Ready Player One
The virtual world of OASIS has become the escape for most people in the world. People like Wade Watts live in a poor area in real life with a bad family situation. But Wade has a hiding place and from there he is able to log into OASIS. He attends high school that way. That's how he meets with his friends - who are all virtual. He hasn't met them in real life. And he has his games.
The inventor of OASIS, James Halliday, dies. His final will leaves his fortune to an unusual, unknown person. The first person who worked his/her way through the OASIS, finds three special keys, goes through three gates, and retrieve the hidden Easter Egg would receive all of his billions and control of the OASIS programming. There are no rules other than completing the quest. It's not easy, though. Only a person with intense knowledge of 1980's pop culture and early science fiction and fantasy culture has even a small chance of finding any of the clues and keys. Halliday was a teen in the 80's, and was a geek all his life. Knowledge of Halliday and his hobbies is the way to win the ultimate prize. Parzival, Wade's OASIS avatar, couldn't get far. He stubbornly worked his way to third level despite his disadvantages. Nobody got far for five years.
One man, an old employee of Halliday's, is in charge of a company that is working to find the Egg. The Sixers wouldn't stop in their quest. Their online OASIS menace carry over in real life. Parzival, his friends Aech and Art3mis, and all the other questors are in more danger than they realize. There are billions of dollars at stake in the real world. In OASIS, control of the complete world is at stake as well.
Ready Player One is a fun, realistic vision of a possible future. Ernest Cline took his ideas and his geekiness and created a teen age boy's fantasies come to life. Most of Ready Player One takes place in the OASIS, yet real life isn't ignored. The contrast between the two worlds shows the attraction of hiding away in a place like OASIS. It also shows how easily isolated a person can become, whether there's a place like OASIS or any other place to hide away.
My major problem with the book is the language. Unfortunately for my sensibilities, it's realistic to our current teen and geek culture. While I'm a geek in my own way, I'm an older woman with few contacts into that world. The teens I do know don't use that gutter slang language around me or their families. The first half of Ready Player One is especially offensive, although the further Parzival gets immersed in the fantasy worlds of OASIS, the less the language occurs.
Otherwise, Cline's book is a lot of fun with a serious undertone and message. During one period, Wade hides away in a dark apartment with no outside contact. Everything he needs is delivered to him outside his door. He doesn't leave his apartment and has to discipline himself to do more than sit in his immersion chair all the time. While it's fun and games for Parzival and his OASIS friends, it's also deadly earnest.
Ready for virtual fun and real danger? Ready to relive the 1980's? Check out Ready Player One.
Notice: Strong indecent language
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
Book Rating System