The first time I heard about Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One was way back in 2011. It was highly recommended by almost every book blogger and booktuber I follow. And it still is. However, I belong to the proportion of people who picked up the book upon the announcement of its film adaptation sometime last year. I don’t know about other avid book readers, but personally, I have this requirement that I must read the book first before seeing the movie. Of course, it’s not always the case but if I have the chance, that’s how I manage it most of the time. I think it’s mostly because I know the book version will always be better. Haha!
For some reason, prior to reading this book, I sort of anticipated that it’s going to be one of my favorite reads. The plot sounds immensely promising and captivating—virtual reality with tons of 80s pop culture references, a scavenger hunt of epic proportions, dynamic characters and a conniving antagonist. And on that note, Ernest Cline did not disappoint.
To start off, the High Five’s (Wade, Art3mis, Aech, Shoto, and Daito) bond and loyalty to one another is a truly good aspect of the book. Like the protagonist, Wade, the side characters are so much fun to read and so easy to root for. One reason why I wanted to finish this story is because of its underdog element. I love a good underdog story! There’s just something so satisfying when they get what they deserve especially when they really worked hard for it. Plus I also appreciated the concept where the gunters (the good ones at least) are very passionate and dedicated to James Halliday, his obsessions and the OASIS as a whole. But just because they are familiar with all these things, they don’t easily get past the challenges. They really need to work hard and use their knowledge to solve the puzzles and riddles. It’s just amazing! As for the villain, I think Sorrento and the Sixers were truly one of the antagonists that I immensely enjoyed. I was scared to death for the High Five when they were chasing them! They stop at nothing and they really mean business.
Now, I love a good world building and so much more if it’s well-detailed. Ernest Cline has paid so much attention to details and really took his time to outline the references to his readers. Again, I think it’s great and I am all for details but in Ready Player One, it was just too much! TOO. MUCH. It was written in such an expository way that it almost felt jarring and monotonous to the point where it obliterated almost 70% of my total enjoyment. I had to put it off several times because there was just too much information. And I hate putting off books especially to books that I believe would be right up my alley, and plot-wise this book is! But I soldiered on and finished the book because I needed to know how the scavenger hunt would go.
I truly think that the main reason why I genuinely enjoyed Ready Player One is because I can relate to nearly half of what Wade is going on about throughout the entire book. I understand his intentions and where he’s coming from. Like a lot of readers, Ready Player One has got me nostalgic in so many ways. It made me think of the days and many, many hours when I used to wander around the interweb and the people I’ve met and made friends with. The delight of playing videogames, although I always get stuck as Player Two because that’s what happens when you’re the younger sibling. Of course, the good times of just staying at home to watch animes. And the 80s film references! I wasn’t exactly an 80s kid but I watched a good amount of films from that era. Back To The Future is my all-time favorite movie so you can just imagine all the excitement I’ve felt when Wade got the DeLorean car!
Ready Player One is an epic homage to the 80s and if you’re looking for a fun and thrilling adventure crafted from that era, you should read it. Even more so if you’re a gamer because there’s a lot of gamer lingo in the book (that I mostly just glazed over) that truly think a lot of you would appreciate more.
On a side note, I’ve seen the Ready Player One film adaptation this week… and it didn’t impress me. Unfortunately. It made feel better than I made the choice of reading the book first! I think I’m going to make a post on the things that the book did better because I’m really stressed out after seeing it. So please, please read the book first before watching the movie because it’s worth it.