Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Imagine a future where the real world is dull, dreary, and overcrowded, where only the rich live in the luxury of regular food, electricity, and space.  The only escape that anyone has is to jack into the OASIS.  In the OASIS, you can travel at the speed of a thought, go to school, play games, join chat rooms, go to parties...anything you would do in the real world, but beyond.  The OASIS has even become the center of commerce throughout the world.  All are welcome in the OASIS, and everything in the real world falls away.

In Ready Player One, Wade Watts is one of millions of people who lives the majority of his life in the OASIS.  Everything changes for him and other people in his low- to no-income position when the creator of OASIS offers them a way out:  complete a series of puzzles hidden inside OASIS and you will receive treasures beyond your wildest dreams.  Wade, among most of the other users of the OASIS, is seeking these puzzles, ferreting out clues, but years pass and nothing happens.  Until one day Wade innocently happens upon the first puzzle, and wins, sparking an international frenzy.  Who will win the prize and change their life forever?  Or is the game hiding a larger plan by the creator of OASIS?

Similar to Ender’s Game, Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, is an exciting science fiction book with turns and twists throughout.  Full of 1980s movies, songs, and memorabilia, which the creator of OASIS was obsessed with, adult readers will find familiar pop culture to draw them into the story, and even young adult readers may find something familiar in the throwback world.  Although visualizing some of the scenes inside the OASIS can be difficult because it is a virtual reality and anything is possible, most of the book is very well-written and could be accessible by many readers, from lovers of science fiction to readers of adventure and suspense.