Since my blog references this book rather heavily, I thought it was only fitting to write my first WordPress book review on Ready Player One. This is a great futuristic dystopian novel by Ernest Cline. I discovered this book about a year and a half ago. I borrowed it from a friend who got it as a LootCrate item, and I loved it!
However, I find the premise of the book is a little hard to explain. It reminds me a bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, except… online. Picture this: It’s the year 2044. The real world is not a pleasant place to live, and most people are living in abject poverty and squalor. To escape their misery, most people spend their time online. However, it’s not really online in the way we know it, because the Internet has been replaced with this really cool virtual reality system called the OASIS. OASIS stands for Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation, and it’s basically a giant videogame. The OASIS was created by a cool guy named Halliday, and he’s made a mint. But when he suddenly dies, with no heirs to inherit his vast fortune, the world discovers that he has left his wealth up for grabs. But there’s a catch: you have to win the contest, and to do that, you must find the Easter egg. (For those of you who are thinking of rabbits and plastic eggs, you can find the Wikipedia definition here.)
If you find it, you inherit everything. And the egg is well hidden, requiring egg hunters, or “gunters,” to find and solve puzzles and riddles that will lead to the first key of the first gate. The race is on! (Golden ticket, anyone?)
Meet Wade Watts, known online as Parzival. He’s just a poor kid without many resources. He goes to school online, within the OASIS. He’s been a gunter for five years, and he’s quite dedicated. He has a virtual crush on another gunter and blogger, Art3mis, and his best friend is named Aech (pronounced “H”). They’ve never met each other in real life.
And then one day… Wade finds the first key.
Unfortunately, there’s an evil corporation that wants to take over the OASIS and make everything really expensive. They’re called IOI (pronounced eye-oh-eye). They’ll stop at nothing to win the contest, and they want to kill Parzival and his friends.
You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next, because I really don’t want to spoil it for you… but it’s an awesome read. Be prepared for a lot of excitement and wonderfully nerdy 80’s references! Overall, it’s fast-paced, unique, and well-written. I’ve re-read it several times, and I have a copy in my personal library.
Fun fact: there’s a movie adaptation of this book coming in 2018. It’s directed by Stephen Spielberg, so hopefully it’ll be pretty awesome.