With Steven Spielberg set to direct a film adaptation of this book, reading Armada and also being able to shamelessly relate it’s similarities to my own light novel I’m posting on this blog, I thought I should write a review of Ready Player One only so I can have all of the hipster cred of knowing about it before it was popular. Thank you for the recommendation 2011 Patrick Rothfuss.
If the title of the novel wasn’t already a dead give away, Ready Player One is a book about a gamer called Wade who competes to find Easter Eggs in the OASIS gaming world, the finder of which will inherit the creator’s fortune and rights over the game. Pretty simple premise, right? Well, throw in the amount of real world references to retro gaming, anime and movie nerd culture and you might get an idea of how fun this book is. OASIS is the only complete escapism from a world turned to shit by corrupt corporations. They also want to win the rights to it themselves so you might get the idea of why saving this game is so important to each of the characters.
Being a flash from the past, this book works almost like a nerd’s recommendations list where every reference is incorporated into the story for the Easter Eggs everyone’s trying to find. In this way, people have become an expert on the creator, Halliday’s, life to the point that only those that have analyzed all of the nerd culture he enjoyed in his life time will people able to work out the riddles of each of the Easter Egg’s clue’s which lead to the next keys. In this regard, the more you are into old nerd culture the more you are going to enjoy this novel. For most people there will be countless times when you can relate to a reference of a game you have played or a film you have watched in the past.
One of the unique elements to the story is the level of personal importance this game has for the characters. Not only is gaming the one refuge from a world gone to shit but because the corporations want to make money from it if they win, Wade and his friends are fighting for this one sanctuary that remains free from them. Because of this, the points of the plot don’t feel generic. No one’s life is on the line, the world isn’t at risk from exploding and what they are doing isn’t going to really change anything major in the real world. They are merely fighting for something that they all love, which, for the characters at least, feels like a more personal motive than many other books I’ve read.
Needless to say the majority of people who will enjoy this book are those who enjoy old school films and games but even if you haven’t seen them all, the world itself, the characters’ relationships and feeling of scope that the climax (reminded me a lot of certain battles from Gurren Lagann) will be enjoyable through Wade’s cynical first person narrative. What I find also interesting is the popularity of the book considering, age-wise, it feels targeted towards a young adult audience despite its older references. Either way, it’s fun a book for geeks and I would recommend it to anyone into that stuff, hoping you’ll read it before the film comes out at least.
Total Rank 8/10
Knowing from Spielberg’s filmography, it should be a great movie adaption but nothing like the original material, so please read it before the easier alternative become an option.