Book Review: Ready Player One

One of my very first thoughts when I started reading this book was “Gosh, this sounds like it’d be a movie.” The dystopian future, near-future technology, a big scary corporation trying to control people and money may be a description of 100 different movies. So I went looking and, low and behold, Steven Spielberg is working on this film slated to hit theaters in 2018.

And I’m psyched to see what the film version of this novel looks like because, if it’s anything like the book, it’s gonna be fun!In Ready Player One, the world has become an ugly place. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is significant, with most people escaping their dire straights by living inside virtual reality of the OASIS. Think VR World of Warcraft or Second Life (does that even still exist?). Students attend school, complete quests, buy and sell good – basically it’s a meld of the things one might do in the real world and the things one may do as part of a video game.

You follow the story of one of the poor guys – Wade Watts – whose life has been a struggle outside of the OASIS.

One day the Steve Jobs of their universe dies and leaves his entire estate to the person(s) who can solves a series of puzzles and find it. That’s where the story takes off and I’ll leave it at that…

While overall pretty solid, the writing does get a little stale and prescribed from time to time. For the most part it delivers the story in  easily digestible pieces, with the story moving fairly quickly once the stage is set.  There are a couple of sections in the book that actually feel rushed  – like the author wanted to get the story advanced but didn’t want to take the time to put the detail into it. Unfortunately, one of these was a pretty significant sequence of events in the plot. It wasn’t BAD, it just felt rushed and short on details for such an important piece of the story. The characters sort of suffered from the prescribed and stereotypical treatment but, for the most part, are likable enough to cheer for.

While not an amazing read, I did have fun reading this book, and am looking forward to seeing how the film version of this story turns out.

If you like video games, 80’s and 90’s pop culture, dystopian futures, or role playing then you should probably read this book. Or wait for the movie. Either way, your time will probably be well spent.

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