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Friday, August 23, 2013

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Book Review: Ready Player One

I read this book in one day. If I could have, it would have been one continuous sitting, but I have to work along with other responsible adult things, so I did have to take breaks. But I was still able to finish it in under 24 hours.

From the very first page you are hooked. The author, Ernest Cline, just does a spectacular job of reaching out and grabbing your attention. 

If you like video games, you're going to love this book. If you don't like video games, you're going to love this book.

The book takes place in the not-too-distant and not-too-far-fetched dystopian future where virtual reality has finally been invented. This is the real deal, fully immersive virtual reality that everyone dreams about. When the creator of the virtual world (known as the "OASIS") dies, he sends out a video will stating that he has hidden an Easter Egg somewhere within the OASIS. An Easter Egg is a hidden feature within software for players to find as a bonus. In the book, the person who finds this Egg will be rewarded his entire multibillion dollar fortune. Ready Player One's main character,  is the boy who finds the first clue to finding the Egg. The key to finding these clues and ultimately the Egg: 80s Pop Culture. Pretty cool right?

For those of you who aren't on board yet, let me say that I am not a video game fan. I didn't grow up with them, so I never really got it. My knowledge is very limited and skill level... we don't even want to talk about. Yet, it really doesn't matter when you read this book. 
Cline does such a good job of describing every video game and every 80s reference, that I never felt lost. I never felt left out. I'm sure I would have loved the book even more if I was more knowledgeable of video games and rare 80s comics, TV shows, and movies, but it never got in my way. In fact, the book was actually educational when it came to all of that. Cline knows his stuff and really, really, really did his research.

If you are looking for something that is high-energy from start to finish, look no further. But it's not just fast-paced and suspenseful; it is a beautiful and insightful coming-of-age story of a young man who finds his real self by navigating a virtual world. 

What I liked most about the book was it's immersive story. Just like the virtual reality it takes place in, the story and characters just suck you in and surround you completely. I felt really bad when I finished the book and had to remember that there is in fact no OASIS reality world to go play in. But maybe one day there will be and perhaps it will be just as immersive and wonderful as what Ernest Cline has shared with the world.

I will leave you with this quote before The Bottom Line.
I cleared my throat and recited my pass phrase. Each word appeared on my display as I said it. “No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.”There was a brief pause, and then I let out an involuntary sigh of relief as the OASIS faded into existence all around me. 
The Bottom Line

Title: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Genre: Science-Fiction

Recommendation: Yes

Best Reader Audience: Male and Female readers from Young Adult level and up

Final Rating: Five out of Five mugs of hot chocolate

Have you read Ready Player One? Head over to the forum to discuss it!

Ready to dive into the OASIS? Use the link below to buy the book and support the Lone Book Club.

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