In the year 2045, 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.
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Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1) Review
- January 1, 1970KemperI originally gave this book 3 stars as harmless lightweight fun, but my opinion of it declined as time went by. Then after reading Armada I fully realized what a talentless one-trick hack that Cline really is so I changed this rating. Plus, his outraged hardcore fans kept coming on here and telling me that I missed the point since I didn't give it 5 stars so I might as well give them something to really be mad about. If you're one of those Cline fans who wants to whine about it in the comments I I originally gave this book 3 stars as harmless lightweight fun, but my opinion of it declined as time went by. Then after reading Armada I fully realized what a talentless one-trick hack that Cline really is so I changed this rating. Plus, his outraged hardcore fans kept coming on here and telling me that I missed the point since I didn't give it 5 stars so I might as well give them something to really be mad about. If you're one of those Cline fans who wants to whine about it in the comments I will just delete it and block you.Adventures in Time MowingAfter my laptop fused to my lawn mower due to a freak lightning strike, I discovered that I could use it to travel through time.“Wow, where’d you come from?”“I’m from 2011. Got a time mower and decided to come to the future. I’ll spare you the full origin story. My name’s Kemper.”“I’m Wade Watts. Welcome to 2044.”“Thanks. I gotta say, things are looking kind of grim around here. Are those mobile homes stacked up like hillbilly skyscrapers?”“Yeah, I live in one of them. We’ve had a lot of problems once the cheap fossil fuels started running out. Life kinda sucks ass these days. Fortunately, we’ve got the OASIS.”“What’s that?”“It’s this virtual reality that’s kind of a combination of the Internet and the biggest MMORPG ever made. Here put this on, and I’ll show you.”“Hey, this is pretty sweet, Wade. But what’s with all this old stuff here in your virtual room. It looks like the ‘80s vomited in here.”“Oh, it’s part of my research for the contest. See the guy who invented the OASIS was this old nerd named James Halliday. He left an Easter egg hidden somewhere in the OASIS and whoever finds it wins the prize. He was totally obsessed with the ‘80s and nerdly stuff like computers, sci-fi, cartoons, movies, comics and video games. He left three keys to three gates hidden in here, and the clues have to be stuff that he loved. So a lot of people like me have to know all about the '80s to hunt for the egg."“How long has this been going on?”“For years now. Nobody has found the first key yet.”“And you what? Watch movies from the ‘80s? Listen to the music? Read his favorite books? Play old video games?”“It‘s even bigger than that. Because of the contest, the entire world is obsessed with the ‘80s. The clothes and hairstyles are considered cool again.”“Really? Well, I gotta get the hell out of here then. Thanks for showing me this, Wade. How do I log out?”“You’re leaving already? Don’t you want to…Oh, my god! You said you were from 2011? And you’re in your 40s, right?”“Well, just barely…”“So you actually lived through the ‘80s?”“Afraid so. High school class of 1988.”“That’s awesome! You gotta tell me all about it, Kemper.”“Kid, why would you want to hear about that? You’re sitting here with enough computer power to download everything from the collected works of Shakespeare to the entire run of The Wire and you want to hear about the ’80s? Just for a contest?”“I love the ’80s. It was the coolest time ever!”“Uh, not really. In fact, I think the ’90s beat the shit out of them. That not worrying about the Cold War thing was a relief and the music was a lot better. Plus we got to wear flannel. That was fun.”“But… you got to play the old video games in the actual arcades, and you saw the first generation of home computers come out. Plus, music videos and John Hughes movies and Rubik’s Cubes and Michael Jackson’s Thriller album and….”“Yeah, Wade. I lived through it all. I remember when MTV played music videos and when Eddie Murphy was funny. But you’re making me sad, kid.”“Why?”“Lemme tell you a story, Wade. About ten years after I got out of high school, an old buddy I had stayed in touch with had a birthday bash and invited a bunch of us that used to run around together. So we’re at his house drinking and playing cards just like the old days and catching up and playing ‘Remember when?”. It was a lot of fun, but we’d been listening to hair metal and classic rock all night, and at one point, I was flipping through the CD’s.”“Actual CD’s! Not downloads?”“Hell, I’m so old even my post-high school stories are dated now. Yes, Wade, real CD’s. Anyhow, I found a new Foo Fighters album, and I put it in. And this one guy made a face and asked me why I had taken the Guns-n-Roses out. And I said something like the nostalgia had been fun but I needed something from that decade. Being completely serious he said that he didn’t know how I could listen to that stuff, and that he still listened to the same exact music we did in high school. He had just replaced his old cassettes with CD’s. The guy had completely managed to miss grunge and was perfectly happy with the same play list in 1998 that he’d been listening to in 1988. And that was one of the saddest things I ever heard, Wade.”“But maybe he just really liked that stuff.”“I liked it too, once upon a time. And I can still belt out a pretty good version of Relax when Frankie Goes to Hollywood comes on the radio, but it was a certain time and place. Now it’s done. I find it depressing that someone of Gen X would want to be stuck there and never moved on to anything new. But it got worse after that, Wade. Because we got older and then the media started catering to us by going for nostalgia trips on everything from trying to remake the Knight Rider TV show to shitty movies like The Transformers and G.I. Joe to the goddamn Smurfs. I’m tired of it in 2011, Wade. I don’t want a new Indiana Jones movie, I want the NEXT Indiana Jones. But no one is working on that because all of us got obsessed with regurgitating our childhoods over and over.”“That is kind of sad, Kemper.”“What’s even sadder is seeing it happen to a generation that didn’t even live through it. When I was a teenager, I got sick to death of baby boomer nostalgia and there’d be these kids my age who tried to be like damn dirty hippies by wearing tie-dye shirts and going to listen to Grateful Dead tribute bands. They were nostalgic for an era that wasn’t even theirs, and I always thought it was a waste. Don’t be like that, Wade. You seem like a nice kid. Don’t sit here watching Family Ties reruns and playing Space Invaders and making jokes about Ewoks. That was then. This is now. It’s your time and you should be out there trying to find the stuff that will become part of your own memories of growing up, not rehashing ours.”“Gee, Kemper. That’s a really good point. You’ve opened my eyes. Thanks a lot.”“You’re welcome, Wade. By the way, what the hell was this prize that was so good that it got the entire world doing the safety dance again?”“Oh, the winner gets the controlling interest in Halliday’s company and his personal fortune which is about $240 billion dollars.”“Did you say $240 billion? Dollars?”“Yes, so how about we log off. Maybe I’ll take a walk and see if I can find this girl I like. I’ve been…”“Screw that. Fire this rig up, Wade. Put on some Def Leppard and find me a pair of acid washed jeans and some high top Reeboks. Let’s start looking for clues. For $240 billion I’ll live through the ‘80s again.”**************************************************I didn’t actually hate this book. It did a lot of very clever stuff regarding an entire virtual universe. And for a member of Gen X, it was a fast and fun romp down memory lane. It was kind of like Snow Crash meets the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World movie.But I’ve got a personal pet peeve against people trying to live in the past and since this book is nostalgia porn*, the basic premise did rub me the wrong way. The idea that the kids of the 2040s are just watching episodes of ‘80s TV shows and playing Donkey Kong really kind of depressed me. *I stole that phrase from Flannery’s review. Sorry, Flannery! It was just too good.I might have been able to get past it a little easier if at least one of the kids said something like, “Jesus, I hate this ‘80s bullshit. I can’t wait until his freakin’ contest is over so I can live in the here and now.” But instead all of them treat it like it’s the greatest entertainment ever. So even though a few post ’80s things like Firefly or the Lord of the Rings movies get mentioned, we’re supposed to believe that nerd pop culture reached a zenith in the ’80s and nothing worth geek obsession happened between 1990 and 2040? Sorry, but that seems kind of unlikely and the kind of wishful thinking that an aging Gen Xer would write as he pines for his glory days.more
- January 1, 1970William ClineFor most of the first half of this book, I was unimpressed. The writing was flat, and the story was unremarkable. The book gets hype because of its pervasive use of 1980s popular culture, particularly its references to science fiction, fantasy, and video games. The problem was that most of these references served no purpose. Something would be described by pointing out its resemblance to something from a film or television show—a particularly annoying form of "telling, rather than showing" given For most of the first half of this book, I was unimpressed. The writing was flat, and the story was unremarkable. The book gets hype because of its pervasive use of 1980s popular culture, particularly its references to science fiction, fantasy, and video games. The problem was that most of these references served no purpose. Something would be described by pointing out its resemblance to something from a film or television show—a particularly annoying form of "telling, rather than showing" given that a reader of the wrong age or background won't know the reference—but said reference would add nothing to the events at hand. Either that, or the reference would be carried to cringe-worthy, fan-fiction-grade extremes. For instance, in one scene, the online avatar of the main character, Wade Watts (known online as Parzival) pilots a DeLorean DMC-12 resembling the one used in the Back to the Future films, except for the addition of the computerized voice and sweeping red light of KITT from Knight Rider, a pair of Ghost Busters logos adorning the doors, and a license plate reading "ECTO 88". Whether mentioned in passing or over the top like the aforementioned mash-up car, however, virtually all of these allusions are brought up and then dropped in the space of a sentence. The DeLorean, for example, takes up a couple of paragraphs and is then never used again. Ready Player One doesn't draw from 1980s popular culture; it just name-drops it all over the place. Sometimes it seemed the only purpose for these references was that the author and reader could share a knowing, self-congratulating smile.The notion of a "massively multiplayer" online role-playing game becoming the human race's main form of entertainment presents some amusing possibilities, though, and Ready Player One doesn't completely squander its potential. The moment when I started to enjoy the book came about halfway through, in a chapter describing a day in Wade's life some time after his (view spoiler)[break-up with Art3mis. Cline shows him putting his life in order, rescuing his health and habits from the pallid, flabby state a life online had put them in. His avatar Parzival, previously a penniless high school student, becomes one of the coolest, most powerful characters in the OASIS. But then, at the end of the chapter, in a moment of insight, Wade realizes that all the good things in his life only exist inside in a world that isn't real. Despite his accomplishments, he lives alone in a featureless one-room apartment, never going or even looking outside. Cline takes the familiar narrative arc of, "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy falls into depression, boy turns his life around" and twists it in a way that I found interesting. (hide spoiler)]Cline shares the late twentieth century computer geek's vision of the Internet as a benevolent force. Wade has genuine feelings of friendship and love for his online friends, people he would never have met offline, people with whom he shares bonds of mutual interests and ideals rather than geography. An online world is one without racism or other prejudices. (Or at least, it's a world where you can avoid these prejudices by configuring your avatar appropriately. Let's not go into the implications of that.) Furthermore, despite its post-energy-crisis shabbiness, the world of Ready Player One is one in which the good guys have won: free speech, privacy, and "net neutrality" all rule the day.At the same time, no matter how cool he tries to make the OASIS (and I admit, it is cool), Cline is conflicted about it. Its pleasures are tempered by the fact that for many of its players it serves as a drug, distracting them from the shabby state of real life in late twenty-first century Earth. Wade's dissatisfaction with a life spent entirely online is explored throughout the book, though never deeply. I would have liked to see the book explore this tension between the unifying and isolating effects of the online world in more detail.In summary, Ready Player One touches on some interesting ideas, although it doesn't explore them as deeply as I would have liked. The writing is nothing special, but it gets the job done. The story gets more interesting in the second half, and the annoying popular culture references become less frequent. I'm glad I stuck it out to the end, but I don't think it deserves whatever hype it's getting in nerd circles.more
- January 1, 1970Melissa McShaneETA: At the risk of getting this more attention by editing it, I'm no longer responding to comments made on this review. It's four years old, and while I stand by what I wrote, I'm not interested in discussing it, either positively or negatively. And I'm really glad they made it into a movie.So disappointing. The premise of a treasure hunt inside a gigantic immersive online environment is interesting. I like the idea of the people of 2044 being fixated on '80s culture for clues to solving the pu ETA: At the risk of getting this more attention by editing it, I'm no longer responding to comments made on this review. It's four years old, and while I stand by what I wrote, I'm not interested in discussing it, either positively or negatively. And I'm really glad they made it into a movie.So disappointing. The premise of a treasure hunt inside a gigantic immersive online environment is interesting. I like the idea of the people of 2044 being fixated on '80s culture for clues to solving the puzzle. The execution simply doesn't live up to the promise. The writing goes like this:interestinginterestinginterestingINFODUMPinteresti-BIGGER INFODUMP...and so forth. I honestly don't know who the intended audience is. The author overexplains all the '80s references as if he expects readers to be too young or too disconnected from geek culture not to get them, but my experience with SF fandom is that no element of fandom, however old, ever completely dies out; all of us old farts who were teens in the '80s (and, interesting fact, the creator of the book's treasure hunt has the same birth year I do) make sure the young sprouts experience all the golden oldies. This is a first novel, and I make allowances for first novels, but this stretches my tolerance quite a bit.More difficult for me to get past was the poorly-conceived dystopian future from which the story arises; to the bugaboos of environmental destruction, overpopulation, and economic collapse is added the fear of giant, evil corporations. This despite the fact that the guy who set up the enormous online multiverse AND created the treasure hunt did so by creating an enormous corporation of his own. His online creation is lauded (in one of those massive infodumps) as being so egalitarian because they don't charge anything for access, just for the things you buy inside it, but the corporation couldn't have set it up in the first place without needing a grundle of cash. (My computer programmer friends will fall on the floor laughing at the idea that all of those virtual items people buy are pure profit for the company because they "don't cost anything to make.") Every time I started to get interested in the story, I came up against some background element that only made sense in a tautological way--it is because it's said to be so.But what really killed it for me, what caused me to finally give up about halfway through, has always been a deal-breaker for me in any work of speculative fiction. I don't like books that seem to exist independently of the great body of work that has explored the same issues or ideas. In this case, it's as if the author has never heard of Tad Williams' Otherland or (despite the hero's homage to Stephenson) The Diamond Age and Snow Crash. These books (I except Stephenson's more recent book Reamde because it was released the same year as Ready Player One) raised and evaluated issues with virtual reality, and yet Ready Player One does a lot of unnecessary reinventing of the cybernetic wheel. And yes, I do think this is a valid criticism; science fiction is interconnected to a degree that trumps any other genre, except possibly experimental literary fiction. There's an expectation that readers will be familiar with concepts raised elsewhere and have more than a passing familiarity with other SF novels. Ready Player One doesn't do much more than revisit ideas that other authors have explored, and the addition of a high-tech fantasy quest (an admittedly very cool idea) isn't enough to elevate it beyond the ordinary.more
- January 1, 1970PatrickI got to read an ARC of this, and it appealed to every geeky part of me. I'll probably write a blog about it later, but for now, a brief review: Simply said? This book was fucking awesome.
- January 1, 1970Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunniesThis book is a geek fantasy. A nerd utopia. Speaking as a formerly addicted World of Warcraft player (among others), I loved it.I believe you can tell the author's passion from what he's written, and it is clear from this book that Ernest Cline is a fellow gamer and geek. I salute him. His ardor for games is so clearly felt within this book. A fellow fangirl/fanboy can sniff out a fake one like a dead fish within a Bath and Body Works (ok, that may be a bad example, but you catch my drift). Erne This book is a geek fantasy. A nerd utopia. Speaking as a formerly addicted World of Warcraft player (among others), I loved it.I believe you can tell the author's passion from what he's written, and it is clear from this book that Ernest Cline is a fellow gamer and geek. I salute him. His ardor for games is so clearly felt within this book. A fellow fangirl/fanboy can sniff out a fake one like a dead fish within a Bath and Body Works (ok, that may be a bad example, but you catch my drift). Ernest Cline is a real-deal fanboy. I salute you, sir.This book is for fanboys and fangirls. There are those who don't like it. There are those who feel that there are needless references, inserted solely for a wink and a nudge from the author to the reader. To those people, I say: SO WHAT?! I welcomed those references. It makes me feel good because I know what they are. Is there something wrong with feeling good and getting an innocent giggle out of understanding a reference? GSS had also licensed preexisting virtual worlds from their competitors, so content that had already been created for games like Everquest and World of Warcraft was ported over to the OASIS, and copies of Norrath and Azeroth were added to the growing catalog of OASIS planets. Other virtual worlds soon followed suit, from the Metaverse to the Matrix. The Firefly universe was anchored in a sector adjacent to the Star Wars galaxy, with a detailed re-creation of the Star Trek universe in the sector adjacent to that. IN ONE PARAGRAPH, HE REFERENCED SO MANY THINGS THAT I LOVE. How could I hate the references? I have a soul!!!!!!!! I get excited, ok? ._.So here's what I liked about this book:1. I liked the main character2. I liked the future world3. I liked the realistic feeling of an online gaming sceneWade is a good kid. He's had a rough life. He's depressed, but he never reaches martyr status. The year after my mom died, I spent a lot of time wallowing in self-pity and despair. I tried to look on the bright side, to remind myself that, orphaned or not, I was still better off than most of the kids in Africa. And Asia. And North America, too. I’d always had a roof over my head and more than enough food to eat. And I had the OASIS. My life wasn’t so bad. At least that’s what I kept telling myself, in a vain attempt to stave off the epic loneliness I now felt. He's nothing special. He's an overweight (and simultaneously malnourished) kid. He doesn't do too well in school. He could be any of my friends who have played games.He is a nice kid. He doesn't blame people for circumstances that are beyond their control. It would have been the easiest thing to hate his mom for being drug-addicted, yet he doesn't. I never blamed my mom for the way things were. She was a victim of fate and cruel circumstance, like everyone else. Her generation had it the hardest. She’d been born into a world of plenty, then had to watch it all slowly vanish. It's a shitty world. People have to survive the best way they know how, sometimes those ways are self-destructive.A lot of the problems with dystopian fiction is that they're too drastic. Barely 100 years into the future, the world has created a new society, etc. The world in this book is set in 2044, and admittedly, it is pretty grim, but I still found it believable.There's been an energy crisis, there's global warming, civilization is decline but not completely in the shithole yet. Life is crappy. I've always thought that life would be awful for my grandchildren, and this book pretty much tells it how I believe it could be. And god help us if Trump is elected president.I also love Cline's explanation of the way online gaming works, down to its community. He clearly knows his shit, from user names to avatars. There are some funny tidbits. Students weren’t allowed to use their avatar names while they were at school. This was to prevent teachers from having to say ridiculous things like “Pimp_Grease, please pay attention!” or “BigWang69, would you stand up and give us your book report?” But really, it's the nostalgia of my gaming days that clinches this book for me. The online camaraderie. The late nights gaming together, the bonding that takes place over Ventrilo after defeating a difficult challenge. I got to know many friends whom I wouldn't ordinary have talked to in the real world. It's a bonding experience that is as much a part of the game as the game itself. Often, it's community that truly makes the experience memorable. And yes, the online romances. This book portrays all of that, and so what if it banks on my nostalgia? I'll take it.Granted, it is overly long, and too detailed at times. It does lack complexity, and would be more of a middle-grade book if not for its length and content, but overall, it was a solidly good book.more
- January 1, 1970SissyneckThat one star is probably misleading...I thought this was going to be a 4-5 star book for a good portion of the time I spent reading it. The 80s pop-culture references are so pervasive and so relevant to my life that, at times, the book felt like it been written specifically for me. (The love interest is described as being like Jordan, from Real Genius...c'mon!)But.All of the Star Wars, Ferris Bueller, and Highlander references in the world can't hide that this story is at best, empty, and at wo That one star is probably misleading...I thought this was going to be a 4-5 star book for a good portion of the time I spent reading it. The 80s pop-culture references are so pervasive and so relevant to my life that, at times, the book felt like it been written specifically for me. (The love interest is described as being like Jordan, from Real Genius...c'mon!)But.All of the Star Wars, Ferris Bueller, and Highlander references in the world can't hide that this story is at best, empty, and at worst, ugly. Rote plotting, un-earned dickensian coincidences, clumsy deus ex machina (I still don't know how to pluralize that term), the worst kind of tokenism disguised as actually valuing diversity, a profound neglect of the complexities of the real/virtual world dichotomy...Cline has adopted some of the style of Gibson and Stephenson, but none of the substance.In a nice manifestation of the novel's lack of self-awareness, Cline at one point derides the villains of the book for simply using "Johnny 5" style robots from Short Circuit instead coming up with their own design. This appropriation, he explaines, demonstrates "a lack of imagination," a valid criticism that only too accurately applies to the ostensible heroes of the book, as well as to Cline himself.Update: The plural of "deus ex machina" is "dei ex machinis". Thanks, The Awl!more
- January 1, 1970FlanneryThis book is nostalgia porn. If you grew up in the 80s, enjoy video games, or go crazy for popular culture, you will devour this one. I was supposed to be reading this with a friend but I couldn’t stop. I read the beginning and thought, “what’s the big deal with everyone’s obsession?” Then Ernest Cline got his meat hooks into me and I read it while I was making dinner, while I was eating dinner, and then afterward until I’d finished it. I think I am just a few years shy of this books prime audie This book is nostalgia porn. If you grew up in the 80s, enjoy video games, or go crazy for popular culture, you will devour this one. I was supposed to be reading this with a friend but I couldn’t stop. I read the beginning and thought, “what’s the big deal with everyone’s obsession?” Then Ernest Cline got his meat hooks into me and I read it while I was making dinner, while I was eating dinner, and then afterward until I’d finished it. I think I am just a few years shy of this books prime audience but I can see how it will appeal to most of my fellow geek friends. Ready Player One is set in a future where we have depleted our resources to the point where many people lives in Stacks, which are basically just trailer homes piled 20+ high, and many people struggle to make ends meet. Wade Watts, the protagonist, attends school in OASIS like many of his peers. OASIS, an online world created by James Halliday, contains thousands of different worlds, including copies of many famous sci-fi verses—I’m sure you could spend most of your time in Sunnydale or on Dune if you wanted to. In a very Westing Game move, Halliday leaves his entire $250 billion fortune to the player who can find the Easter egg hidden in OASIS. The book is set five years after his death and no player has gotten even one step closer to figuring out Halliday’s mystery. And the kicker? Halliday’s obsession, besides video games, was the 1980s. All the kids and adults alike are well-versed in all things 1980s from fashion to music to games to computers. These characters know more about the 1980s than most people who lived through them. Wade Watts has spent years playing through all of Halliday’s favorite games and songs trying to figure out the first step. When Wade figures out the first move, his name shoots to the top of a previously empty high-scorers list and the world goes into a frenzy. The entire rest of the book follows Wade and his fellow contestants through the game in their attempts to reach the goal first. It seems like every person in the world is up against each other—especially the “gunters” (egg hunters) and the “sixers.” (Corporately-sponsored hunters who want to take over the OASIS for monetary gain, so-called because their avatar names begin with the number 6) My adrenaline ran high for the whole book. In fact, I actually kept speaking to Wade aloud. “Wade, what the hell are you doing? You are past the first gate! Pull your head out of your ass and stop spending your time at dance parties!” “Art3mis is so much smarter than you, Wade!” Wade’s fellow gunters include his long-time online crush, Art3mis and his BFF Aech (pronounced like the letter H). They were seriously awesome side characters with distinct personalities, which I especially enjoyed considering I have several friends on Goodreads whom I’ve never met in real life but I feel like I know pretty well. (view spoiler)[But if one of you is completely lying to me, I’m a’gonna be pissed. (hide spoiler)] My experience with WoW and Second Life is pretty minimal…well, I did once try Second Life but it mostly consisted of my friends and I goofing around and then accidentally wandering into an orgy and getting yelled at. Anyway, my point is that people quest all the time and talk to the same people regularly online. They have distinct personalities. I’m so happy that Ernest Cline was able to capture the personalities so well when the characters were only together outside of OASIS for limited amounts of time.As someone who has spent probably entire weeks of her life playing video games, this book feels a bit like validation. SEE, NERD! YOUR TIME SPENT COLLECTING RUPEES WASN’T FOR NOTHING! Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this highly addictive and fun read!more
- January 1, 1970Jeffrey Keeten"I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal." Groucho MarxThe middle school I attended was a 1930s WPA project that by the 1970s was a lethal cocktail of toxic mold from the water leaks and cancer causing asbestos. I'm hoping, since several decades have passed, that all the nasty microbes I inhaled while conjugating verbs and wrestling with algebra have long since been frog marched out of my body. I was a rural kid and had to wait for the bus to come pick me "I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal." Groucho MarxThe middle school I attended was a 1930s WPA project that by the 1970s was a lethal cocktail of toxic mold from the water leaks and cancer causing asbestos. I'm hoping, since several decades have passed, that all the nasty microbes I inhaled while conjugating verbs and wrestling with algebra have long since been frog marched out of my body. I was a rural kid and had to wait for the bus to come pick me up after school. The bus was always late which was a real pain in the ass for a scrawny kid like me who was trying to avoid the hulking, megalithic Hoover clan. They were massive, with beach ball bellies and Neanderthal brows. They had freckle specked Popeye arms and flaming red hair. They were full grown men in middle school with mustaches and sideburns. They liked to grab underweight kids by the neck and dangle them off the ground for entertainment. A new pizza place opened across the highway. The pizza was passable, but I wasn't there for the pizza. When I walked in those doors I claimed sanctuary. It didn't take long for the owner to 86 the Hoover boys because he didn't want me to be interrupted putting quarter after quarter into this colorful black box called DEFENDER. If I were to get the high score the pizza guy would give me a slice. I soon learned that I could barter that slice for safe conduct onto my bus. It was worth the investment to buy a piece and watch the Hoover boysmen tear the slice into pieces nearly coming to blows in the process, although I probably could have brought them roadkill with similar results. The place also had Asteroids which I loved as well, but my first love was Defender. I would only play Asteroids if someone was already playing Defender. Even while immersed in blowing up interstellar asteroids I would catch myself looking longingly over at Defender. Yes, it was a whirlwind romance born out of a need for survival. When I moved to high school I would stop in once in a while, but I'd grown as a person and Defender...well...had stayed the same. Our romance had gotten away from us somehow and it was time for both of us to move on to other people like Molly Ringwald. Yes, I know it is embarrassing to admit it now, but I, like a large majority of boys and a good percentage of girls, had a crush on Molly. She wasn't the best role model for girls and I paid the price for her influence. The girls I dated in high school were that much more a pain in the ass because Molly Ringwald was their idol from the clothes they wore to the way they talked. Is that the time period when High Maintenance came into common usage? I wore a Members Only jacket and wished like hell my parents had cable so I could watch MTV. It was always a struggle trying to be cool in Kansas in the 1980s. Wade Watts, our hero, is an orphan. He was taken in by an aunt because she wanted the extra food vouchers. She doesn't share the food,a bit of a Dickens situation going on, which forces Wade to scramble for his own food supply. They live in these lovely stacked trailers on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. "We lived in the Portland Avenue Stacks, a sprawling hive of discolored tin shoeboxes rusting on the shores of I-40, just west of Oklahoma City's decaying skyscraper core. It was a collection of over five hundred individual stacks, all connected to each other by a makeshift network of recycled pipes, girders, support beams, and footbridges. The spires of a dozen ancient construction cranes (used to do the actual stacking) were positioned around the stacks' ever expanding outer perimeter.Living in this world of 2044 would have been horrible except for a man named James Halliday who had invented OASIS a sprawling virtual utopia. You could live in the nastiest slag heap on the planet, but in OASIS, where you spent most of your time, you could build a paradise. When Halliday died he left a series of clues that created a world sensation. The first person to figure out the clues wins the Halliday fortune...$140 billion. Halliday was a fan of 1980s pop culture and built his clues around his love of that era. Those involved in the search have to become experts on everything 1980s. The dialogue of every John Hughes film, the man who brought us Molly Ringwald, must be memorized. They have to learn how to play vintage video games such as Defender, Asteroids, Joust and Pac-Man. They have to watch all the television episodes from that era searching for clues to the puzzle. They have to know Devo lyrics and the words to every other 1980s pop song. Needless to say, most of the population give up, and go back to other pursuits as the years pass without any breakthroughs. Wade is determined and with the help of his best friend Aech pronounced H they continue to sift through archival material looking for that clue that will lead them to the next clue. When Wade finds the first clue and opens the first gate of the elaborate treasure hunt he becomes a world sensation, and draws the attention of the Sixers, the evil corporation intent on dominating OASIS. If they find the clues before Wade and his friends, and unlock the Halliday fortune, OASIS would be under their control. During his quest, his online name is Parzival, Wade meets a girl. "It was Art3mis.She wore a suit of scaled gunmetal-blue armor that looked more sci-fi than fantasy. Twin blaster pistols were slung low on her hips in quick draw holsters, and there was a long, curved elvish sword in a scabbard across her back. She wore fingerless Road Warrior-style racing gloves and a pair of classic Ray-Ban shades. Overall, she seemed to be going for a sort of mid-'80s postapocalyptic cyberpunk girl-next-door look. And it was working for me, in a big way. In a word:hot.I'm such a sucker for boy meets girl, boy wins girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back. Cline mines this tried and true formula to perfection. The reader is shotgunned with 1980s pop culture which I know has bothered some reviewers. I thought it was great. I've been listening to '80s music all week on my iPod because the book brought back memories of songs that I first heard on cassette tapes. I wasn't ever a gamer. My brief fling with Defender has been the only time I've spent any significant amount of time playing video games. To enjoy this book I don't think you have to be a connoisseur of vintage video games or have spent hours playing D&D, but I think those people with that background will enjoy it more because the references will ignite; hopefully, fond memories for them. If you pine for the 1980s you should definitely read this book. The plot was fascinating and kept the pages turning. This book went viral in the collecting world. First edition, first printing are bringing $200. I read somewhere that the print run was 15,000 which is reasonably small. If a large percentage of the first printings were bought by libraries it could stay a much sought after collectible for years to come. If you have a first edition, first printing tuck it away somewhere safe. It could turn out to provide a really good return on your initial investment. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeetenmore
- January 1, 1970karen**lo! i have made a readalike list for this book over on riffle!**http://www.rifflebooks.com/list/23995...let me get the gripes out of the way first, because despite overall being a fun, escapist book, there are things that rankle.i have a crush on the 80's (not an obsession, mind you, but a crush. when i was little i managed to simultaneously want to make out with both jon cryer and molly ringwald and to this day depeche mode's album black celebration soothes many sorrows.so a book that revolve **lo! i have made a readalike list for this book over on riffle!**http://www.rifflebooks.com/list/23995...let me get the gripes out of the way first, because despite overall being a fun, escapist book, there are things that rankle.i have a crush on the 80's (not an obsession, mind you, but a crush. when i was little i managed to simultaneously want to make out with both jon cryer and molly ringwald and to this day depeche mode's album black celebration soothes many sorrows.so a book that revolves around 80's pop culture sounded like my kind of thing, even if a lot of the references are video game related, and the minutiae, while impressive, could have been made up for all i knew because i enjoyed the atari back in the day, but i wasn't a serious video game geek. (although i did take my atari 2600 to college in 1995 - i was the original ironic hipster - recognize!)i am getting to the gripes now after one more brief personal anecdote. i used to go to a lot of new wave dance nights. (if i am being honest, most of them were "dark" new wave, bordering on goth: camouflage, wolfsheim, anything box, the normal, soft cell) and towards the end of my going to this one particular club, they used to frequently slip sit down by james in there. and i used to get so irate. because 1) you cannot dance to that song. 2) you cannot go from the sun always shines on TV to jaunty britpop and 3) (but i just consulted queen wikipedia and learned i was absolutely wrong) it is not an 80's song. as it turns out, it is. 1989. and this undermines my entire argument so let's pretend my initial misconception was correct and i am not just wrong in everything i do.but that was my problem with this book. if we take as fact that james halliday's obsession was the eighties, than how is quentin tarantino among his favorite directors?? or neal stephenson among his favorite writers?? and unless he really loves the meaning of life, what the hell is monty python doing in there? there is a long pivotal scene involving the acting-out of scenes from the holy grail. i don't even need queen wikipedia to know that that movie came out in 1975. and don't give me attitude about geek culture and how integral that movie is to geeks everywhere because trust me, i am aware. and "well, the seventies were really the eighties..." no. this is a novel. the character has built an entire life around being obsessed with the pop culture of the 80's. commit to your premise!! you wrote this - stick to it! it's not like there is a dearth of source material, that's kind of what the 80's were for.it was ALL pop culture.but that aside - this is definitely a lot of fun. if there was such a thing, i would call this a popcorn book. it is fun and fast-paced, and if you are old enough, you will chuckle, and if you are younger, you will probably be baffled and miss a lot of the slyly inserted references, but that's okay because you have your whole life ahead of you, so it's a trade off for those of us in our dotage. he gets points for having an oingo boingo reference on page two - that pretty much cemented my engagement in the book, so smart move there. and i loved all the swordquest references. because i know i have gone off about this in another review somewhere, but seriously, doubleyoo tee eff??. i am also glad that he realized he was just writing a tech version of charlie and the chocolate factory. that's all i was thinking of at the beginning, and when he finally references it, it is just to say "nooooo this is different." but it is pretty much the same premise. but he is wise to distance himself from c.a.t.c.f., because, hello?? 1964. not 1984.dunno - this is going to be a huge hit when it comes out, mark my words. and i expect it will eventually be adapted into a movie. and i will buy the soundtrack to that movie.come to my blog!more
- January 1, 1970LynI found myself smiling frequently while reading this. Willy Wonka meets The Matrix in the near future online game age. I almost typed video age and that would date me back in the 1980s, but that would be OK too. Like James Halliday, I was a teenager in the late eighties and so Ready Player One by Ernest Cline has a special place for me. I played Dungeons and Dragons (I was even dungeon master for a Tomb of Horrors campaign) I played coin operated video games, I obviously dig science fiction and I found myself smiling frequently while reading this. Willy Wonka meets The Matrix in the near future online game age. I almost typed video age and that would date me back in the 1980s, but that would be OK too. Like James Halliday, I was a teenager in the late eighties and so Ready Player One by Ernest Cline has a special place for me. I played Dungeons and Dragons (I was even dungeon master for a Tomb of Horrors campaign) I played coin operated video games, I obviously dig science fiction and comics, I listened to Rush, REM and Van Halen, etc. etc. And for my Goodreads friends who enjoy my trivia questions, I went all out for my Ready Player One chapter; after all, 80s trivia was a big part of the book and so what better tribute could I pay than to level up with a treasure load of trivia questions? Cline invites us, especially those of us who were teenagers in the 80s, to geek out and it is a fun experience.Like Among Others, Jo Walton’s Hugo award winning novel, part of the charm of this book is the fun nostalgia, but Cline takes it to another level as the 80s trivia is an integral part of the plot; a near hopeless post cyber-punk (gamer punk?) dystopia with excellent characterization and with a very likeable cast. More than this even, Cline makes an intelligent, humanistic observation about where our world is now and where it is heading with the loneliness and isolation that comes when the cyber-world is more interesting, and more vital, than the real world. Yet Cline also makes a statement about the resiliency, tenacity and perseverance of the human sprit by demonstrating that even if the only connection two people can make is on a purely artificial and mental level, as in two people who only know each other as online avatars that genuine fellowship can still occur, that even love can bloom. One of the greatest compliments that can be paid to a book is to say you could not put it down, that’s how it was with Ready Player One, a very, very good read.I am stingy with my Goodreads 5 star votes, this one had my vote about a third of the way in.more
- January 1, 1970RickBack in 2011, Ready Player One was, perhaps, the year's most well-reviewed book. It received glowing commendations from the likes of NPR, The New York Times, Wired, John Scalzi, Patrick Rothfuss, and many, many more. It maintains a 4.3 average score on Goodreads.com (a significant accomplishment given its 20,000+ reviews), and you'd be hard pressed to find a negative review in any major publication.In no way can I make any sense of this. Please believe what I am about to write, as it is not even Back in 2011, Ready Player One was, perhaps, the year's most well-reviewed book. It received glowing commendations from the likes of NPR, The New York Times, Wired, John Scalzi, Patrick Rothfuss, and many, many more. It maintains a 4.3 average score on Goodreads.com (a significant accomplishment given its 20,000+ reviews), and you'd be hard pressed to find a negative review in any major publication.In no way can I make any sense of this. Please believe what I am about to write, as it is not even close to hyperbole:Ready Player One was the most disappointing reading experience of my entire life.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 puzzles that will yield a massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the 1980s. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize.And with that, you've just read the best that Ready Player One has to offer: its synopsis.I should preface the rest of this review by stating that I am, and have always been, a geek at heart. I am as much a byproduct of the 1980s as anyone. I've been a lifelong gamer, a pop culture obsessive, and I once thought I'd married, for real, Princess Peach.Ready Player One has been hailed by its author, Ernest Cline, as a love letter to anyone who "grew up geek," a sentiment that has been confirmed by every review, in every publication, all over the world. And yet, the Ready Player One that I read was less a love letter to geeks than it was a pat on the back to an 18-year-old Cline, a Stephanie-Meyer-eclipsing Mary Sue that attempts to justify the behavior of an overweight, socially awkward, virginal nerd.I'm not being mean. It's literally what it is.At its core, Ready Player One is a fairy tale, a treasure hunt. Albeit, one designed by an 80s-obsessed ultra-nerd whose entire life was steeped in nostalgia. Evidently, human creativity peaked with Zork and Legend. So Wade's hunt for Halladay's "easter egg" is one long excuse for a constant—and I do mean constant—barrage of 80s references.Actually, scratch that. It's not so much referencing as it is name dropping. 95% of it serves no actual purpose aside from simply mentioning it. At first the references reinforce the story, helping to create a framework that grounds the reader in the "world" Cline has "created" with OASIS. But after the first chapter (yes, the first chapter) these devolve into ceaseless, meaningless throwbacks. The novelty lasts all of ten minutes until you realize that it's all just an annoying form of telling, not showing.If the point is to re-enact sections of D&D modules and 80s cult classics, then your readers are just getting third-hand retreads of things that aren't even important to begin with. It's sort of like when your socially-awkward friend resolutely recounts a super-sweet TV show for you, word for word, and all you can do is just sit there and wait until he's finished. Pay $20 for that experience and you get Ready Player One.What makes Ready Player One so disappointing is that these references seem to the be the sole purpose of Cline's writing. The novel doesn't say much of anything. Sure, there are a handful of introspective moments—limp attempts at social commentary—but they're of so little consequence they seem thrown in to fulfill some delusion of grandeur.Yes, reality really is better and more meaningful than virtual reality. We've been told this in almost every VR-based story known to man. And yet, that's Cline's one takeaway. (Oh, and you should love people for who they are on the inside, even if they have a birthmark on half their face. Thanks Ernest!)What's confusing about the 80s obsession, though, is the fact that Ready Player One is, at best, a YA-level read. Cline would sit very comfortably beside the likes of Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins. Ready Player One is inelegant and shallow at the best of times, and yet, this novel is clearly targeted at the 30-year-old-and-up-crowd (if you're any younger much of the subject material is simply too obscure). This subject/reading-level conflict, then, makes the whole mess inherently problematic.And what's worst—no, I haven't even gotten to the worst part yet—is how the entire thing reeks of elitism. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a book about an overweight, unattractive, lazy, delusional, uber-geek elitist, who believes—truly believes—that his knowledge of 80s trivia makes him superior. And Cline basically affirms this! Some guys buy cars, others put socks down their pants, Cline writes 80s trivia novels.There is a scene, in chapter 3, in which Wade (or Parzival, as his handle goes), engages in a nerdy rat-a-tat-tat with another OASIS player to see who has more knowledge of 80s pop culture. It is the singularly most embarrassing thing I have ever read from a professional. It's just this much above fan fiction. Actually, fuck that. I've actually read fan fiction more entertaining than this. It was absolutely ridiculous.Add to all this the fact that Cline's characters are uniformly flat. Wade, our narrator, is blatant author wish fulfillment and his lessons are trivial, at best. His love interest is present only to represent Wade's "true" victory (her heart). The unknowable best friend who harbours a secret you'll never guess (meaning, you absolutely will). And the villain … a one-dimensional, nearly faceless corporation as uninteresting as a rival boyfriend in a John Hughes movie."If it's a great book, I want to luxuriate in its greatness. And if it's crap, I want it to magically transform itself into genius. This book just stayed crap." – Amy, a reviewer on Amazon.comReady Player One exists solely to glorify hollow pop culture from the 1980s, and yet, Ernest Cline does absolutely nothing to convince the reader that the 80s were cool if he/she didn't think so already. The plot is overly simplistic and plods along with inevitability, making The Da Vinci Code read like a Pulitzer Prize winner. Cline's hero, Wade, is the trivia-equivalent of Superman, where he is so overpowered his "quest" becomes tedious, rather than uplifting. And, at the end of the day, Wade is just an arrogant, elitist prick. (He describes his abject poverty and lack of real world opportunities as like "being in the world's greatest video arcade with no quarters." Seriously, fuck you, Wade.)Every time I think about this book I want to make my rating lower. It started as a 2, then dropped to a 1.5, and by the end of this review I feel I have no choice but to give it a 1. I hated this book with every fibre of my being, and it escapes the dreaded 0 only because Cline managed to form actual sentences.Never again will I read Ernest Cline. You can count on that.more
- January 1, 1970Shelby *trains flying monkeys*NERDGASM!!!!!!! Video games, movies and music from the 80's!My teenage years were spent during the 80's. I look through the pictures that were taken at that time and realize we could have been called a cheesy generation. This book saves us. This book makes us cool. I actually wanted to revisit those times after reading this book. It's not deep literature but it is pure fun. I smiled and cheered so many times reading Wade's story, even though you know how the book is going to end it is still a po NERDGASM!!!!!!! Video games, movies and music from the 80's!My teenage years were spent during the 80's. I look through the pictures that were taken at that time and realize we could have been called a cheesy generation. This book saves us. This book makes us cool. I actually wanted to revisit those times after reading this book. It's not deep literature but it is pure fun. I smiled and cheered so many times reading Wade's story, even though you know how the book is going to end it is still a popcorn needing ride to get to that ending. I'm not going to bother telling you about the books story because other reviewers have done a wonderful job of that. I'm gonna gif spam you! (Every once in awhile I have to give the gif haters something to bitch about)more
- January 1, 1970Catriona (LittleBookOwl)I just kinda wanna cry right now. I'll have a proper review at some point, but I gotta let myself recover.
- January 1, 1970PetrikReady Player One is a Fiction/YA/Dystopian hybrid that takes place in the year 2044 where our world is suffering from global energy crisis and everyone needs a means to escape from this harsh truth. This is where OASIS, a genius MMORPG utopia created by James Halliday arrived as the solution to their need for escapism. I’d be lying to myself if I said this book isn’t something that’s written for me. The whole concept and tributes featured in this book are exactly my thoughts and hobbies of the p Ready Player One is a Fiction/YA/Dystopian hybrid that takes place in the year 2044 where our world is suffering from global energy crisis and everyone needs a means to escape from this harsh truth. This is where OASIS, a genius MMORPG utopia created by James Halliday arrived as the solution to their need for escapism. I’d be lying to myself if I said this book isn’t something that’s written for me. The whole concept and tributes featured in this book are exactly my thoughts and hobbies of the past, some of which still persist to this day.The plot of RPO itself is actually really simple. Before his death, Halliday leaves a will that stated, if anyone is able to solve the puzzle he hid in OASIS, that person will receive all his wealth and power. This is literally the plot and where the story began for our main character, Wade, who has devoted his life into this treasure hunt. “You'd be amazed how much research you can get done when you have no life whatsoever.” Honestly, I have two main problems with the book: 1. First, almost all problems that appeared in the book were… how do I say this? Too convenient for Wade. It’s like he’s some Gary Stu who can do literally everything that relates with not only OASIS but every software and hacking, out of nowhere.2. The excessive details hurt the pacing a lot of times. When the plot really starts, I couldn’t put down the book but most of the time, there was way too much unnecessary repetition to the details. This made the book as something that was more written for a movie adaptation (there will be one coming in 2018 and it’s directed by Steven Spielberg so I’m hopeful for it).Despite these problems, I still enjoy reading RPO very much and it’s because the main strength of the book lies not within its plot or characters but within the concepts and tributes to every single popular entertainment media in the 80’s and 90’s. The whole concept and world building of the book is something that resonates with me so much even though the concept itself is not actually original. If you’ve been following anime and video games like me, you’ll probably know about this franchise called “.hack'”(2002) or this popular anime called “Sword Art Online” (2012) and they’re pretty much the exact same thing as what OASIS is about. Even the way to access it via a VR consoles is the exact copy, the only differences is that .hack and SAO have more dangerous real life repercussion in playing the game. However, it’s the tributes and crossovers with every single popular media in the 80’s and 90’s that made RPO a unique experience to read.Every single elements in RPO revolves around those tributes, this book is pretty much a utopia for geeks and nerds (don’t take this as offensive, I think geeks and nerds are awesome). Video games, anime, movies, music, movies, cultures that were popular in the 80’s and 90’s were featured here and I mean every popular one from western and eastern culture.Look at this picture for example:http://orig02.deviantart.net/4941/f/2... for full resolutionThis is from a scene in the book and trust me, I can tell you the name of every single thing in this picture and their stories cause I watched and played all of them growing up. Mobile Suit RX-78 Gundam, Macross, Leopardon, Kurosawa from Cowboy Bebop, the list goes on and on. This picture featured only a tiny fraction of what medias were featured in the book, there are still so much more for you to find out for yourself if you decide to read it (or watch it next year when the movie come out). With the book revolving around this concept and world building, it made reading it a really fun experience and a palate cleanser from my usual “Adult Epic Fantasy” read, don’t get me wrong, it’s my favorite genre but we all need a break sometimes.What made the book even better for me however is the theme that was explored, escapism. “Being human totally sucks most of the time. Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.” This quote is in the book but I’m not kidding, I actually said this quote word by word back when I was in middle school (around 15 years ago). RPO provides a solution to a harsh reality and now, imagine if this solution really exists in our world and by that, I mean something as huge as OASIS. I’m almost quite sure that a lot of people, including me, would be playing that game like we’re obsessed. Mute people can speak in the game, anyone disabled can function perfectly, weak person can be strong, an introvert can be outgoing, the list goes on but most of all, you can actually make a living out of playing the game. Who wouldn’t want that?I’ve been playing video games since I was 5 years old. Name every popular actions, FPS and RPG from Playstation 1 era until this year, I can guarantee you I’ve played almost all of them. Final Fantasy series, Suikoden, Metal Gear Solid, Wild Arms, Dark Souls, The Legend of Dragoon, Devil May Cry, Pokemon, etc or even anime, TV series and manga that I won’t mention here, the list is way too long. The point is, other than mandatory school and colleges, I spent most of my time escaping from reality with these entertainment.Guess which one I sacrificed? Good grades. It’s not bad, I rarely study but I passed every subject with average results. Do I regret it? No, the thing is, my form of escapism shaped who I am today. In my opinion, gaming and reading is one of the best forms of entertainment to increase your sense of empathy since you experienced thousands of different lives from different worlds and circumstances. However, these hobbies do cause loneliness if you do them excessively and this, in my opinion is what the book tried to convey. Too much of anything is never good for you, even if it’s something you love. “I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world. I didn't know how to connect with the people there. I was afraid, for all of my life, right up until I knew it was ending. That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it's also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.” I faced major loneliness last year when I played video games way too much, it almost ruined my life. Gaming can be a really lonely hobby, especially once you finished a game and try to talk about it with someone. The community is too cancerous and childish, where you can’t state an opinion without getting any of them riled up. What I meant is something really simple, for example “hey, I think this is the best game I ever played” and the reply you’ll get will be something like “your gaming taste is shit.” I figured, I can’t spend my life on this too much anymore. Don’t believe me? Search on Youtube any new released games such as “Legend of Zelda” or “Horizon Zero Dawn,” look at the comment section and you’ll see more comments bashing Xbox community more than praising the game itself.It’s one of the reason I tried reading again, starting with Mistborn back in September 2016 and oh boy my addiction to gaming decreased by a LOT. I’m much happier now since I started taking reading seriously. The main reason is this, I have people to share my experience with, in the forms of reviews or discussions. In the end true happiness lies in our world. Balance your life, to quote the Beatles, “all you need is love”, every wealth you have, every hobbies amounts to nothing if you don’t have someone to share it with and that, is what I think the book tried to convey the most to us. Everything must be in balance, besides, let’s face it, without our mundane reality, we won’t enjoy reading or playing video games that much anyway.Overall, I had some problems with RPO but despite them, I really enjoyed reading it and I find the concept and the theme of the book something that’s really important and resonates with me. It induced a lot of nostalgia factors and again, a really great standalone and palate cleanser. Right now it’s one of the best of its kind I’ve ever read.I would like to thank my best bookish friends, Sarah, Haifa, Lema, Mary, Celeste, Aria, Eon, TS, Tweebie, Colleen, Caleb, Melika, Melanie, Brittney, Katerina, Samir, Niki, Ivan, Orient, Layla, pretty much everyone who always liked and comments on my reviews or updates, you know who you are. There’s so much more I liked to mention but that’s impossible for me to do in this review, just know that I do remember all of you and you made my reading life much more enjoyable. Thank you very much and I hope we will continue our escapism together in the future, in the right amount of course! :)This review can also be found on my dear friend, Niki's blog: The Obsessive BooksellerYou can also find the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at Booknestmore
- January 1, 1970Marie LuThis reached into the gamer part of my heart and gave it a big piece of red velvet cake. :)
- January 1, 1970AnneDon't hate me...please.But I'm pretty sure I didn't like this one as much as most of my friends. I'm guessing the 80's were super rad n' all to a lot of people, but I don't remember them being all that amazing.Granted, I was only 10 in 1985, but still...I passed my middle school years during this tubular time period. Ick.Most of what I recall involved a mushroom cloud of hairspray (centered around bangs), lots of plastic bracelets, and tons of really loud colors.Not that there's anything wrong w Don't hate me...please.But I'm pretty sure I didn't like this one as much as most of my friends. I'm guessing the 80's were super rad n' all to a lot of people, but I don't remember them being all that amazing.Granted, I was only 10 in 1985, but still...I passed my middle school years during this tubular time period. Ick.Most of what I recall involved a mushroom cloud of hairspray (centered around bangs), lots of plastic bracelets, and tons of really loud colors.Not that there's anything wrong with that!Anyway. All of this nostalgia is really wonderful, but I never liked the shows (like Family Ties) that the book mentioned, I didn't obsessively play any of the old video games (although I do remember playing Centipede occasionally with my ONLY friend who could afford a console), and the music...*cough*...well, it wasn't any better than the stuff on the radio right now.So. While I found some of the references kinda neat-o, that sort of thing wasn't enough to make me flail around and get all excited.And, unfortunately, there wasn't enough meat to the characters to make me wanna cheer for Wade, Art3mis, or Aech. I mean, what the fuck was the point of the story? Wait.Is this a series? Is there another book that tells what happens next?If so, that could change my entire opinion!Well, not really. But I'd at least be willing to give book 2 a shot...more
- January 1, 1970AlejandroWOW !!! (Pun intended, if you what I meant ;) ) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets The Big Bang Theory meets TRON (raised to the nth power (TRON, I mean)).The most clear appealing to read this novel is obviously the insane quantity of geek references, mostly to 80's era (and some of 70's too), so it is most likely that people who aren't geek (don't worry, nobody is perfect) may be feel alienated and/or not interested to read this book. However, since "geek" is the new black these days, so WOW !!! (Pun intended, if you what I meant ;) ) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets The Big Bang Theory meets TRON (raised to the nth power (TRON, I mean)).The most clear appealing to read this novel is obviously the insane quantity of geek references, mostly to 80's era (and some of 70's too), so it is most likely that people who aren't geek (don't worry, nobody is perfect) may be feel alienated and/or not interested to read this book. However, since "geek" is the new black these days, so maybe you would consider to give it a shot to the book. But trust me, if you didn't born in the 70s or early 80s, so being able to live all the things that were "cool" then, well, or if you weren't interested to read about "the past", well, you won't understand or enjoying several (if not all) of the references made here, that they're not the story per se, oh yes! There is a story! But maybe you won't enjoy it the same.Therefore, I can't deny the advantage of being a geek, specially raised in the now classic time known as "The 80s", to understand almost all references and stuff that it's commented on the narrative.However, honestly I think that even you aren't a geek per se, if you are looking for a good novel in the dystopian genre with young brave heroes battling against a powerful corporation determined to rule society, well, I am sure that you will be able to enjoy quite enough the general core of the storyline.(While it's almost impossible that a novel can coincide with our own personal favorites of 80's and 70's, I thought to quote some of mine along the review. If you don't get them, don't worry, they're not relevant to the review itself. Just indulge me.) I feel the need. The need for speed! While on the novel is stated that, Wade Watts, the main character thinks that God doesn't exist and even, James Halliday, the key trigger of the story, is an atheist. I really think that religion is a strong issue in this novel. Wade a.k.a. Parzival didn't believe in God and therefore he doesn't read The Bible, BUT he believes in Halliday and he reads with passion the Anorak's Almanac, reaching the point of knowing almost anything about Halliday's life and his tastes on films, TV, music, books, etc... So, basically he changed the name of his raw human necessity of a god or a higher power in which to believe on. Even it's amusing to notice a moment where Wade calls the name of the deity in Conan's stories, since he is an "atheist", he "can't" claim that his luck was because the common perception of god. However, not matter the name that you choose, in the moment that you acknowledges that your life may be affected by the hand of a superior power, well, it's non-relevant which name you opted to use. God is God.Another religious evolution in the story is another raw impulse in human beings... becoming a god. Halliday, with the creation of his Easter's Egg contest, he acomplishes that a whole generation (even severals of it) became obssesed with his life and his personal tastes, influencing the way of thinking and speaking of all those interested to get the ultimate prize. Wade goes to that too, since he is able to reach positions that nobody else has ever done before and he is able to taste how is like to be a god and that thousands of strangers get interested to follow his life and his tastes. Darmok and Jalad... at Tanagra. Any person has tastes and opinions, and most of the cases, we are sure that we are right about them, so we expressed them and in the bottom of our souls, we are convinced that we have excellent taste in things and that the rest of people should read, watch and hear all that it's of our preference, and therefore, they will become as "wise" and "illuminated" as us. And the ambiance of this novel is almost just like how we are living now. Certainly we don't have a virtual universe so advanced as the OASIS, but internet, the social networks, blogs, forums, etc... are allowing to us to express our opinions about anything. Ironically, in the 80s, our circle of influence was absurdly limited, we barely were able to express it to our closest friends and family, but now? We can reach any human being with access to internet. The generational gaps occur mainly because old people aren't interested to know about new suff, while young people aren't interested to know about old stuff. As simple as that. Everybody thinks that "his/her" stuff is better than the others'. It's amusing to see in this novel that a LOT of young people (in the future of 2044) are eager to learn about "old" stuff just because there is a huge prize involving money, and guess what? Many of them starting to find out how cool of that "old" stuff is. Too bad that there is have to be an incentive of money to make them to realize that. I think that I am lucky since I don't discriminate stuff for the era when it appeared. Why do I have to choose just "my" era? Why do I have to limit myself? I have "my stuff" of the generation where I grew up, but I do my best all the time to learn about stuff of before I even born and I do my best to keep up with new stuff. Only my death will set how many stuff I will be able to enjoy in my entire life. Each era has its charm and I am enjoying all of them. Gathered together from the cosmic reaches of the universe – here in this great hall of justice - are the most powerful forces of good ever assembled. In the 80s (and before), our social experiences were quite identical in our circles, we watched the same local TV shows, the same movies, etc... but now? Theathers launch multiple premieres each weekend, cable has more than 100 channels showing programming 24/7/365, publishing houses release hundred of books each month, etc... So, nowadays is almost impossible to find a single other soul watching, reading and hearing the very same stuff that we do. We'll have intersection points, several of them, but at the end, each of us, we are walking our own paths of entertainment. Even before, we innocently thought that the "good stuff" was the same for all the rest of people. Now, we have certainty that a thing (naming book, film, TV show, song, etc...) that we love, may be hated by others, and viceversa. And that's okay. We are all different. Only we have to learn to respect the opinion of others, in the understanding that we do the same. Keep on pushing me babyDon't you know you drive me crazyYou just keep on pushing my love over the borderline. Referring to the novel itself, I must point out that I found some of the challenges repetitive decreasing the excitement or reaching each of the three legendary gates. There are tests that they are basically the same just choosing a different "environment" and/or "theme". Also, I think that the author didn't want that anyone would be able to guess the riddles, I mean, this is not like a detective mystery novel that you may not notice the clues in clear sight, but they are there, you just didn't giving them importance, no, in here, some of the riddles are solved showing knowledge of elements in the environment of the story that they are impossible for you to know its existence.And getting back the "religious" angle in a way of speaking, there are a lot of scenes where you met a "Deus ex machina" element, where any character has a key gadget, never mentioned before, that it's perfect to solve the trouble. Not always is like that. However, I noticed enough instants like that, just to mention it.At the end, the novel has an engaging narrative style that keeps you entertained all the way, marvelling about this extraordinary future with all its wonders and dangers.Highly recommended. Choose your own life, enjoy each moment of it and don't worry about others think. People of good will and true friends are going to be happy for you not matter what you do in your lives and they will respect you too. P.S. Solution for the Alejandro's Easter Egg in this review:(view spoiler)[I'm kidding! :P It could be cool to hide an easter egg in the review but I didn't think anything. Excuse me for the innocent joke. But, you got curious and you had to take a peek, don't you? Mmh? Hehehe. (hide spoiler)]more
- January 1, 1970✨ jamieson ✨WARNING: UNPOPULAR OPINION BECAUSE I DIDN'T FUCKING LIKE READY PLAYER ONEanyone I saw writing a negative review for this got like, abused in their comments BUT. Im going for it anywayunmarked spoilers ahead. ft, appearances from the voices of adele and beyonce sum up Ready Player One in a single word? wankyreplace with: that 400 page book which used 80s references to condescend people not invested in that culture was incomparably wankyokay, I'm going to start with the good stuff• the worldbuildi WARNING: UNPOPULAR OPINION BECAUSE I DIDN'T FUCKING LIKE READY PLAYER ONEanyone I saw writing a negative review for this got like, abused in their comments BUT. Im going for it anywayunmarked spoilers ahead. ft, appearances from the voices of adele and beyonce sum up Ready Player One in a single word? wankyreplace with: that 400 page book which used 80s references to condescend people not invested in that culture was incomparably wankyokay, I'm going to start with the good stuff• the worldbuilding around the OASIS, and the setting was really good. I thought that the way that OASIS was built, described and functioned within this world was very well thought out and clever. It was definitely something high-tech enough to be interesting, but also realistic enough to be plausible. The setting in 2044 and the way the Earth/living standards are set up are well thought out. • The other tech industry was a good "villain" in that I thought their motivations were plausible, and the interaction between them and the OASIS made sense. The gamers motivations to prevent the Sixers from winning and ruining OASIS were believable and the worldbuilding was intertwined with the motivations of characters which I liked• It was reasonably fast paced • OG. WHAT A GUY.. HIS NAME IS FUCKING OG THE GREAT AND POWERFUL IM LAUGHINOKAY. AND NOW I GET SALTYFirst things first, back to my point about it being wanky. I KNEW I was coming into this book to get lots of 80s references, I was fine with that, I was excited for it. I wanted the nostalgic feel of Stranger Things, because thats what people told me I'd get. I wanted that homage. • things I didn't get: that What I got instead was a "gate keeping" attitude in which any person/character who didn't have enough knowledge of the 80's was deemed not smart enough and not cool enough. The overabundance of 80s references reached the point of insanity. I can't get over this bit when Art3mis orders some drink and Wade is like 'OH SHE'S GETTING THAT BECAUSE IT'S THE SAME AS *CHARACTER* DRINKS. SO COOL. SHE'S WORTHY'The 80's references were so oversaturated I couldn't actually separate them from their characters. Like, these characters literally WERE 80's references. the whole time, it just felt like the author was leaning over me like "yeah, yeah, i know so many references. mhhm, another one, another one. YOU THINK I don't have more ?! HAHA, fooled. Have another, have ten more. I know everything there is to know about the 80's, don't test me kid. you don't know explicit detail of every spider-man comic ever released, FAKE FAN FAKE FAN.' Anyway, it was really fucking annoying. It should have been a nice throwback to the 80's, not a fucking wank fest in which everyone loses their fucking mind and can't keep it together over pac-man. But seriously, the condescending tone about people who don't LIVE THE EIGHTIES annoyed me so fucking much. Right, next up: characters. Wade was ........ so fucking annoying. First of all, his attitude sucked. But that aside, his charactersation was just not good. His knowledge of the 80's was just unbelievable. He mentions at least a dozen shows that he's watched a dozen or so times, now, I'm struggling to believe he actually had time to watch the amount of shit he has, that many times. His knowledge was all-consuming and it was just unrealistic. He has literally no flaws. his main flaw ? he's overweight and a geek boy who can't get girls. Well do not worry. Welcome to Wade's Biggest Loser Story: "I spent 4 weeks doing pushups in the morning and now I look like an Abercrombie model :)" You're a geek boy? well don't worry, you're superior to all those other boys anyway ! You're a nice boy !!!!!! and anyway, *beyonce voice* who run the world ? geeks geeks. Wade owns 5 fedoras. JFGHFJG HE JUS ANNOYED ME SO MUCH ALWAYS BITCHING ABOUT HOW GIRLS FIND HIM WEIRD WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T LIKE, STALK THEM, FAM. Wade honestly felt like such a self insert/wish fulfilment type character. He annoyed me so fucking much, he was just rude and weird, and his obsession with Art3mis wasn't healthy. His obsession with Hallidays and OASIS genuinely wasn't healthy. The female characters were so ghdh WE DESERVE BETTER. Art3mis had potential to be a great character, but she was ultimately reduced to a love interest. She tried to separate from Wade to focus on the Easter Egg but then he stalks her and she ends up with him ??? Also, I found it annoying we were supposed to give Wade Nice Boy Points for thinking her "curvy" avatar was hot, when we ALL KNOW it was the KimK type curvy and SHE LITERALLY IS TINY THIN IRL ANYWAY Aech is so ?? *adele voice* WE COULD OF HAD IT ALL. Representation, is NOT real when it's a twist. It's so disappointing Aech was a black, female, lesbian and we didn't get to see that AT ALL. We get 1 chapter before she goes back to being a 'male' in the OASIS. Urgh, it's just annoying. I know Ernest Cline was trying to do a "oh look, you treated this person a certain way thinking they were white/male/straight now treat them the same when u know they're black/female/gay BUT IT WOULD HAVE JUST BEEN WAY BETTER IF WADES BEST FRIEND WAS REPRESENTED AS A GAY BLACK GIRL. You can't even say this is a diverse book because thats a "spoiler" urrhtgtjhgkjalso fml because Kira is also the reason Og and Halliday stopped being friends like why do they only exist for male relationships & angst urghThe main evil guy in the evil corporation who's name I can't remember was so plain? He was such a stock villain and he just ??? died ???Deus ex Machina• Can't pass a level? Don't worry, I will magically whip some obscure knowledge out my ass to save the day• Party got crushed by a sinister army? lucky some guy at this party happens to be able to fight them with unbelievable, rule-defying levels of power• don't have somewhere to stay? NO WORRIES, a random billionaire is gonna show up in a space thats supposed to be barred to all characters to offer you sanctuary? "didn't the rules of this universe establish this was a private chat room"" yeah, they did. but turns out there's this other rule where thats not true SURPRISE• Died? Well, no worries. Turns out you're the first person in history to get a FREE LIFEit annoyed me how convenient some plot points wereOTHER STUFF I JUST DIDN'T LIKE• There is a bit when a character calls paraplegic people "repulsive"• YOU CAN'T GO FROM OBESE TO MUSCULAR IN 8 WEEKS FROM DOING 20 MINUTE EXERCISES ACTUALLY FUCK OFF IDK WHY THIS ANNOYED ME SO MUCH BUT IT DID• the fact he's called Wade like Wade Wilson it says alot tbh• stalking stalking stalking• the fact I had to read an entire chapter of Wade talking about the sex he had with a doll and masturbating and how it's like "THE COOLEST BOY THING EVER"• TOO MUCH detail it felt like a slog. I was skimming entire pages of irrelevent detail about exactly what model of haptic suit Wade decided to buy that daySo yeah, overall I just didn't have a good time with this book it was just so obnoxious and annoying I couldn't get into it at all lmfao worst hype ever aaaaanddddd....more
- January 1, 1970emmaTHIS. WAS. SO. FREAKING. COOL.https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...Okay. Okay okay okay. So. This book, I would say, is the following mix: video games + ’80s culture + sci-fi + semi-dystopia + general nerdiness. Excluding the latter, I am not interested in any of those things.BUT DAMN IF I DIDN’T LOVE THIS BOOK.Okay. I’m sorry. I’m trying to calm myself down enough to write a review.Was this book perfect? No. Sometimes it was dumb, or confusing, or slow, or overly complex, or not complex enou THIS. WAS. SO. FREAKING. COOL.https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...Okay. Okay okay okay. So. This book, I would say, is the following mix: video games + ’80s culture + sci-fi + semi-dystopia + general nerdiness. Excluding the latter, I am not interested in any of those things.BUT DAMN IF I DIDN’T LOVE THIS BOOK.Okay. I’m sorry. I’m trying to calm myself down enough to write a review.Was this book perfect? No. Sometimes it was dumb, or confusing, or slow, or overly complex, or not complex enough. But it still deserves five stars. MORE THAN FIVE STARS. Immediately after finishing this review, I’ll be penning a handwritten letter to Goodreads to ask for a sixth star. Like a super-like, or what I imagine a super-like is as someone who doesn’t use Tinder and never will. I’M GETTING VERY DISTRACTED.So in this book, it’s, like, fifty years in the future, or something. The world has gone to utter sh*t (not hard to believe, eh?) and in order to cope, the majority of people immerse themselves in a virtual-reality experience called the OASIS. It was invented by this guy, James Halliday, who just up and DIED and left the sickest technological scavenger hunt ever thought of behind. And the winner? Gets the company and TWO HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS. It’s like the darkest, most futuristic version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Though unfortunately fewer delicious descriptions of food. But still, I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. I’ll try to cool it on the caps lock. So...y’all know I love a good setting, and this one is just amazing. There’s something about immersive video games as a setting that I just am obsessed with. I read some book in middle school that was kind of similar and it was SO GREAT. For someone who doesn’t game at all I am very into reading about it.God, I wish I didn’t have to leave this worldddddd. Give me 11 more books in it. Wait, the author has another book, right?! IS IT SIMILAR?!!! Oh man. Okay. Sorry, I’m still just very hype.There was a lotttt of worldbuilding. Like, a LOT a lot. Pages and pages of it and a time. And the most information-heavy passages you can imagine. I didn’t mind it, because I was so flipping fascinated by this book that, if given some sort of magical opportunity I would have moved into it in a hot Texas minute, but still. It’s not exactly seamless.So that could kind of slow down the plot a little, but again, I NEVER MINDED ONCE. It’s a little hard to settle in, because the book will be goddamn molasses for like 50 pages and then SUDDENLY BREAKNECK SPEED EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING PEOPLE COULD DIE YOU’D BETTER READ AS FAST AS YOUR EYES CAN SKITTER ACROSS THIS TEXT BABY and then that’d be over in a dozen pages and it’d be moreeee slownesssss. But I’d read Cline’s grocery lists if they were set in the OASIS, so IT’S ALL SUNSHINE OVER HERE.In terms of characters, we have a handful of main ones. I really, really, really, super-love our narrator, Wade. He’s wicked smart and super nerdy and knows so much about everything. I would like to curl up inside of his head for forever, please and thanks. (Especially since his life is so goddamn interesting.)I do have some complaints, though. It’s still me. For example, Wade is the only character I really feel any sort of way about. Except for Halliday, who I love, but he doesn’t count. He’s dead. There’s also Aech (who is fine), Daito and Shoto, I think (who are also fine), and Art3mis, who sucks, but in a semi-harmless way.Well, except for one thing. Yes, folks, you may have guessed it: This book includes a forced, uncomfortable, unnecessary, boring ROMANCE. (Boooooo! We hate you, unnecessary romance! shouts the crowd.)This totally deducted from my enjoyment of the book - not enough to make me not love it, obviously, but significantly still - and I just was so MAD. Why did that have to be included? We get it, nerds deserve love too. Obviously. But does the odyssey of losing his V-card need to play such a big role in Wade’s story, when everything else going on is so goddamn interesting? Ugh. So vanilla, when everything about this book was the total opposite of that. Not chocolate, though. The analogy wouldn’t track, since vanilla > chocolate.Anyway. What else, what else...Oh yeah. One last thing. The ending lowkey sucked in comparison to the rest of the book. It was kind of choppy and rushed. A lot of loose ends were left, IMO. It makes sense, kinda, since there were SO many ends to be tied, but still. It didn’t feel concluded. I have no sense of what happened to the characters or the world.Also, I expected more of a Moral. Like, an Aesop’s-fables type. Because this book follows a dystopian society attempting to escape from the repercussions of, well, our irresponsible actions through a video game. IMO again, but that doesn’t feel like the sickest possible solution. A few times characters will point out that the OASIS isn’t ~really life~, but no real impact is made by the end. I don’t know. I expected more.BUT I STILL ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK. No book can be perfect, and this wasn’t, but I loved it so much. I miss reading it already.Bottom line: I don’t care WHO you are, this book is sosososo fun and great and you should read it right now. Now, I say!more
- January 1, 1970James TrevinoSo you know that time when you read a really good book and then, for some reason, you wait forever to make a review, so the little things that would've made your review 'spicy' are gone from memory?It's one of those times!And you know that time when you are writing a review and you are almost done and you accidentally delete it? It's also one of those times! Yep!Now, for short, if you don't feel like reading the rest of the review (trust me, you have better things to do with your time), I LOVED So you know that time when you read a really good book and then, for some reason, you wait forever to make a review, so the little things that would've made your review 'spicy' are gone from memory?It's one of those times!And you know that time when you are writing a review and you are almost done and you accidentally delete it? It's also one of those times! Yep!Now, for short, if you don't feel like reading the rest of the review (trust me, you have better things to do with your time), I LOVED LOVED LOVED this novel. As I said, I forgot a lot of little things, but I do know RPO was the best book I had the chance of reading last year. I remember having a lot of moments while reading it when I felt just... satisfied. For the lack of a better comparison, it felt like a long ASMR video that keeps the tingles going for hours at a time. Sounds creepy? Good.But being serious, it was one of those reads that feel like they are made for you. I am not into video games, but I am into books (duh!) and even more so into movies and I am, by all accounts, a geek. And RPO is a celebration of geekdom (does this word even exist? oh well...). And no, that doesn't mean you'll find descriptions of a naked Arwen or a sex-crazed Hermione in it. And no, you won't get every reference, because holy hell, the entire book is one big reference (like literally big, almost 400 pages - and yeah, I know that you Game of Thrones readers are laughing at me right now, but I also read those books so screw you!).On another point, I don't remember exactly why, but the ending felt like the weak point of the book. Of course, that doesn't mean much considering how good the rest was. Overall, I think what made me such a big fan of this was it's very theme. The idea that, even knowing it's not real, you would still leave your world behind just to live a fantasy. It kinda strikes home for many of us who like reading or watching movies or playing games because our own world is so limited. And after I finished it, I spent a lot of time wondering if, if OASIS was real, I would become addicted to it. And I think I would. In fact, I am sure of it. What a loser-y thing to say, huh?Gosh, is this even a review? Okay, I will end it here seeing how I am clearly blabbering. Anyway, just read this god damn book, please!more
- January 1, 1970Dan SchwentIn the dystopian future of 2044, the world is going down the crapper and many people spend most of their free time playing OASIS, an online virtual reality game, sifting through every minute detail of the creator's life, for whomever unravels a series of riddles James Halliday left behind inherits it all. Will teenager Wade Watts be the one?As I've said in the past, every once in a while a reader will unearth a book that feels as if it was written especially for them. For me, Ready Player One is In the dystopian future of 2044, the world is going down the crapper and many people spend most of their free time playing OASIS, an online virtual reality game, sifting through every minute detail of the creator's life, for whomever unravels a series of riddles James Halliday left behind inherits it all. Will teenager Wade Watts be the one?As I've said in the past, every once in a while a reader will unearth a book that feels as if it was written especially for them. For me, Ready Player One is one of those books.I wasn't completely sold at first. OASIS reminded me of The Metaverse from Snow Crash and Wade wasn't all that interesting to me. Then he referenced The Last Starfighter and I suddenly became more interested. By the time the Tomb of Horrors was mentioned, I was completely hooked.The plot's structure isn't that revolutionary. It's pretty much your standard hero's journey. As the story unfolded, the characters are what made the book unputdownable. The setting, a dystopia where there's a Global Energy Crisis going on and people live in skyscraper-trailer parks called stacks is both imaginative and horribly plausible.I hate to admit it but I was feeling some kinship with Wade as the book progressed. Is spending most of your free time in OASIS really that much different than reading for hours on end? Also, the book explores the nature of people and their online avatars. The revelation of Aech's true identity illustrates the difference between perception and reality quite nicely, just like the time when I met Kemper and discovered he wasn't a gun-toting chimp in a suit. Apparently, he left his guns at home that day. Or the time when I met Stephen and discovered he WAS a book-reviewing robot.A large part of the appeal of Ready Player One is the astounding amount of pop culture references. While most of them are from the 1980's, a few are not. The Matrix and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, for example. I suspect younger readers won't get as many of the reference and not enjoy the books as much. However, as a child of the 80's and a dyed in the wool geek, I enjoyed the book very very much.As I said earlier, the plot isn't revolutionary but it's still an enjoyable read. A single man-tear threatened to escape my eye during the epilogue but I fought it back. Much Later Edit: The passage of time has colored my perception of this book. As I was reading Ready Player One, I thought it was the greatest thing since Tetris. However, once you strip away the nostalgia, it's still enjoyable but really nothing special. I'm downgrading it to a more realistic 3.5.more
- January 1, 1970MischenkoTo see my full review please visit my blog @ https://readrantrockandroll.com/2017/...This was my first buddy read with the one and only *Craig* and what a pleasure this was. I’d like to thank Craig for reading this one with me. Craig always makes me smile and this was fun!I’m not even sure where to start with my review. I was highly anticipating this book for some time after seeing so many 5 star reviews and awesome comments, but the book was just a “like” and I wasn’t overly impressed like I th To see my full review please visit my blog @ https://readrantrockandroll.com/2017/...This was my first buddy read with the one and only *Craig* and what a pleasure this was. I’d like to thank Craig for reading this one with me. Craig always makes me smile and this was fun!I’m not even sure where to start with my review. I was highly anticipating this book for some time after seeing so many 5 star reviews and awesome comments, but the book was just a “like” and I wasn’t overly impressed like I thought I’d be.The story takes place in 2044 and the world is in a Grimm state. A man by the name of James Halliday has created a virtual video game world known as the OASIS which becomes an escape for people. He’s hidden something in the labyrinth that everybody wants to find, and a teen by the name of Wade wants to be the one to find it first. The person who finds the prize is promised riches and as more people come in to play, it becomes a fight to the end as the gunters hunt for the prize while making their way through game after game. The story fell a tad short despite some action and fast paced reading. I felt like there was a lot going on, maybe too much detail even, but the best parts in the book that really held my interest were all the ’80s pop culture references. Some of my favorite movies, music, and games from the ’80s were referenced and I found myself looking up old music videos like “The Safety Dance,” a fave. Oh, the memories. ♡ The music references really took me back and as a child of the ’80s I can still remember sitting on my mom’s harvest green carpet in front of the Zenith watching them on MTV, which is nothing like what it used to be. And the games! It took me back to the days of my Atari and my Amiga Commodore: jousting for hours, and Burgertime! There were literally hundreds of references, even old Tv shows, and I almost want to rate it highly for that one reason. Sure, there were interesting parts in the book with Wade’s adventures in the OASIS and with all the competition, I continued to think it might pick up for me, but the book just kept me hanging on until the end with all the nostalgia. I was yearning for a pick me up. I did think the story was unique and enjoyed the characters. I also thought it was very descriptive and I was extremely pleased with the ending. For me, I simply felt like the story maybe had too much added information which made me a little uncomfortable.I’m still glad I read it and can’t wait to see the movie because the trailer looks awesome and I ♡ Tye Sheridan! 3.5***more
- January 1, 1970jThere's this conceit that keeps popping up in sci-fi dystopia novels that it is only a matter of time before we will all be glued to our virtual reality goggles 24 hours a day as elaborate MMPORPGs slowly take over the world.I think this is stupid. No matter how increasingly ubiquitous computers become, I just don't foresee Second Life replacing the first one (FarmVille may have replaced actual farming, but that conversation involves a lecture on government subsidies that I just don't have time There's this conceit that keeps popping up in sci-fi dystopia novels that it is only a matter of time before we will all be glued to our virtual reality goggles 24 hours a day as elaborate MMPORPGs slowly take over the world.I think this is stupid. No matter how increasingly ubiquitous computers become, I just don't foresee Second Life replacing the first one (FarmVille may have replaced actual farming, but that conversation involves a lecture on government subsidies that I just don't have time for at the moment). But all of these books are written by sci-fi authors, therefore geeks, therefore gamers, therefore open to this kind of concept. If they are of a certain age, it probably seems like an extension of the D&D-fueled fantasy sessions that sustained them through high school. I wasn't a D&D geek (though admittedly in a "there but for the grace of God" way). I have never played an online quest game -- I am not drawn to the fantasy. I don't have that strong a desire to escape the real world, as dissatisfying as it can be sometimes, as much as I'd rather be a Han Solo avatar flying around in the Falcon.Ernest Cline, by all accounts, was exactly that geek, getting lost in fantasy worlds. And I give him credit: he goes to great lengths to justify the replacement of the virtual for the real, and he makes it sound damn plausible. Imagine the world forty years from now: we have run out of oil. Corporations have replaced governments with puppet regimes (all voting is online, so only celebrities and reality stars have a shot at office). The environment is in shambles, the Great Recession is in its fourth decade, overcrowded and dangerous cities are surrounded by suburban wastelands. Would not you rather stay in your efficiency apartment and play virtual reality?Wade is an overweight and unattractive teen who barely has a life outside of OASIS, a web platform that, by 2044, has totally replaced the internet (with travel dangerous and difficult, most everyday commerce is virtual). His real life sucks. His parents are dead, and he lives in a teetering 200-foot-tall stack of trailers with his cruel aunt and her abusive boyfriend of the month. He was getting beaten up too much at school, so now he goes to classes online. All he lives for is OASIS, and the search for the Egg.See, when James Halliday, the Bill Gates-like inventor of the OASIS, died, he hid his will (and the rights to his fortune and control of OASIS itself) somewhere inside the game, on any one of thousands of virtual worlds. For years, no one has been able to crack even the first clue to its location, though not for lack of trying: a whole community of gamers has sprung up in search of it. Some are lone wolves like Wade; others band together or go corporate and work for the evil IOI Corp. (Corporations: Your Friends in Evil Since 1601).Most of their efforts are focused on studying the obsessions of Halliday's youth, which they figure are key to winning the hunt. Conveniently for Cline, his and Halliday's obsessions are one and the same: everything nerdy about the 1980s. Gaming, TV, movies, music -- if someone has gotten into a heated debate over it in a basement somewhere, or painted a mural of it on the side of a van, it's in here.Look, this book is a lot of fun. A lot. I read it compulsively, like few books in recent memory. But... I don't think it is very well written. I have a lot of problems with it: Wade is a cypher, a blatant audience surrogate (provided the audience is or has been an introverted teen boy, which...). There is this whole romance angle between Wade and another hunter, Art3mis, that is just there because the plot needs a love interest. There is frequent, blatant exposition that often makes no sense (Wade tells his story in the first person, presumably to his contemporaries, so why is he explaining very basic things like what OASIS is and how you operate within it?). The background of various geek properties is often given in exhaustive, Wikipedia-like detail. I find it hard to believe that the solutions to the puzzles went undiscovered for five years, since they seem pretty obvious to me and my limited experience in online alternate reality games has taught me that there is no puzzle so complex that the internet won't solve it given 20 minutes and a Yahoo message board (read up on "The Beast" sometime for an interesting example). Oh, also there are several blatant continuity errors within chapters or even from one page to the next (minor example: at one point Wade freaks out about getting to class because if he doesn't, he will lose his school-issued OASIS machine; a few chapters later he stops going but it's fine because he already has the credits to graduate).All that stuff: basically doesn't matter. At all. I still loved the crap out of every page. The plot is as propulsive, structured and satisfying as The Hunger Games. The corporate villains raise the real world stakes when they start murdering gamers offline. And Cline takes full advantage of an unlimited sandbox of geekdom, dreaming up some very cool scenarios (want to literally immerse yourself in your favorite '80s movie? How about transform into Ultraman to fight Mecha-Godzilla and Voltron?).What's most fun is waiting around for Cline to name-drop your geek property of choice. Will there still be annoying Browncoats in 2045? Looks like it: Wade zooms around virtual space in a Firefly class shuttle. Lightsabers, transporters (Stars, both Wars and Trek). Giant robots (Voltron, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ultraman). More video games than I can count (but no classic Nintendo! Where is Mario in all of this?). Blade Runner. Brazil. Back to the Future. Indiana Jones. Ghostbusters. Rush (Really? People like Rush?). One* almost needs footnotes to place them all.*I mean, not me. If this book taught me anything, it is that I am a bigger geek than I ever imagined.Can you enjoy this book without getting all the references? I think so. But... do you even want to? That is where I am confused. I believe this is being published as a YA title, and it's certainly written as one. Yet today's Ys think the '80s sound like they happened a looooong time ago, and I haven't read a YA book packed with jokey references to obscure 1960s pop culture lately.I mean, do kids even know what a "modem" is? If you gained sentience post-2000, the internet has just always been there, floating through the air. What do you mean, they used to require a phone line and made annoying noises? What's that? A computer that uses a tape deck instead of a floppy disk drive? A) What is a "cassette tape"? B) What is a "floppy disk"? (Ooh, is it dirty?)This book will probably make you feel old. I am not even old and it made me feel old. Remember dial-up? Remember AOL busy signals? Remember when no one had cell phones? Remember when no one but engineers, the military and Matthew Broderick had the internet? Remember the NES, Atari 2600, Colecovision?I do. But how long until I'm senile? Probably not that long.more
- January 1, 1970StephenWOOT, WOOT and UBER WOOT all you MMORPGers, this book is the perfect calm down, happy face diversion next time you find yourself offline and frustrated because:** you’re stuck medding back in a safe zone after nearly being ganked by some douchey griefers who jumped your camp site when the mob you were going to farm spawned so they could kill steal it and abscond with your loot; or maybe ** some group of questing ubers turned asshat and refused to let your alt join them so you could PL by leechin WOOT, WOOT and UBER WOOT all you MMORPGers, this book is the perfect calm down, happy face diversion next time you find yourself offline and frustrated because:** you’re stuck medding back in a safe zone after nearly being ganked by some douchey griefers who jumped your camp site when the mob you were going to farm spawned so they could kill steal it and abscond with your loot; or maybe ** some group of questing ubers turned asshat and refused to let your alt join them so you could PL by leeching the req XP needed to ding your secondary avatar from its noob status to a respectable lvl; or maybe** you find yourself nerfed by some cockblocking GM after your mage’s Nuke spells become so uber when properly stacked that they can pwn any PVE and even dirt nap most elites in a PVP and send them back to their bind to needing to rez; or maybe even** you’re AFK for two minutes for a bio break and suddenly become LD as a result of spouse aggro after you told your guild mates you’d BRB so you could all raid a high risk dungeon for epics and mega XPs. If you find yourself in one of the above predicaments (especially the last one), rather than raging at the unfairness of the world.....of warcraft, just put down the hot pockets, turn off the team speak line, maybe take a shower and brush your teeth, and then curl up with your real life avatar and geek out to the NOSTALGIAwesomeness of this 1980’s homage de extraordinaire that will have you spouting quotes from War Games and Monty Python’s Holy Grail while digging out your old Pac man posters and ALF t-shirts, listening to a little A Flock of Seagulls and Alphaville and dropping the first two seasons of Family Ties and Silver Spoons into your Amazon cart prepping for an 80’s TV marathon session. This book is VH-1’s “I love the 80’s” coded for gamers….and it works beautifully. Set in the mid 21st century when America has gone completely in the shitter and almost everyone spends the majority of their lives in a vast virtual-reality game/universe known as The Oasis. The Oasis is free to use (i.e., no monthly subscription fees) and there are no barriers to access. In fact, the Oasis is so all pervasive that game credits are the world’s most stable currency and the public school system has been coded online so people can learn from home. The designer of the Oasis, James Halliday, was an 80’s obsessed super nerd who loaded his VR-world with tons and tone of simulations paying tribute to the decade of greed. Inside the Oasis, all things 80’s lurk and you can visit whole planets devoted to Star Wars, Blade Runner or the A-team or just sit in your virtual basement and watch every Japanese monster movie ever made. The above is just a brief thumbnail of the Oasis which is incredibly complex and amazingly cool. Cline definitely gets an A+ for his world-building and his creation is certainly among the best world’s I have visited in my literary travels this year. With that brief background, the plot concerns a race to control the Oasis after Halliday dies and leaves a most unusual will. He has hidden a “silver egg” in the Oasis that can only be located by first finding 3 special keys to unlock 3 special gates. The person that finds the egg will inherit Halliday’s entire fortune (240 B-B-B-Billion dollars) and, most importantly, become the owner of the Oasis itself. Our hero is a high school kid named Wade who is a master gamer and knower of all things trivial from the 1980’s. He and a group of like minded “gunthers” are racing to find the silver egg before the big bad, meganormous corporation and their army of crew-cut, muscle-bound on-line soldiers discover it first and turn the Oasis into a corporate money-making machine.That's about it for the plot description, but the real fun is in the pop culture details that saturate every page of the narrative. This is great escapism and I had a lot of fun with it. I will say that as good as this was, I couldn’t help but think that in different hands this would have been an easy 5 star “all time favorite” kind of book. I mean given the subject matter, 4 stars was almost pre-ordained. Still, I did really enjoy myself and the 4 stars are much deserved. It just wasn't perfect and I so wanted it to be perfect...but it is pretty darn close.Finally, I want to point out that I listened to the audio version narrated by Ensign Crusher himself, Wil Wheaton, who was absolutely PERFECT for this book. This was one of those book/narrator combos that are just a match made in heaven. I certainly recommend going that route if you have the chance. 4.0 to 4.5 stars. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!**P.S. With regard to my introduction, I have never played an MMORPG before so I apologize to all the gamers out there if I totally messed up the terminology. I did my best and you guys should really put out a comprehensive dictionary to help us noobs out.more
- January 1, 1970Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-moreReviewed by: Rabid ReadsI've heard, you've probably heard, HELL, most people who read some variation of SFF have heard that READY PLAYER ONE is freaking amazing b/c it's swarming with '80s pop culture/nerd references.And it is. Absolutely.But even though I've had the book for years, I only recently got around to picking it up (and only b/c impromptu roadtripping with Husband, and sacrifices must be made when trying to find a book we'll both have a shot at liking), b/c as much fondness as I have Reviewed by: Rabid ReadsI've heard, you've probably heard, HELL, most people who read some variation of SFF have heard that READY PLAYER ONE is freaking amazing b/c it's swarming with '80s pop culture/nerd references.And it is. Absolutely.But even though I've had the book for years, I only recently got around to picking it up (and only b/c impromptu roadtripping with Husband, and sacrifices must be made when trying to find a book we'll both have a shot at liking), b/c as much fondness as I have for the decade, it's not enough to warrant reading a book solely b/c '80s! Yay!*shrugs* It's just not. #sorrynotsorryWhich is why I feel the book has been done a major disservice. Nostalgia for the '80s might not be a good enough reason for me--and a lot of others as well--to pick up READY PLAYER ONE, but you know what is? THIS: I spent a big chunk of my childhood hanging out in a virtual-reality simulation of Sesame Street, singing songs with friendly Muppets and playing interactive games that taught me how to walk, talk, add, subtract, read, write, and share. And THIS: In my Astronomy class we visited each of Jupiter’s moons. We stood on the volcanic surface of Io while our teacher explained how the moon had originally formed. As our teacher spoke to us, Jupiter loomed behind her, filling half the sky, its Great Red Spot churning slowly just over her left shoulder. Then she snapped her fingers and we were standing on Europa, discussing the possibility of extraterrestrial life beneath the moon’s icy crust. And a MULTITUDE of similarly awesome things.It's also important to know the '80s pop culture awesomeness isn't superfluous--it naturally extends from the plot line. Wade Watts lives in a bleak future version of our world where the majority escape their mundane existence by spending as much time as humanly possible in virtual realities. The realities Wade visits are mostly inspired by the '80s and popular geek culture spanning from the advent of gym-sized computers to our present. You can level up your avatar by completing quests, MMO-style, which also helps you accumulate armor and weapons. It's like WoW immersion. *whispers* How cool is that?But Wade's focus, along with many, many others is the pursuit of deceased James Halliday's, the creator of the OASIS (the virtual reality space in which all these worlds exist), Easter Egg. Halliday was socially awkward in the extreme, you see, thus leaving him without friends or family to bequeath his multi-billion dollar fortune to. So he created a quest, solvable by deciphering obscure clues referencing his favorite games, movies, and music. It's been over five years since Halliday's death, and no one has been able to complete even the first leg of the three part journey. But that's about to change.READY PLAYER ONE is much more than cornball Brat Pack references distracting you from a weak plot. It's part Rat Race, part geek-out, part DAMN-the-man, and I loved ALL of it. If you've ever wished you had your own Star Wars X-Wing, or wanted to explore Azeroth in person, this book will have you green with envy and simultaneously fangirling harder than you ever have in your life. Highly recommended.more
- January 1, 1970April (Aprilius Maximus)THIS IS POSSIBLY THE BEST BOOK IN EXISTENCE. LIKE...FO REALZ.
- January 1, 1970Mohammed Arabeyرواية مختلفة، مثيرة سريعة، جذبتني كما لم تفعل رواية خيال علمي أخرينقلتني لديستوبيا مستقبلية، شبيهة بالواقع المؤسف الحزين بحق الذي نعيشهوبنفس الوقت هربت منها الي يوتوبيا إفتراضية، عالم الكتروني محاكي للواقع..فيسبوك ثلاثي الأبعاد"قل لي هل سمعت عن الهيكيكوموري؟؟ المتقوقعون؟"في لعبة فيديو مجنونة برمجها مؤلف "غريب الأطوار" مهووس الألعاب والثمانينات..أيرنست كلين "بالنظر حولي، تعجبت لِمّا هاليداي الذي طالما أدعي أن طفولته بائسة، صار يشعر بكل هذا الحنين اليها لاحقا. أعلم أنني حين اهرب من الكومة التي اعي رواية مختلفة، مثيرة سريعة، جذبتني كما لم تفعل رواية خيال علمي أخرينقلتني لديستوبيا مستقبلية، شبيهة بالواقع المؤسف الحزين بحق الذي نعيشهوبنفس الوقت هربت منها الي يوتوبيا إفتراضية، عالم الكتروني محاكي للواقع..فيسبوك ثلاثي الأبعاد"قل لي هل سمعت عن الهيكيكوموري؟؟ المتقوقعون؟"في لعبة فيديو مجنونة برمجها مؤلف "غريب الأطوار" مهووس الألعاب والثمانينات..أيرنست كلين "بالنظر حولي، تعجبت لِمّا هاليداي الذي طالما أدعي أن طفولته بائسة، صار يشعر بكل هذا الحنين اليها لاحقا. أعلم أنني حين اهرب من الكومة التي اعيش بها اخيرا، لن أنظر للخلف أبدا وبالتأكيد لن ابتكر محاكاة الكترونية مفصلّة لها" ولكننا جميعا نحّن لها في النهايةايام الطفولة والتحول للبلوغ والرشد...نشعر بحنين غامض لكل هذه الأيام،مهما كانت قاسية، ونسعد بكل ما يذكرنا بهاوهي حالة عالمية"هل سمعت عن نوستاليجا الثمانينات؟"وتلك الرواية، او لعبة الفيديوجيم عن النوستاليجا، وعهد الثمانينات الجميل، العصر الذهبي للكارتون والعاب الفيديو وتطورها، والذي كان جنبا الي جنب مع العاب التخيلية التي لا تحتاج الي الكترونيات كألعاب النردوهي ايضا عن التقوقع داخل العوالم الافتراضية والمواقع الإلكترونية- المفترض انها للتواصل الإجتماعي،- عن العزلة الاجتماعية، الهيكيكوموريوهي ايضا ربما عن ازمة الطاقة والاحتباس الحراري، الشركات الرأسمالية الجشعة، عن إنتشار الفقر...اللامبالاة وغيرها من الموضوعات المحببة للنفسولكنها كأي رواية تحترم نفسها عن الصداقة، الحب، الشجاعة، تقبل الأخر...في إطار متسارع وعالم مرسوم بإتقان شديد وحبكة مذهلة فعلا جذبتني بشكل جهنميهل قلت لك انها اول رواية يكتبها المؤلف؟رسم عالمها المتكامل، بل العالمان بتلك الرواية، الديستوبيا و العالم الافتراضي، بشكل متقن، جهنمي وبه الكثير والكثير من الواقعيةعالم مرسوم بحرفية ودقة كأنه يخطط لسلسلة كاملة، ولكنها قصة واحدة مثيرة سريعة، لا تحتاج اجزاء اخريعالم كتبه مهووس العاب كمبيوترNerd, Geekاذا أردت ان توصل الإستمتاع بالرواية لأقصى 'مستوي' لها حل من اثناناولا ان تكون ممن قضي جزءا من طفولته ومراهقته بالثمانيناتاوثانيا تفتح جوجل وتبحث عن صور وشكل ألعاب الفيديو، الافلام، اغلفة الالبومات وكتب الخيال العلمي التي يتم ذكرها خلال الأحداثنعم، كما كنت أبدأ في مقدمة ريفيوهات روايات دان براون، حسنا، هذا عبقري اخرحسنا، يمكنك أن تكتفي بهذا الحد بالريفيواو لو كنت تريد شيئا من الاسترسال؟برجاء الضغط علي زرPlayer One..ولتبدأ لعبتك مع Ready Player One.. ----------------------**** القصة **** “هاليداي كان معروفا بهووسه. اهم ما هو مهووس به ألعاب الفيديو الكلاسيكية، أفلام وروايات الخيال العلمي، والأفلام بكل أنواعها. وأيضا يركز اهتمامه بالثمانينات، العقد الذي كان به مراهقا. هاليداي كان يتوقع من كل فرد حوله أن يشاركه هذا الهوس" ولذلك عند وفاته ترك كل أمواله وحقوق شركته، اضخم شركة بالعالم في 2040 لمن يستطيع حل لغز في اضخم ألعاب الفيديو التفاعلية في العالم يمكنك ان تتصورها...يبحث عن ثلاث مفاتيح لثلاث بوابات ليجد الجائزة "بيضة عيد الصفح" المخفية بلغة ألعاب الكمبيوتر والفيديوولينجح في ذلك يجب ان يكون مثله مهووسا بنفس هوايات هاليداي...الثمانينات وافلامها،اغانيها ورواياتها..والاهم، العابهابطلنا، وايد واتس، مراهق من الفئة العامة للشعب، مستوي الفقر الطبيعي..صار احد مهاوويس الثمانينات كملايين سكان العالم بسبب البحث عن الجائزة الخفيةولخمس سنوات لم ينجح أحد في العثور حتي علي المفتاح الأولكل ما يتمناه وايد ان يعثر هو او اي فرد علي الجائزة قبل ان يجدها احد موظفي شركة انترنت عالمية كبريIOI اي او ايتسعي بكل طاقتها العثور عليها للاستحواذ علي شركة هاليداي وضم العالم الافتراضي هذا لهاولكن لماذا تسعي شركة اتصالات كبري لفوز لعبة الفيديو تلك؟بل ولماذا قد تكون شركة العاب فيديو هي اهم شركات العالم في 2040؟هنا يأتي دور المؤلف العبقري الذي رسم ذلك العالم بإتقان مهووس------------------**** العالم ****رسم إرنست للعالم الحقيقي كان كابوسيا جدا، ديستوبيا مقبضة لسبب خطير... فهو لم يبتكر غزو فضائي، او حرب نووية ما، او نيزك، او ايا من إرهاصات روايات الخيال العلمي المعتادة بل مجرد رسم لما ما قد يحدث في العشرين عاما المقبلين اذا ما بقي الحال علي ماهو عليه في عالمنا الحبيبمن سوء استخدام للبيئة، اهدار لمصادر الطاقة، اللامبالاة بالفقر والجوع الذي يلتهم بعض دول العالم، إدمان مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي والتي تسببت بعض الشئ في زيادة فجوة التواصل البشري الطبيعياما العالم الاخر ، الواحة 'اواسيس' فرسم إرنست لهذا العالم يجعلك تدرك مدي هوس هذا الرجل بالعالم الإلكتروني والألعاب بالنسبة لي بالرغم من اني لست محترفا للألعاب الإلكترونية ولا تستهويني كثيرا، إلا أنني منذ صغري وبالتأكيد الكثير منا تستهويه اكتشاف حجرة سرية بلعبته، مرحلة لم يصلها احد...سر خفي كسلاح او قدرة او مفتاح يقودك لمكان آخراو كما يطلق عليه الغرب "بيضة عيد الفصح المخفية" ، وهي أحجية ليست بالألعاب فحسبلقد استخدم دان براون غلاف روايته الأشهر شفرة دافنشي لاخفاء سرا ما، كذلك تفعل بعض الافلام والتي يكتشف المشاهدون مشهدا مخفيا في القائمة من خلال أقراص تشغيل الافلام دي في ديحسنا، إرنست مهووسا بكل هذا، مهووسا ببناء عالم افتراضي ضخم متكامل به كل ما اخترعه عقل أديب ومؤلف في رسم عوالم خيالية كهوجوارتس، نارنيا، الارض الوسطي لتولكن،مجرة حرب النجوم، وغيرها، ليضعها بهذا العالم الافتراضي بنفس شكلها وتفاصيلهاOASISOntologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation.هو برنامج محاكاة عالمي، حتي لو لم تكن محترف ألعاب مثلي فانت بالتأكيد سمعت عنSilkroadوالتي تعد عالما يدخله مئات الالاف بالعالم ليتجولوا بخريطة ذلك العالم الافتراضي لمصارعة الوحوش أو نزال بعضهم البعض، او عقد تحالفات وتبادل الاسلحة والهدايا والدردشةقد تبدو "اواسيس" (او اذا ما قرأتها ككلمة واحدة فمعناها الواحة، في استخدام موفق من المؤلف) انها مجرد لعبة ، ولكنها بإستخدام التكنولوجيا المعلوماتية الإلكترونية في 2040 صارت عالم بديل متكامل، يمكن الاطفال في جميع انحاء العالم الدراسة فيه في مدارس افتراضية منذ المرحلة الابتدائية وحتي الجامعية، بقوانين صارمة وفعالة اكثر من نظام التعليم ببعض الدول -كنظام التعليم في مصر مثلا- وايضا به مكتبة بها كل ما نشر في العالموجميع المسلسلات والافلام ،البرامج والالعاب، وأماكن للتعارف او اماكن للدردشة تفاعلية افتراضية باعلي تقنيات الجرافيكبها فرص عمل حقيقية ورواتب.. بها ايضا بالطبع أماكن للقتال والمسابقات و و و ويمكنك قضاء نصف الرواية في الاستمتاع بالتفاصيل التي ابتكرها المؤلف في وصفه لتلك الواحة الضخمة ولكنهذا العالم هو حيث يهرب جميع سكان العالم القادرين منهم والفقراء من واقعهم الأليم...تفشي الفقر وأزمة الطاقة المستفحلة في العالممن خلال خوذة وقفازات تفاعلية تدار بكهرباء سواء مولدة من لوحات الطاقة الشمسية او عجلات توليد الكهرباء بالحركةوتستخدم شبكة انترنت من اكثر من منفذ سواء خاص بشركة هاليداي او الشركة المنافسة 'اي او اي' ، فمنتشر في كل مكان مناطق انترنت لاسلكيكل فرد يقوم بأقل القليل من الجهد البشري منذ لحظة استيقاظه، حتي يرتدي خوذته والمعدات لدخول اواسيس ليستكمل يومه بشخصيته الافتراضية في هذا العالم الافتراضيعالم مجاني بشكل كبير، بلا رسوم اشتراك لاول مرة ولا رسوم شهرية….حتي وفاة هاليدايوالأن. . لك ان تتخيل لماذا تريد الشركة الرأسمالية السابقة الذكر الحصول علي الجائزة والاستيلاء علي حقوق شركة هاليداي، والواحة، اواسيسهنا ستجد نفسك فعلا تتفاعل مع شخصية البطل، وايد واتس، وباقي منافسيه من الشخصيات وأصدقائه في الحصول علي البيضة الخفية قبل الشركة الاستغلالية----------------**** الشخصيات ****"هيكيكوموري ひきこもり Hikikomori"هي ظاهرة حقيقية واقعية للاسف تفشت في اليابان وفي طريقها لباقي العالم للاسف.. الهيكيكوموري، هو مصطلح ياباني معناه حرفيًا إنسحاب، التقوقع ،هو الإنسحاب الإجتماعي أو العزلة لدى المراهقين والبالغين. هناك أكثر من مليون هيكيكوموري في اليابان يرفضون الخروج من منازلهم والتفاعل مع المجتمع عن طريق انعزالهم في المنزل لفترة زمنية طويلة، يكتفون بمشاهدة الانيمي والافلام وقراءة الكتب والمانجا، والعدد في إزدياد مستمر، نتيجة المشاكل الإجتماعية والثقافية-لقد بدأت اخشي انني اشعر بهذه الأعراض، وال'اواسيس' الخاصة بي هي مكتبتي التي تتضخم يوما تلو الاخر، وان شخصيتي في الجودريدز صارت حقيقية اكثر مني-لقد ظهرت شخصية ما في الرواية يابانية لإظهار تفشي تلك الظاهرة، ولكنك إذا ما دققت النظر ستجد ان جميع الشخصيات الرئيسية ماهم الا منعزلون اخرونلاحظ ايضا ان عدم القيام برياضة حقيقية او عدم الحركة بجد او عدم الاهتمام بالمظهر سيجعل من البشر بدناء -هناك نظام رجيم ممتاز بالرواية علي فكرة وقاسي بحق- وايضا سيجعل منهم بالطبع مختلفين تماما في الشكل عن مظهرهم في اللعبةحتي البطل الرئيسي ، وايد واتسهو مراهق، يتيم، يعيش مع خالته ولديه اقل القليل من المال، نعم هو يعرف كل شئ عن اواسيس، وعن هاليداي، ومنذ بدأت المسابقة من أربعة سنوات صار خبيرا بكل ماصدر بحقبة الثمانينات، بل وصار مهووسا بكل ما كان هاليداي مهووسا بهولكن 4 سنوات انقضت ولم يعثر احدهم علي مفتاح واحد من المفاتيح الثلاثة، ناهيك عن بوابة من الثلاثةوالأمر نفسه بالنسبة لوايد… ولكن عذر وايد رغم ذكائه هو فقره، فقد تكون اواسيس مجانية ولكن التنقل بين عوالمها المتعددة وامتلاك اسلحة ومعدات للنزال لها تكلفتهاحتي 11 فبراير 2045...بعد 4 اعوام ، عندما وجد احدهم المفتاح الاولشخصية وايد هي الراوي، شخصية ظريفة ذكية، مهووسة كهاليداي،والمؤلف بالطبعوبذكر المؤلف بالنسبة لي السلبيات الوحيدة بالنسبة لي بخصوص تلك الرواية، او اسلوب إرنست عاما -فقد قرأت له أرمادا من قبل، كتابه الثاني- هو ان هناك دائما شخصية ملحدة، ويجب ان تكون صريحة الإلحاد وبسطور بسيطة قليلة تشرح وجهة نظرها وكأن الأمر جليا إنه لا يوجد آله لا أدري حقا وجهة نظره في -التبشير-بالالحاد كما يفعل غيره أيضا وكأنهم قد يدخلوا جنة الملحدين في النهاية لمجهوداتهملم انتقص نجمة هنا لمجرد ان ما قاله كان قليلا جدا وغير مؤثر، بل فعله مؤلفين مصريين وعرب بشكل اكثر وقاحة بحجة تقديم رواية ذات رسالة دينية-راجع جبلاوي نجيب محفوظمن السلبيات الاخري هنا، لا ليس الجنس، الحديث عن العادة السرية، بالطبع لا جنس مع هؤلاء المنعزلون غريبو الأطوار. .. ولكن مايشفع له هو خفة الدم وعدم الابتذال بل وتقديم الجانب السئ لها~~~~~~~اتش Aechصديق وايد الصدوق، في العالم الإفتراضي فحسب بالطبع، وسيم جدا، قوي، بعضلات...لم ينفك يخبر وايد أنه اكثر وسامة في الواقعبالطبع لم يقابله أبدا من قبل في الحقيقة، هما اصدقاء بالعالم الافتراضي فحسب هو اغني منه افتراضيا،وشخصيته بمستوي أعلي ويرفض وايد ان يسأله اي مساعدة فهو لا يود أن يعثر علي الجائزة بفضل اي أحد هل تتذكر محادثات البرامج القديمة علي الإنترنت حيث لا تدري شكل من أمامك، هنا نفس الأمر (view spoiler)[ولم اتمالك نفسي من الضحك عندما رأيت الشاب الذي تخيلته هكذايتضح انه .... ليس شابا علي الاطلاق (hide spoiler)]ولكن قدر ما كنت متشوقا لمعرفه شكله الحقيقي، قد ما كنت اريد بقوة رؤية من يهواها وايد، من طرف واحد آرتيمس فتاة ذكية جميلة لبقة، من نجوم السوشيال ميديا بهذا العالم، وبالطبع سبب شهرتها انها غريبة الاطوار، مهووسة البحث عن الجائزة وكل اهتمامات هاليداي بالثمانينات وتحفظ كل افلام الفترة وتتقن كل العابهالقائها -الافتراضي- مع وايد كان مفاجأة سارة وبتوالي الأحداث ستقع في حبها، وتتمني ان تعرف وجهها الحقيقي بالظبط كوايد واتسوهناك اوجدين صديق هاليداي الوحيد ومؤسس الشركة معه قبل انفصالهماسورينتوذو منصب هام بالشركة المشتغلة واحد كبار الشخصيات باواسيس والذي يسعي وشركته خلف الجائزة بأي ثمن...حتي لو بالقتل والدمارديتو وشوتوشخصيتان من اليابان، حيث سنفهم مفهوم الهكيكيموري وهما من المنافسين في البحث عن الجائزةكل شخصية من تلك الشخصيات لها خلفيتها وحكايتها وتاريخها والمفاجأت التي ستقابلهم وتقابلك من خلال سير الاحداث والتي يتضافر بها بشكل بديع هذا العالم الضخم المرسوم باتقان، الشخصيات القوية ثلاثية اابعاد، لتأتي قصة ورواية مثيرة، تحبس الانفاس، ممتعة وشيقة...ومتقنة~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~والنهايةصداقة، شجاعة، تقبل الاخر، عدم التمييز لا جديد؟ هي رسائل هاري بوتر وجي كي رولينجإثارة، متعة، تشويق، غزارة معلومات حقيقية لا جديد، هو نفسه دان براون ولكن في مجال الترفيهولكن قصة غير مكررة، بلا كلاشيهات، مثيرة، الاسترسال بحساب وممتع وجديد وليس مجرد حشو، اقتباسات ظريفة ولها محل من الاعراب في الرواية وليست مقحمةقد يكون هناك بعض البطء في بداية المرحلة الثانية...ولكنه كان الهدوء الذي يسبق العاصفةبناء للعالم متقن ومنطقيقصة تضع علي وجهك ابتسامة عريضة...تدفعك للتحرك والتغييرتمنحك ولو جرعة امل صغيرةاستمتعت بها وكأنني العب اقوي ألعاب الكمبيوتروشعرت بنوستاليجا كأني اشاهد فيلم فيديو مؤجر ب4 جنية في ليلة اجازة الصيفوحبست انفاسي وكأني في خطر حقيقيضحكت كانني أشاهد مسرحية قديمة، وخفت من المستقبل بعض الشئ وشعرت انه يجب ان يكون هناك تغييرتغيير حقيقيهل انت مستعد؟ReadyPlayerOneمحمد العربيمن 8 أغسطس 2016إلي 16 أغسطس 2016Oh and it's August,12 ... Happy Birthday Wade WattsIn the remaining 7511 characters left, I will sum up an English review if u r interested enough in my humble English reviews..I will always love an 1980s related novel...or anything actually... and it seems it's not just me.... did you see Stranger Things ?more
- January 1, 1970ZoëOH HOHOHOHOHO THIS BOOK WAS GOOOOOOODIt was so different from anything else I've ever read and it put my knowledge of 80s movies, Dungeons and Dragons, and Monty Python to good use! Honestly, read this. Just do it.
- January 1, 1970Elyse"And then one night, like a complete idiot, I told her how I felt."THANK YOU....to my friend Coment, for giving me book -in the pool- no less! ....I enjoyed the unique romance: "I love this song!"... [ME TOO...."Time After Time", by Cyndi Lauper]....Art3mis shouted.Her eyes darted toward the dance floor. I looked at her uncertainly. "What's wrong?" she said with mock sympathy. "Can't a boy dance?" "She abruptly locked into the beat, bobbing her head, gyrating her hips. Then she pushed off from t "And then one night, like a complete idiot, I told her how I felt."THANK YOU....to my friend Coment, for giving me book -in the pool- no less! ....I enjoyed the unique romance: "I love this song!"... [ME TOO...."Time After Time", by Cyndi Lauper]....Art3mis shouted.Her eyes darted toward the dance floor. I looked at her uncertainly. "What's wrong?" she said with mock sympathy. "Can't a boy dance?" "She abruptly locked into the beat, bobbing her head, gyrating her hips. Then she pushed off from the floor with both feet and began to float upword, drifting toward the groove zone. I stared up at her, temporarily frozen, mustering my courage"."All right". I muttered to myself. "What the hell."....I enjoyed the nostalgia ...(some things I didn't know what the author knew -at all -being a very UN-GEEK-GIRL ....but Packman???....NOW WE'RE TALKING MY LANGUAGE). Paul and use to save quarters for our 7-11 trips to play Ms. Packman ---on days we got a little more classy-- we went to a Mexican Restaurant that had a Ms. Packman machine. We ordered margaritas, chips and salsa. We were in Ms. Packman Heaven. It was a great Sat. Afternoon date for us. ....I loved the hunt to find the Easter Egg........I liked the good and evil characters --....Haliday - the guy who died - creator of OASIS....was the most fascinating 'dead' character. The fantasy of him being able to see what everyone was doing since he died was heartwarming. I loved how I felt.... Like a teenager with raging hormones! -- and I'm clearly not a nerd!It also gave me an appreciation for the 'positives' for where we are with technology today. As much as their are dangers with social media - their are many wonderful fulfilling friendship-connections. Tons of fun!!!more
- January 1, 1970Alex FarrandReady Player One is about a futuristic, catastrophic earth, and the only bit of happiness that the human species can have is to escape. Fly off to a different planet that has a life source? No, but elude reality. Escape into a virtual video game called OASIS. After the OASIS creator dies, life on OASIS changes everyone. The last will and testament of James Halliday, the creator, is to have a contest of the ages to gain his power and fortune. The main character Wade Watts devotes his life to win Ready Player One is about a futuristic, catastrophic earth, and the only bit of happiness that the human species can have is to escape. Fly off to a different planet that has a life source? No, but elude reality. Escape into a virtual video game called OASIS. After the OASIS creator dies, life on OASIS changes everyone. The last will and testament of James Halliday, the creator, is to have a contest of the ages to gain his power and fortune. The main character Wade Watts devotes his life to win the contest. Will he win the contest, or will the enemies reign supreme?First off, Ernest Cline's world felt eerily real. All that happened to the Earth are real time problems that we are facing today, and need to be solved soon. It made me feel conscience of what I am doing, and to make my little sacrifice to help mother earth live as long as possible. The other thing is how much we are involved with technology. Many of us are attached to our screens. Even preschoolers play on tablets, and other devices to pass the time. I let my daughter play ABC mouse, which is an educational program. I limit her time, but she will be using a ton of systems when she enters school. I remember my sister coming home with a laptop in middle school, and my husband's younger brother coming home with a tablet. Technology is great, but I feel like the virtual world is where we are headed at some point of time. Most of us will be leaving reality to go into a virtual world.Secondly, I sang a lot to myself during this book. If I sing to myself it usually brings up a good memory, or I am making fun of a scene. The novel brought up some good memories. During the first few pages I was singing Willy Wonka. "I got a golden ticket!" or "If you want to view paradise." I love Willy Wonka. I love Gene Wilder. Ready Player One reminds me of Willy Wonka, and that made me happy. Some of the music that was mentioned popped in my head a few times. Wham! come on! Dudes, I can jam out to some Wham!. "Wake me up before you go-go." *Dancing* Alright, Alex stop dancing. The last thing that made me happy was the remembrance of my video game days. Those were some good times. I use to grab a bag of chips, and play on my system all night. We had some good times, and of course some bad times, but overall fun. I use to play WOW, and Everquest. They were so much fun. I love the Playstation system. Gosh, I loved Final Fantasy, and Dynasty Warriors. Don't make fun of me, those were some great games. I want to play FF, but my husband sold the PS3 to get the new Xbox. UGH! FF! HOW I MISS YOU! I was very sad. The last game I played was Red Dead Redemption, which was a western video game. It was so much fun. I miss it, and this week I ate a lot of junk food while reading. Thirdly, I liked how Ernest wrote the secondary characters. That is all I am going to say about them, because they are wonderful. The story was exciting, and I was trying to solve the puzzles. I was horrible too. I wouldn't have won. haha. I would whoop some ass at trivia about the movie Forrest Gump. I do want to try out some games, like Dungeons and Dragons. Surprisingly, I started thinking me reading books, and my husband playing WOW, downstairs in the basement, are basically the same thing. We are both escaping reality. I might think my time alone is a little bit more educational, but his virtual world is using different functions of the brain. One of those epiphanies that I had while reading that I found sort of interesting. It made me ponder how many times I escaped to a different world to avoid this one. Maybe, I should face it more often, look at the sunrises, and sunsets. You know "One more day, one more time. One more sunset baby I'll be satisfied." I don't read all day. I have a two year old, but who knows what I am missing out there. I still have a life to live, and I think that was the message of the book. Avoiding reality is great at times, but there are miraculous things to be seen. Our lives are what we make of them. It is something to ponder about. Happy reading! Read my blog at www.dancingbetweenthecovers.commore
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