Written by Beth Winters
I absolutely LOVED "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline.
I should start off by saying that I heard only good things about this book, so I had high expectations going in. Those expectations were definitely met.
The story starts out with the protagonist, Wade, talking about his sad existence. The year is 2044, and the world has changed drastically. Resources are scarce, and the only way for poor people to go anywhere is to plug into the OASIS, a virtual reality system that replaced the Internet.
Wade grows up using the OASIS while his mother scrounges up a meager living. At one point, both of Wade’s parents die and he is sent to live with his aunt and her crop of rotating boyfriends atop a tall stack of 20 old trailers. Needless to say, Wade does not have a great life. Wade ends up going to school in the OASIS where he hunts for the Egg during his spare time.
Let’s back up a minute. James Halliday is the co-inventor of the OASIS. Upon Halliday’s death, a video of his surfaces, leaving a message that he organized a treasure hunt, the objective being to find the Egg within the OASIS. The Egg consists of all the money Halliday owned as well as control of the OASIS. Three gates lead to unknown adventures and tasks. The catch? Halliday was obsessed with the 1980s—meaning everything in the hunt revolves around the 1980s.
"Ready Player One" is fun and quirky. There are many, many '80s references, and though I was not around in the '80s, I caught on to a few of them. I enjoyed trying to solve the mystery along with Wade, even though I misinterpreted the clues every time.
There have been many books in recent years about a dystopian future, but this one takes a different route, with a majority of the tale taking place in a virtual reality. I will not say too much more—I do not want to spoil the book for any of our readers! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is nostalgic for the '80s and loves a fast read.
Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Random House NY
Publication date: January 1, 2011
Page count: 374 pages
List price: $14
Awards: 2012 Prometheus Award for Best Novel; 2012 ALA Alex Award
Nominations: 2013 Tähtivaeltaja Award Nominee; 2014 Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee; 2015 Green Mountain Book Award Nominee
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