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Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Book Review
Posted on May 30, 2015 by James Shults

Published: August 16, 2011

Author: Ernest Cline

Overall Rating: Good

Set in the near future, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, is about a World whose inhabitants spend most of their lives inside a virtual reality called OASIS. When the developer of OASIS dies, his will sets off an ’80s-themed scavenger hunt inside of his virtual reality creation, wherein the winner will become the owner of OASIS. The story follows Wade, a reclusive young man who is obsessed with the scavenger hunt and keeping OASIS out of the hands of evildoers.

The Good

This is science fiction. This is nerd porn. It’s every ’80s reference ever, from R2-D2 deejaying a dance party to racing across the World to earn the perfect Pac-Man score. If you’re on board with the conceit of Ready Player One, then you’ll likely find this to be a great, nostalgic adventure.

The Bad

There’s a half-hearted lesson jammed into Ready Player One about not spending your life inside a virtual World. The idea of real life versus virtual life is something that could have been explored more. Or, at least, the author could have made a more definitive point one way or the other. Instead, if feels like the author is having it both ways.

The Ugly

In the beginning, Ready Player One can seem a little silly, a little forced at times with its nostalgia. The first few chapters may have you cringing at all the ’80s references. But cringes will turn to smiles as the chapters roll on and you become more invested in the story.

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