Reviews Young Adult

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Review

Ready Player Two hit shelves last week, and if you’re new to the OASIS and trying to figure out if the hype and these deliciously addictive books are for you, keep on reading for a spoiler-free review of book one, Ready Player One.

The year is 2045 and the future is bleak. The Earth’s been ravaged by the depletion of its natural resources, and most of humanity now lives in abject poverty, housed in overcrowded vertical trailer parks (called ‘The Stacks’) and getting by on food rations. And since real life’s not much to look at, humans have all but disappeared into the OASIS, an immersive virtual reality world created by 80s enthusiast and genius-computer programmer James Halliday. High-school student Wade Watts is such a real-world escapee.

When Halliday dies, he leaves behind an elaborate online contest. A puzzle of riddles, three gates and three keys, that lead to Halliday’s Easter egg, hidden somewhere in the vast universe of the OASIS, the finder of which will inherit Halliday’s company and his vast billions.

But it’s been five years since Halliday’s death and the contest’s online scoreboard remains blank. Wade’s become a veritable fountain of 80s pop culture trivia, adopting Halliday’s obsessions as his own and becoming what’s known as a Gunter (a dedicated egg hunter). As opposed to those who doubt the egg’s existence entirely, and the Sixers, who are contract hunters, employed by evil corporation IOI. Until, one day, Wade stumbles upon what everyone seeks, the location of the Bronze Key.

Suddenly, Wade (or more accurately, his avatar Parzival) is the competition’s hottest contender and the Sixers’ prime target. To escape the players willing to kill, Wade must figure out who can be trusted and, even harder, leave the confines of his digital world behind.

I’m a nerd, but not a gamer. I was born in the 80s, but couldn’t say my heart particularly yearns for the decade. Still, I am crushing so hard on this read! Like, I actively have to stop my mind from obsessing over Ready Player One. There’s some bulky exposition, but it’s more than offset by the utter addictiveness of this read.

Add Ready Player One on Goodreads.

Book: Ready Player One
Published: Ballantine Books
Pages: 386
Publication Date: January 30th, 2020 (first published August 16th, 2011)
Age Range: 14 – adult
Stars: 5/5

Penguin Random House South Africa kindly sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, rating, or the content of my review.

Find out more about Ready Player Two.


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