Ready Player One Review
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: My Review
Rating: 4/5 stars
No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful.
Despite not being a total geek in the realm of technology and video gaming, I became completely enthralled in the OASIS utopia which was so refreshingly unique and just as transporting for me as it was for the characters. I embraced the references to the many 1980s vintage arcade/computer games, films and songs that were unknown to me until now, as well as the detailed explanations of the way online gaming and virtual reality works. I did find some parts slightly too detailed for my real enjoyment and I felt myself getting distracted when reading long passages explaining the ins and outs of Wade's (or Parsival's) various commodities and immersion rig set ups, when I really just wanted to continue on with the main plot. That being said, the author's ardor for gaming is so clearly felt within this book and I salute him for the way he has articulated this passion into such a captivating story.
While some distopian fictions set many years into the future can create an overly drastic version of future society, the grim collapse of civilization depicted in Ready Player One, set in 2044, is terrifyingly believable as it epitomises the ultimate consequence of the way humans are wrecking the planet - there's an energy crisis, there's global warming, there's poverty and famine and disease and war. I obviously found this pretty frightening to read about, yet this depressing reality really worked to emphasize the importance of the alternate reality to humanity found within the OASIS where Wade and his friends could be whoever or whatever they wanted to be, foreshadowing almost definitively how much of a growing major role technology will play in our lives.
The online camaraderie between Parsival (Wade), Art3mis, Aech, Shoto (and Daito) was so incredible and each character was so cleverly manipulated and developed by the author through their avatars, concealing their true identities until the very end. I found the premise of the solely online-built friendships and romance so interesting, it was like nothing I'd ever read about. I found Wade to be a very likeable character and I was rooting for him to win the contest from the very beginning to the very end.
Overall, this book was packed with so much action, a lot of unpredictable plot twists and I felt very satisfied with how the story was resolved. I'm really glad I read it as it has encouraged me to try more sci-fi novels that are hopefully as unique and intense as this one.