Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a science fiction novel that takes place in 2044. In this futuristic world, the real world is falling apart, and most people would much rather spend their time logged into the OASIS. The OASIS is a virtual utopia that lets the player be who he/she wants to be and do what he/she wants to do. When the creator James Halliday reveals that he has left easter eggs in the OASIS with promises of power and riches to anyone who can figure them out, most of the world joins in to win this fortune.
Like most of humanity, the protagonist Wade Watts has spent a large portion of his life trying to figure out the first easter egg. Years have been spent trying to solve Halliday’s riddles that are based around 80’s references. One day, Wade discovers a clue to the first puzzle, and his name ends up on the scoreboard. With the world watching, Wade must hurry if he hopes to beat thousands of other competitors who have joined the hunt. The race for fame and fortune has officially begun.
Ready Player One is filled with 80’s references. They consist of television shows, video games, movies, and so on. There is so much nostalgia, and it’s a lot of fun to understand the references. The details of some video games and movies are entertaining, and it’s interesting to actually feel like the reader is inside the video game or movie. While the references are great, there are moments where they seem to be thrown in just for a nostalgic effect. Some don’t really have a purpose other than to make the reader feel a certain way.
Besides the references, the world is quite unique and engrossing. There is so much to learn about the OASIS, and I enjoyed that whenever a question popped up in my head, it was answered within the next few paragraphs.The world is not entirely realistic, but it has a certain charm about it that makes it entertaining. The story is also engaging. Near the beginning, there does seem to be a lot of information given to the reader, and it would have been nice for it to be spread out more. However, after the first few chapters, the story picks up and takes the reader on an adventure. There are a few moments where the plot drags for a while, but it’s pretty quick to pick up the pace again.
For the most part, it wasn’t predictable, and a few surprises here and there occur that have a nice touch. I did like the villain, and I felt he was an actual threat to the protagonist. The ending is to be expected, but overall, it was satisfying. It was enjoyable and intense. I believe I squealed at one point because I was getting excited for the final confrontation.
Ready Player One is an enjoyable read. There are plenty of 80’s references to satisfy anyone’s need for nostalgia. While there are a few issues, the novel is entertaining and keeps the reader wanting to find out what happens next. The finale is intense and should be quite fulfilling for most readers. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a unique story.
My Rating: ★★★★