Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ready Player One

Ready Player One
Ernest Cline

This is the first book in a long time that I've listened to as an audiobook without ever having read the book originally. In the past I've had a particularly hard time getting into audiobooks, probably because I find it so easy to multitask while listening and thus get distracted. Lucky for me I found the perfect times to listen to audiobooks: when I'm working out, when I'm driving, and when I'm unloading freight at work. I was sucked into this audiobook and devoured it in a matter of two days. I only just recently got rid of my audible membership because I wasn't using it, but now, because I've found that I can really enjoy audio books again, I think I may resubscribe.

Overall I thought it was a really good book but there were two things that really bothered me about it. First, I thought this was a YA book, and specifically, one for the younger branch of YA audiences. That's why I was so shocked when some really adult scenes happened. Like, they were well written and well placed, but because I wasn't expecting them I disliked them. Had I gone into it thinking it was an adult or New Adult book I would have been prepared and fine with them. Second, I disliked Wade's courtship of Art3mis. Why? Because the language he was using when he was trying to convince her he loved her (especially at the end) was just so unromantic. It was, dare I say, very fuckboy kind of language and it made me both cringe and consider everything he said as insincere. Maybe that has just been my experience with boys who talk like this, but I really disliked it and it took both Wade and the book down a few notches in my mind.

Besides the cringyness I felt for Wade at the end, though, I rather liked him as a character. I thought he was well fleshed out and had a believable character arc. Actually, I loved his personal arc, because it felt very much like I, as a reader (or listener), was experiencing it with him. Nothing was directly spelled out to be like "And then I came to the realization that..." which can happen with similar character developments, but was rather a subtle, slowly realizing that the prior belief was wrong. As for the side characters, there wasn't a huge amount of interaction but that which did exist was enjoyable. I liked Art3mis well enough but she wasn't a favorite character by any means. I did adore Aich (I hope I spelled that right since I was listening to the audiobook) and thought he was easily the best character in the book. If Cline was interested in writing a spinoff I'd hope for one about Aich.

What most people talk about when they talk about this book, and what easily takes the cake as the best part, are all the references to the 80s (and such times). I loved this aspect so much, and I loved how well all these references were woven into both the plot and book itself. While there were a few info-dumpy moments nothing was done frustratingly and all information came only when it was relevant or important. I also liked the idea behind the book- that the one who finds the easter egg becomes the heir to the company and fortune. The quest for the egg led to so many interesting games within the Oasis and I must say that these managed to translate well onto the page (or into my ear as the case may be). In particular: there is the most intense game of Pac-man ever played in this book and I was actually sweating listening to it.

As good as it all was, there was no surprise with what happened. I called every twist well in advance (and I was also low-key spoiled about one of them because of the cast for the movie) but was still able to enjoy all of them. I do wish the climax had felt more momentous, though that may have been because I was at work at the time and that does kind of drain a lot of excitement out of a book. 
TL;DR? I wasn't quite prepared for some of the more adult moments in the book, nor did I like the romance aspect, but overall it was really well written and had a unique plot. I hope the movie manages to translate how epic some of the scenes are and that it doesn't overload with unnecessary references to 80s pop culture, which the book managed to nail at a perfect ratio.
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His first novel, Ready Player One, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, appeared on numerous “best of the year” lists, and is set to be adapted into a motion picture by Warner Bros. and director Steven Spielberg. His second novel, ARMADA, debuted at #4 on the NYT Bestseller list and is being made into a film by Universal Pictures. Ernie lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.
Cover linked to Goodreads; book description and author bio taken from Goodreads. 


  1. This was a fun one and I've been told that the audiobook production is awesome. I'm really looking forward to the movie and yes please to an Aich spinoff!

    1. It really was a good production! It turned me back onto audiobooks and I regret nothing. I hope that the movie is as good as the teaser makes it look. An Aich spinoff would be so, so good!


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