Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy
In 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. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this 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 desperate to escape.
The plot itself isn't revolutionary. It is your standard hero story. It a story of a huge treasure hunt. But the world the story is set in is so interesting. The time is 2044. Most of the world spend most of their time inside a virtual world called the Oasis. And they are obsessed with the 1980s. The idea of an entire world in love with the 80s is fun. Especially for someone who was born in the nineties but knows a bit about the 80s. There are some many references that it is kind of crazy. And it sometimes gets to be a bit much. But don't worry. If you aren't a gamer or know a lot about the eighties, you can still enjoy this book. It definitely helps to have that knowledge, but you can still enjoy it.
The characters are a lot of fun. They, once again, fit in to the characters you see in a standard hero story. But in some cases you get two versions of each character. Wade Watts/ Parzival is pretty much the same in real life as he is in the Oasis. But he clearly has the most development as he is also the main character. He is a kid who wants to get out of a bad situation. Art3mis is the cool hero girl tht Wade falls for. You don't really see much of her in the real world, but she is much more confident in the Oasis then she is in real life. And Aech is the most different between the two worlds.
Overall, the book is a fun little romp through 1980s geek culture. The world the book is set in is the best part about this book. The story is fine. And the idea and the characters are just plain fun. It was hard to put down at times. At times, it did fell like it relied a bit on the whole "obsessed with the 1980s" thing. But, honestly, if you are into science fiction, video games, or geek culture, this is probably the book for you.