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Thursday, October 8, 2015

REVIEW: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

In this futuristic debut from Ernest Cline, the world is a vastly different place.  Taking place in 2044, reality has degrated into a delapedated dystopian society.  Protagonist Wade Watts is essentially an orphan living in the slums of Oklahoma City.  His one escape is when he's jacked in the the virtual utopia know to users as the OASIS.  With no other prospects, Wade has devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines as left behind by virtual creator James Halliday.  The player who successfully navigates these puzzles based on Halliday's obsession with pop cultures references to decades past will discover his hidden Easter Egg and inherit the keys to a priceless empire.

Honestly, I can find no fault with this book.  It's pretty much perfect. The premise is imaginative and well organized. I loved the pacing and relished in the ability to indulge my inner geek since I connected with the majority of the pop culture references save for some of the eccentric earlier gamer-speak. The characters are really spot on too.  Each becomes more likeable as the novel progresses.  What I really enjoyed were the character surprises which hone in on the fact that one's Internet identity is not often truthful. Cline's outcome illustrates that such revelations can have a positive outcome but one should still use caution. 

The writing style, dialogue and overall characterization are just super smart. It is apparent that a lot of thought went into how to successfully focus the narrative and blend an original idea together with so many references. I am highly intrigued that Steven Spielberg is tagged to direct the film for a 2017 release.  My only hope is that both he and the studio do the concept justice.  It just won't work if they fail to get the rights to the plethora of references and if casting is misguided.

Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars

#readyplayerone #ernestcline #gaming #futuristic

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