Book Review of Ready Player One

Ready Player One
reviewed on + 164 more book reviews

Man, what a fun ride! Dystopia, coming of age, nerd stuff, and every 80's reference possible.

Cline has created a near-future world that impresses me more than most bleak visions of society because it feels so much like it could actually happen. This isn't "one day everyone decided freedom of press was a bad thing so fire fighters started burning books and everyone went 'yay!'" This isn't "one day everyone decided that we all had to have one personality trait, and if you had more, you'd be killed." Or "one day America fractured into 13 regions that all started revolting against the capital or whatever happened so we had 13 district and the capital and sacrificed two kids a year from each district."

This is "fossil fuels are so scarce they are prohibitively expensive, and climate change has made the environment really harsh, and people spend vast amounts of time online, but technology has improved enough so that with gloves and a visor, you can be in a virtual space online. Oh, and the economy is super horrible and a few corporations control most of it and are evil. #ThanksObama."

This future could happen. Against this backdrop, our hero engages in a gargantuan contest to win an eccentric computer genius's inheritance. And that eccentric computer genius, who was a child in the 1980's, is obsessed with the 80's - so the book throws in every movie and early video game from the period as part of the virtual adventure.

And here's one instance where the audio book may be better than the print or kindle editions - the narrator is Wil Wheaton (who, besides being the perfect geek to read all this to us, gets to name check himself as an elderly virtual politician in the virtual world. He plays it straight).

There are only a few very minor quibbles I had with the story. One is a plot hole, and the other is the hero's love interest and her big 'secret.'

It's fun, it's feel-good, and it's pretty tight. Read it before the movie comes out (Spielberg directing).