Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

As I try super hard to stay on track with my Goodreads Reading Challenge this year, I find myself finally jumping into the virtual world created in Ready Player One, especially since San Diego Comiccon brought us a trailer and I’m super excited to see that film. Both myself and my darling Game Warp co-host was and is reading it, however, we’re starting to think about expanding to game-related content once in a while so we may be doing a quick review discussion of Ready Player One when he has wrapped it up as well. I’ll share it here if and when it happens.

Ready Player One
By: Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them. … – Goodreads 

Ready Player One has been praised by the masses. Almost everyone who reads it seems to love it. Ready Player One has a captivating if not depressing dystopian future set in 2044. It has great adventure and takes us to a world where everyone finds more joy in the virtual reality world of OASIS and what makes it more appealing is that for those with the right knowledge, they can possibly find a treasure. Treasure hunts, virtual reality mixed in with video games and an 80s love, Ready Player One has a great looking formula. The idea and concept of it all was truly great and while I really wanted to love it, I unfortunately only can say that I wished its execution had been better.

Ready Player One’s strength is its treasure hunt adventure. It let us be exposed to the wonderfully detailed OASIS and all that it could do. Being a video game lover, who doesn’t want to live in one, right? Solving riddles and figuring out puzzles and the whole process was fun except everything from the hunt to our characters and their development and the immersion was lost in its excessive desire to refer and elaborate on all the 80s culture. Whenever I hit a multi-page description (or it felt that way) of a certain 80s culture, I would just have this desire to skip over because it makes the treasure hunt and our main character’s quest lose its value and appeal. Also because of these descriptions, it would ruin the mystery of how a certain key quest would be achieved, turning what could be an exciting segment to something that only had two lines. While this might sound confusing, what I mean is that the main action doesn’t get as much description as the tangent stuff. The third act does pull itself out and focuses on the treasure hunt primarily however it seems to have lost the beginning excitement.

In terms of the characters, the characters are really quite good. Our main character is Wade, also called Percival. And he ends up befriending more of the society as they fall in place and also follow his suit and finds the first key. These characters themselves also are quite fun. One of the best parts is the awareness that these are all real people but in a fake shell and for the most part, we do forget about this virtual reality aspect. We see the events through Percival and because of that, it leaves some unknown factors for us to discover such as learning about his friends and competitors. Why do I not say enemy because the enemy is the evil corporation and the leader of the team they call Sixers. Their leader is an evil man and we soon see that he is quite the ruthless and possibly heartless villain. Pity is that their run-in isn’t frequent enough to make him a valuable enemy. He’s always just the looming danger but not enough the present one and we soon feel that this book could only end in one way and the dangerous feeling soon deteriorates as the treasure seems to be closer which probably shouldn’t be the case.

Overall, Ready Player One is a great concept with an okay execution. The descriptions are not focused on the right things and falls too much into a fan-boy chat about the 80s instead of focusing on building the story. No matter how central the 80s are as a foundation, it won’t be through reading 300+ pages that someone with not enough knowledge would get it. It would be through seeing how these games and movies play out that will boost the interest instead. While the book doesn’t appeal to me as much as the general public, I however still see it having a high possibility of getting a great movie execution because with the right approach and a focus on the main story and not the many tangents, this could be a fun virtual reality treasure hunt adventure which I believe Steven Spielberg is more than capable of pulling off.

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What’s Up Thursday #5

Its been 2 months, y’all! 2 entire months that I haven’t done this post.

It was meant to be a casual segment though. So with the posts going up, really there wasn’t too much to talk about. Actually there was because when watching lots of movies, I actually binged through some TV series and played a ton of games on the downtime. However, this time, I do want to because I skipped a Weekly Adventures. Its okay if you didn’t notice but I want to make up for it just a little so here we are!

BINGING

ash vs evil dead

Yup. The husband finally got his wish so we are watching Ash vs. Evil Dead, the first season. Its really fun and everything you would expect it to be especially if you like Army of Darkness which we do. You can see my review for it HERE.

Other than that, I’m just catching up with TV binge posts so not really watching anything else other than the last season Shark Tank. I am about to start Stranger Things though, or maybe something else like start Quantico or actually finish Cardinal, which I’ve put on hold for a few months.

READING

Ready Player One

I literally just started Ready Player One a few days ago. I’ve been taking my time and energy levels are a little low in turn concentration not there also. So, hopefully next week, I will be back to the reading mood now that I’ve caught up with my long to-do list.

PLAYING

Thumper

Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy

Darkside Detective

If you are a subscriber over on the Game Warp Youtube channel (consider subscribing if you haven’t), you’ll probably realize that I have a ton of playthroughs going on there. The goal now is to wrap games up so I always have a longer game and some shorter ones to work on. The main focus and ones that have me captivated and grinding through (respectively or simulataneously) are these three.

As of today, the goal is to wrap up The Darkside Detective and have all the playthroughs up by mid next week. Which is completely doable. The Darkside Detective is a fun point and click paranormal adventure. We had a chat with the devs Spooky Doorway last month. You can find it HERE. Our review should be up soon.

Now that I’ve gotten my husband watching Ash vs. Evil Dead, I have possession of the Playstation 4 again. And its gotten me back into the groove of console gaming so I’m playing through the first Crash Bandicoot from the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, which is so hard! Its a huge grind especially the level that I just passed with the helpful tip of my co-host. Now, its onwards to the next level which is another boulder chase…I’ll get it eventually. 😉

Thumper was the most recent game that I purchased, along with two rather popular visual novels which I’ll probably do a chill stream on soon (maybe Friday nights or something). I was determined to wait for it to have a price drop on PS4 because I just don’t see my PC giving me the same visual experience. And it did during E3! I’m a sucker for rhythm games and this one is kind of like a hardcore WipeOut with Patapon battle styles. Each level is about 20+ separate stages which act as checkpoints and it usually has at least a boss and a final boss to defeat. Its all about reaction and coordination (in some ways) and I love it. I love games that challenge you in this sort of way, possibly one of the biggest differences as gamers between myself and my husband, I’d say.

Other games that I’m working on would be

  • The Elder Scrolls Legends: Heroes of Skyrim which this card battle is properly kicking me in the behind. So I’m taking a break from it as to gather my thoughts and strategy.
  • Drifting Lands: a fun one but also stuck at a level right now. Shoot ’em up is not really my type of game but there’s some odd satisfaction to this one.

That’s it for this What’s Up segment!
What have you been binging, reading and/or playing?