I initially bought this book for my boyfriend for his birthday in 2015. He read some of it and lost interest (he’s not the biggest reader but it was a book primarily around video games and it had peaked his interest) and it remained on the bookshelf ever since. The other day whilst in between books, it somehow caught my eye and my decision had been made. This was going to be my next read.
Ready Player One follows Wade, or rather Parzival as he navigates through life, primarily the one he leads in OASIS. The world’s most immersive gaming experience. As he hunts for the elusive prize that will change his life forever.
This review will be spoiler-free!
Going into Ready Player One I had already read many a rave review about it. It is a well-loved book. During the beginning two to three chapters, I genuinely questioned the opinion of every single one of those people. I was just so bored. It just spouted a lot of information at you, as if reading it of an auto-cue. It wasn’t very personable, the main character felt like a robot and it took me two days just to get truly into the book.
Thankfully, it got better. It got much, much better. After an initial slow-burn, the book drastically changed gear. Although the obscure 80’s reference are never-ending, they are integral to the plot of the book. As someone who was born in 1992, the more unknown the video game/tv series references did go straight over my head. However, every now and then a title would pop up that I recognised and that was somewhat gratifying, that were you were there alongside the main character helping figure out the puzzles.
Which leads me onto my next point that this book was incredibly well thought out. The way it all weaves together and how the author seemingly meticulously planned it all it wonderful to watch unravel as you progress through the book. It definitely, for me, is one of the reasons I rated this book so highly after an initial slow start.
For a book predominately set in a virtual reality, the characters are surprisingly fleshed out – excuse the irony. Although in an online world you can completely re-invent yourself and make yourself someone entirely different -the author does a great job at still making the characters believable. The main character Wade, we can obviously see is playing the role of himself as we follow the book from his perspective.
The other characters we meet along his journey in the OASIS world however, we are purposefully left wondering if they are who they say they are. We have to trust that what they are telling us is true. In some ways, it feels like an underlying lesson for the dangers of the internet.
The world we are built in their reality, is incredibly terrifying due to the fact it is, in some idea feasible and then I think purposefully makes the reader think of how their life would be in this scenario. How would we exist in a society that primarily lives in a virtual world? And then the different worlds, (and there are thousands, thankfully we aren’t introduced to them all!) are inexplicably detailed that they are so, so easy for the reader to imagine – especially if you know the 80’s reference it’s usually based on.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read other books by this author and would encourage fans of science-fiction to pick up this book. Have you read Ready Player One or have books similar that you would recommend – let me know!