In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
So the first thing I’m going to say is part of the reason why I was so surprised by this book is that I picked it entirely based on the cover. I had not heard of Ready Player One, I was just in Waterstones looking for something to read on a long train journey. Ready Player One just happened to be in the ‘buy one get one free’ section, like literally the only reason I bought this book was because I would get it half price. I’m sure everyone knows that picking a book based on its cover is very hit or miss so I was amazed that not only was it better than I expected, it was about all the things I love.
I will fully admit that this is one of my all time favourite books, but it’s really not the greatest story. Large parts of it are based on other games and movies, there is even a chapter when Wade (our main character) plays Matthew Broderick’s role in Wargames. This is also a part of the reason why I think a movie adaption could be extremely difficult to make.
But I don’t think it’s good enough to say I like this book because it mentions nerdy stuff, I already liked that and would still like it if I hadn’t read this book. I think I like the fact that it acknowledges nerd culture and acknowledges the fact that nerd culture is becoming mainstream. I mean it’s now cool to like Star Trek and Doctor Who. I love the fact that people don’t have to hide that part of themselves and this book celebrates it. Being a nerd and knowing lots of stuff about movies and games makes you cool.
I love the fact that a huge part of this is set in an MMO and even mentions some of the downsides of being a gamer (weight gain and living in your parents basement). Though I am not a child of the 80s and sometimes didn’t know what Wade was referencing I still enjoyed those parts. I also really love how it comments on data privacy. Look if you’re a nerd and you like science-fiction, gaming and the 80s you will probably like it.