost when it came to the video game references. I’ve never been a big gamer, but it was cool to learn about the games that were popular at the time.
Going outside is highly overrated. – Anorak’s Almanac, Chapter 17, Verse 32
As if the story wasn’t amazing enough, the characters and the thought that went into each one added a whole new dimension to it. Our main protagonist Wade a.k.a. Parzival a.k.a. Z was extremely relatable as young teenager living in a futuristic world where much of the population is poor. I found myself rooting for him throughout the entire novel as he was such a humble person that would definitely use the money and fame to do good for the broken planet Earth. Of course, there are others who are competing for the money and fame. We have other young and bright kids like Aech, Art3mis, Shoto & Daito. Aech is Parzival’s best friend within OASIS. Not much is revealed about Aech outside of OASIS and his true identity is carefully kept a secret. Atr3mis is female avatar that Parzival meets on his hunt for the prize. They instantly have a connection, but both Parzival and Art3mis are hesitant about simulated relationships especially during a hunt that requires their full attention and concentration. Shoto and Daito are two brothers that we also meet on this epic journey. Throughout the story, you find yourself hoping that one of these kids, whether it be Parzival or his fellow competitors, will be the ultimate victor. Unfortunately, there are other competitors known as Sixers who are part of a large organization that is trying to win the prize by cheating. This story contains just the right amount of characters to keep the hunt a fun, exciting and nail biting adventure.
The sight of my tiny one-room apartment, my imersion rig, or my reflection in the mirror — they all served as a harsh reminder that the world I spent my days in was not, in fact, the real one.
This book is something I believe everyone should read in their lifetime. I believe it is an accurate representation of what could be our future. Maybe not in terms of a huge online simulated world, but in the way that we all spend the majority of our time staring into a screen. I don’t how many more times I can say how unique and compelling this story was, but I can honestly say that I could not put it down and that is a definite first for me and the science fiction genre.