Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

Book cover

Awesome, super-fun book for nerdy people. I had seen this book come up on friends’ Goodreads lists, and was sold when I found out that the audiobook version was read by Wil Wheaton, one of my favorite people. (I listened to the audiobook.)

I don’t know if this was marketed as a YA novel, but that’s what I would call it. In a lot of ways, it has a similar feel to “The Hunger Games”–teen protagonist taking on a quest that unfolds onto larger and larger stages, while also dealing with romance issues and such. It is also, similarly, a big-time page-turner (track-advancer?). There are many Chekhovian rifles hanging on walls in this book, and every one of them is satisfyingly fired. The book also, I think, owes a lot to “Ender’s Game;” all three center on the intersection of games and reality.

I can also say that this book will (it seems almost assured) make an awesome movie. There are so many ultra-cinematic scenes, including

[spoilers removed]

The author telegraphs his intentions pretty forcefully, so there was never too much mystery about what was going to happen next, but the fun of this book is not in trying to figure out what will happen, but rather the excitement of anticipating what you are pretty sure is going to happen. (There was one turn of events that genuinely surprised me, though.)

I also liked this book somewhat more than “The Hunger Games” because its dystopian setting is a much more believable future for our own earth. To be fair, I don’t think Panem was every intended to be such, but at any rate, the Oasis and the world around it seem like a somewhat natural development of today’s reality.

My Goodreads rating: 5 stars