Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
August 16, 2011 by Random House
"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?"
I. Couldn't. Put. This. Book. Down.
I honestly spent the bulk of a day reading this and had to force myself to sleep and when I woke up, I immediately rolled over and picked up from where I left off. This book was so good that I was sure I was addicted to it. I mean, of course I'd be addicted… Ernest Cline wrote it. I loved Fanboys so it was only obvious that of course, I'd love this piece of work that would ignite the fire that is my absolute geek.
I wasn't sure what I was feeling towards this read, however. Not in the terms of feeling turn between liking it or not; I loved this book more than I can possibly express but I wasn't sure whether I was having a lot of fun or whether or not I was terrified. The world that Ernest Cline wrote, the real world, is entirely plausible and that just blows my mind about how bad things could possibly get. Even more so, the game-world of OASIS blows my mind -- an entire existence within another reality and where education, politics and economy are of higher value than in the real world. Then you wonder whether you spend too much time in the digital world; socializing on Facebook, watching things on Netflix and YouTube, playing games, connecting with people on the other side of your planet. You order pizza online, and there are even alcohol and grocery services that deliver to your door. You honestly don't need to step outside. Except for maybe some Vitamin D stimulation. Thinking about this makes me suddenly need to go outside and breathe (so now I'm actually typing this outside on my balcony instead of inside my house…it's a start?)
This book was unbelievably exciting and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in video games, internet culture, sci-fi, fantasy and even if you aren't, I would still recommend it. It's action-packed, had really good pacing, a bit of romance and would be excellent for anyone who reads dystopian fiction as well as YA. Even if you don't catch the game or pop culture references, there's always a little something exciting if you're a younger reader and suddenly you read the words "quidditch" and of course, Doctor Who is pretty much a household name now. I'm not sure what it is about reading books and seeing things that you're familiar with in your everyday life, but it gets my heart racing and a smile draws across my face.
If you pick this one up, I recommend that maybe you read it on a day off, or over a course of a weekend because you won't be able to pull yourself away from this read. Going to the washroom, eating food and sleeping? Not as important as this book.
Rating: 5/5 Bookworms