Review: Ready Player One

20603758Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Genres: ????????????, SciFi?, Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

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. 

Ready Player One was a really fun book. I’m not sure what you would call it, Sci-Fi maybe? Really they need to create a new genre, Nerd Fiction, because this book was basically just an outlet for Ernest Cline, probably the biggest nerd in the entire world, to share all of the random 80s nerd crap he knows. Particularly video game nerd crap. The result was a story that was rather predictable, slightly cliche, and definitely a first novel, but was also great fun. I really enjoyed reading about the world he created, both real and virtual. The characters, while obviously various versions of himself, were relatable and likable, a feat not often achieved by modern authors. The pacing was good. Chapters ended leaving you wanting more, but not always with Dan Brown-esque cliffhangers. The concept of the treasure hunt was classic, yet the video game twist kept it feeling fresh. Really, my biggest criticism is that he should have just ignored religion completely, because his critique added nothing to the book or characters, but could potentially alienate readers. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys video games or considers themselves a nerd, and I think it has a lot of potential to make a visually stunning movie.

(Note: I wrote this review in 2015, way before the movie was announced. The movie does indeed look visually stunning. Might be pretty different in tone though.)

(Second note: I lovingly use the phrase “nerd crap”. In Texas we like crap. Not actual crap… that’s gross.)

19 thoughts on “Review: Ready Player One

  1. I had to laugh reading “Nerd Fiction”. It kinda fits but I’m not sure if I’d ever use the term, haha. Especially since I don’t consider myself a nerd and loved this book anyway.
    Pretty sure it fits with Dystopian / Sci-fi, haha.

    Nice review! I’m really looking forward to the movie. With today’s technology, it should be an awesome one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As someone who did NOT grow up in the 80s I didn’t really see myself as the “right” kind of nerd for this book either, but still enjoyed it too. I think there’s something about how passionate Ernest Cline is about nerd-dom that’s very endearing and contagious. I’ve always felt the same way when seeing him in interviews too. He’s kind of the king of the nerds.

      See, I didn’t really feel like it fit with Sci-Fi. Instead of a focus on technology or science, he basically just took tech we already have to a new level. Which I guess technically is Sci-Fi. But I just remember that as I was reading it, it didn’t FEEL like Sci-Fi at all. Hence the nerd fiction comment.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I didn’t grow up in the 80s either, but, like you said, it’s truly his passion that does it! Pretty sure if that wouldn’t ooze out of this novel, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much, haha.

        Sci-fi that doesn’t feel like sci-fi is my kind of sci-fi! Otherwise I probably wouldn’t like it since I’m not a fan of it. But I’m going to remember the “Nerd Fiction”-term anyway, haha!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d call it science fiction/dystopian. It’s not fantasy, because there’s no fantastical elements to it. It really aligns mostly with SF, and because the world’s a trash heap, it’s also labeled as dystopian.

    I’m terrified for the movie, because the trailer is a nightmare. This is going to be terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SF and Fantasy have so many things in common! I am hesitant with the SF label because experts differentiate between SF and Sci-Fi. SF being like ACTUAL science fiction, and Sci-Fi not necessarily adhering to the genre, but usually having to do with space or the future or similar ideas that make it science-fiction-y.

      Why do I know this? you might be asking. Long story. I kind of wish I didn’t.


  3. I didn’t grow up in the ’80s, but I was born in ’88. But, because of my love of nerd culture, I actually understood most of the references in the book…and I absolutely loved it. I really am looking forward to the movie.

    Also, this is a book that my brother actually borrowed from me and he enjoyed it too…and he is a jock, so I was happy to be able to share this book with him.

    Liked by 1 person

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