Geek Fantasy Adventure Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Having heard a lot about this book over the last few years and with the movie coming out the this month I decided to finally pick up a copy. So does the book live up to the hype?
Ready player one is set in the not too distant future and follows the story of Wade Watts, an 18 year old living in 2045 in what has become a dystopian nightmare largely due to an energy crisis, homelessness and climate change.
Every person on the planet has access to the OASIS which they use as an escape from the problems in the real world. The OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation) is a MMOSG (massively multiplayer online simulation game) created by James Halliday.
In effect it is a vast virtual universe filled with every piece of media, information and simulation imaginable. Most of humanity spend most of their time in the OASIS including working and going to School in this virtual world.
Since he doesn’t have any family or really close friends to inherit his fortune when the founder James Halladay dies, he creates a competition and scatters 3 cryptic puzzles around the OASIS that when solved would ultimately lead to grand prize of the Easter Egg.
The person who manages to find this Easter egg will in inherit his billion dollar fortune and more importantly the ownership of the OASIS.
Thus the story focuses on Wades quest to find the Easter Egg that leads to the inheritance and on the way avoiding the evil corporation (IOI) that will stop at nothing to gain control over the virtual and real world.
The story starts rather slow but after a few chapters Wade becomes an overnight sensation and target when his avatar “Parzival” unlocks the first key in the contest and the book kicks into gear and plot starts moving and doesn’t stop.
You really get a feel of this virtual world and grow to care about the Protagonist Parzivial and his quest to find the egg.
Other characters get fleshed out too, although the main villain “Sorrento” not so much with very little back story and that was a bit of a waste.
Ready player one is chock full of 1980s pop culture but anyone who cares about video gaming and movies from any generation will find something to like here and in effect the book explains, why people love gaming and film.
The story is entertaining, suspenseful and adventurous and is recommended to anyone who loves science fiction, fantasy or who are nostalgic for the 80s.
I am looking forward to the film adaption (directed by Stephen Spielberg) coming to cinema this March.