Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, A Book Review

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Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, A Book Review.

A Virtual Classroom?

Would send your children to virtual school?  Can you picture it?  It sounds intriguing when you first think of it.  No more bullying, less distractions, right?  Yet in a virtual world would it be too isolating?  Could there be a balance?  Would class size matter then?  Would teachers like it better?

That is one of the considerations you will find as you read Ready Player One.  It is still one of my top ten favorite books.  To confirm that, I just listened to it again.  The first novel written by Ernest Cline, was a huge success.   I wish everyone would read it—seriously.

The book was first published in 2012.  I am reviewing it now because, after a wait of several years, Mr. Cline had a new book released on July 14th. Armada.  The audio version will once again be narrated by great Will Wheaton . Scroll down for information.

I bought the book a couple of years ago through Audible after going back and forth about it for months. Considered dystopian in genre, I would call it futuristic, perhaps a little sci-fi, adventure, and a thriller.  Its popularity is what finally convinced me to go for it.   I am SO glad I did.  It is fun, exciting, suspenseful, amusing, thoughtful and more.

Audio Version is Fantastic!

If you get a chance, try to listen to it.  Will Wheaton reads it perfectly.  If you check out the reviews on Audible, you’ll hear much more about how well he does.  The book has received over 20,000 reviews and ratings for an average of 4.7 (just on Audible).  Amazon shows a 4.6 average with over 6200 reviews.  The numbers are rising again now, with the anticipation of the new release.

There are too many official reviews to include here, but you can check them out here.  The book was loved, and by so many who thought like I did, that it wasn’t my type of book!

The Story:  Life in a virtual world

It’s easy to see why it was/is such a hit.

  • The setting, a few decades in the future, seems very possible if not likely.
  • The featured characters, young men and women, geeks possibly, gamers definitely, in high school or just out of high school.
  • The 80’s!  The game creator loved the 80’s   If you are a fan of gaming, or of TV, movies, music and life back then, you’ll love the references and clues that refer to that era.
  • The story appeals to everyone on so many levels.  It includes  mystery, a quest, a look at the economy and society, a little romance, and a good amount of tense excitement.

I often forgot which state was active.  Was it Parzival, the avatar or Wade, the human, operating the computer.  It was easy to get pulled in to both.

You decide…Will it Happen?

The year is 2044.  The economy has deteriorated.  It’s nearly impossible to find work, housing, and even food for many.

James Halliday, the wealthy creator of “Oasis” has died, leaving no heirs.  His will, a five minute video broadcast to all Oasis users.  Oasis is the virtual reality used by everyone, including students who can attend school within its reality.

Halliday’s will presents a contest within Oasis.  The prize?  His entire estate.

With that a race begins, with millions worldwide searching for the hidden prize. They know it will involve games from the past, clues buried within the games.

For Wade Watts, it offers an opportunity to escape, not only his current poor circumstances, but also the real world problems.  He spends years engrossed in learning all he can about James Halliday, watching his favorite show, playing every game available, mastering the 1980’s.   Then finally someone finds the first clue.

Once one clue is found you see the masses react.  You have the ones working independently, like Wade.  Then you have the sixers, a huge company that has hired everyone they can to help them win.  The company wants control.  They are willing to do anything at all to succeed.  Even kill.

It does become a race, yet filled with the fun that a virtual reality can provide.  As much as I’d love to tell you all about that, it’s part of the reveal that adds to the delight of the story.

It’s a story of the little guy versus the big corporation.  It’s a story of being true to yourself.  It’s a tale  of trust. It’s a coming of age story in a way, yet it is appealing to all ages.  There is something about it that transcends genres right along with age groups, so don’t tell yourself you don’t read that type of book.  It is irresistible.

Mr. Cline is a  screenwriter as well.  You can see what a thrill it would be in big screen.  The setting alone would be amazing to see.  He spent eight years writing Ready Player One—his first novel.  When he went to find a publisher, he found more than one!  There was a bidding war for the book.  Nice start, Mr. Clines.   While his second book, Armada, won’t be released for another month, the movie rights were sold back in 2012.  Now if only they would get busy filming.

Get the book!  And let me know how you like it—please.

 Order Armada right here. Just click on the book.

It sounds like another great adventure…Young Zack Lightens  dreams of science fiction adventure.  His dreams are about to come true, when he sees a space ship cruise by.  The world will need his skills, along with gamers around the world, to stop a deadly invasion.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry

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1 Comment

  1. I loved ready player one, and i cant wait for the movie to come out!! I still dont get all the hate Cline is getting .but i havent read armada yet so ill see if i like it or not. I think rpo is one of the best books i hace ever read..

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