Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ready Player One

Ready Player One
By: Ernest Cline
Ready Player One
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.

This book is just a crapload of fun. There's no other way to say it, it's just a bunch of high-tech, high concept, and high action fun. There are so many references to classic pop culture games, shows, and movies. There's friendship, tension, and a great pace. That's not to say I didn't have problems with this novel, but none of the problems kept me from enjoying the story or the way it was written.

We start out with a lot of info-dumping. Like, a LOT of info-dumping. Almost too much info-dumping to handle. It helped that all the information was fascinating and really well conceived, but that didn't change the fact that this narrator straight up told you most of the relevant world-building information, and then oftentimes repeated himself about that concept later on.

But, like I said, the information was all really interesting, so it didn't kick me completely out of the story. I decided to keep reading, and I'm really glad I did. Once all the information was out there and out of the way, it got really good.

The Oasis seems so cool, like, it's only a matter of time before video games progress that far, but I really liked how this book explored both worlds since the creation of the Oasis. The world building, though not extensive about the outside world, is still really well developed, as was the world building inside the Oasis. I liked the different tones that each world gave off and how they were so different from one another.

I liked the characters. I can't say that any of them stuck out to me or were particularly fantastic, but they were passable. I liked them while I was reading about them and they served their purposes as vehicles to get into the world. I did have a problem with how Artemis was portrayed, very Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl in her archetype. But she had some agency, so it was more okay that I thought it would be when we met her in the story.

And the plot of this book was really, really great. Once I got past the beginning, I can't say there was a single time I was bored or uninterested in what was happening. The climax was constructed very well, like it really was the finish line of a year long race that the whole world participated in.

So yeah, I'm glad I read this book. It's everything that I heard it would be, if not quite as mind-blowing. Still a really great, really fun read.

No comments:

Post a Comment