Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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'm saying it right off the bat....I loved, loved, loved this one!  I honestly didn't want this read to end.  I found myself really wishing that it was a series opener instead of a stand alone title because I would love nothing more than for the story to lead somewhere else so that I wouldn't have to say goodbye to these great characters, this wonderful world, and all the action and excitement Cline brought to the table with this title.

I cannot thank the lovely people at Random House NY for introducing me and sending me a copy of this wonderful book.  Cline's writing was refreshing, easy to relate to, and the type that kept you wanting nothing more than to keep reading even whether during an intense action scene, a romantic flirtation, or just a casual conversation between characters.  As someone who has enjoyed video games but never got crazy into them, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this title, but I shouldn't have worried.  Cline will have you engrossed in the story after the very first chapter and no one will be able to resist the storyline he's laid out for his readers.

I found myself wishing this was really happening, finally appreciating some of the technology that surrounds us, wondering what it would be like to be able to play out a role in a movie, pick apart a mystery so large that the contest itself could last for years without anyone coming close....the anticipation alone was addicting.

I unfortunately had never heard about this before it was sent to me, but I can tell you that now that I have, I'll be recommending it to everyone I know, making to sure to gift it to my big reader friends, and hoping with crossed fingers that Cline brings another title to the table in the future that lives up to this amazing book!

I gave Ready Player One 5 shamrocks!!!!!

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