This review contains spoilers.
“Going outside is highly overrated.”
Published: 2012, by Random House Audiobooks.
Length: 15hrs 40mins (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)
Genre: Science Fiction, Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy
Contains: Death, Violence, Strong Language, Sexual Content, Agoraphobia
‘Ready Player One’ is set in 2044, in a world much darker than the one we know now. To cope with existence, people seek escape in a virtual reality known as the OASIS, where you can become whoever you’ve always wanted to be. Wade Watts, a depressed teenager, lives in this utopia. However, when OASIS founder, James Halliday, dies, he leaves his fortune to one lucky user capable of solving a series of riddles… and Wade is desperate to win.
- Fun and interesting dystopia? Check.
- Snarky protagonist? Check.
- 80’s Culture? Check.
- Badass female? Check.
- A satisfying ending? Check.
What more could you want from a novel? This book has everything.
Honestly, when I first began to read the hype surrounding ‘Ready Player One’ I wasn’t convinced, believing I didn’t know enough about the eighties to enjoy an entire book revolving around it. I was wrong. To read this book, you don’t have to know anything about the decade, or even have an appreciation of it, because this book does all the hard work for you. As a reader, all you have to do is trust Wade Watts, and the love for the time-frame flows.
Wade as a protagonist was hilarious, his first person perspective making the novel move forward with ease. His inputs and anecdotes were funny and interesting, giving the reader the information to understand tech-savvy moments and his personality was one I could relate to and resonate with. Wade is awkward, isolated and a bit of a nerd, yet it’s incredibly difficult not to love him; his passion for video games and all things technological was unique and interesting to read in a main character.
Art3mis, however, became my immediate favourite from the moment she was introduced. Her spunky personality and fighting talk was difficult not to adore, plus all interactions between her and Wade put a smile on my face as I listened along.
The writing as a whole was fun and interesting, Wade narrating us through the process to his victory at the end of the novel. However, I will have to admit that there were times where I was overwhelmed with the amount of information. Although, Wade’s character relied on his intelligence and passion for 80’s culture, the info-dumps were overwhelming at times. I found myself tuning out on more than one occasion, finding it unnecessary to rewind and relive those sections. I should mention that doing this made no difference to my understanding of the novel, which makes me wonder whether they were necessary at all.
Overall, I fully enjoyed this book. The concept was interesting, the characters were fun and it made me want to sit back and play a few old video games again. Plus, the narrator did a brilliant job of expressing the passion surrounding all things nerdy.