Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format Read: Paperback
Published by Broadway Books on June 5th 2012
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
Ready Player One is one of those recent science-fiction novels that everyone has read and loved in the book community. I was definitely interested in picking it up, but it wasn’t until I saw the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation that I moved it to the top of my TBR list.
In the year 2044, the world has become the nightmare that we are heading towards today — overpopulated, global warming has taken hold and much, much worse. It’s not a surprise that in order to escape the ugliness of reality, most citizens across the globe spend their time jacked into a virtual utopia called the OASIS. At the start of the novel, the creator of the OASIS passes away, leaving the ownership of the OASIS open to anyone that can solve his treasure hunt within the virtual platform. We follow high school senior Wade Watts, as he stumbles across the first clue that kicks of a crazy race, which would require more than just his wits and gaming skills to survive.
Ready Player One is just as fun as all the reviews say it is. Even though I was not born in the 80s, I could appreciate all the pop culture references, which added a really nice nostalgic element to the story.
Wade Watts is not a born hero. In fact, he’s an underfed kid jumping from home to home, without a means to explore the virtual OASIS aside from the planet where his virtual school is located. What he does have is an extraordinary memory and the yearning to learn everything and anything about his idol Halliday, the creator of the OASIS. This knowledge in fact pays off as Halliday’s last will and testament kicks off the race to win ownership of the OASIS. Five years following the start of the race — where not a single person across the globe has managed to decipher the first clue — Wade stumbles across the hiding place of the first key. His name on the leaderboard soon kicks off a renewed frenzy for Halliday’s hunt, capturing the interest of an evil organisation set out to take ownership of the OASIS for themselves — regardless of the means.
Ready Player One is one of the coolest formed ideas of virtual reality I’ve read in a while. It’s what I imagine VR will soon become, and the possibilities will be endless once someone figures out how to tap into this. Honestly, I. Cannot. Wait. I don’t even care about the issues that may arise (thanks Black Mirror…), I would love to experience this soon.
But in the meantime, it was fun experiencing the world through Wade / Parvizal and his virtual friends as they galavanted across the unlimited space in search of Halliday’s eggs. I liked Wade as a character, and it was easy to root for him to succeed. In fact, it was hard to dislike any of the characters in Ready Player One, aside from the obvious villains of course.
This book is a true form of escapism from reality. I honestly felt like I was transported to a different (virtual) reality with Wade, and soon I was entirely consumed by the novel and its world. Isn’t it funny how that happens?
I hear that there’s a sequel in the works at the moment. Not sure how I really feel about that to be honest. The ending was perfect…I don’t think the story needs to be extended. But will I pick it up? Probably, I’m still curious and wouldn’t mind jumping back into this world.