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Monday, December 10, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Ready Player One by Ernest Cline @erniecline @PRHAudio #BookBeforeMovie #ReadIt1st

SERIES: Ready Player One, Book #1
AUTHOR: Ernest Cline 
NARRATOR: Wil Wheaton 
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: August 16, 2011
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 15 hrs and 40 mins
GENRE: Science Fiction
ISBN: 9780307913142
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.

A quest for the ultimate prize.

Are you ready?

MY REVIEW:

This book has been sitting on my TBR for a long time! I had heard lots of rave reviews, but I quite honestly wasn't sure whether reading a futuristic book set a virtual world would appeal to me. A prompt for one of my reading challenges is to read a cyberpunk book. That's a really tough genre for me. When I spotted this book on a cyberpunk list, I knew this was the time to tackle it. Plus, the movie came out this year! I'm glad that I finally got to it, and it does live up to the hype!

James Halliday, a video game/virtual reality designer, released a video at the time of his death. With no heirs of his own to inherit his massive fortune, he issues a challenge to the general public: The one that can find the Easter egg (that is cyberspeak for something that is hidden within the game's code that is not readily apparent) within his most popular game, The OASIS, will inherit not only his $240 billion in assets but also the controlling share of stock in his company. There are three different keys (copper, jade, and crystal), and each key unlocks a secret gate. Unlocking the third gate leads to the final challenge to acquire the Easter egg. 

After the issuance of Halliday's challenge, a scoreboard appeared within The OASIS. At first, the public went nuts trying to crack the code. Everyone got their hands on everything they could to learn more about Halliday: the movies/books/music he liked and vintage video games that Halliday grew up with in the 80s. However, interest began to wane when years went by without any success. That all changed in 2045, five years after Halliday's death. The scoreboard was lit up with Parzival's name, indicating that he found the copper key. This renewed interest in the challenge.

Parzival, aka Wade Watts, is an 18-year-old boy living in his aunt's trailer outside of Oklahoma City. He is approached by an organization with an offer to collaborate. Wade could have access to Halliday aficionados who have studied and learned everything there is to know about the cyber-genius. However, the organization wants to take over The OASIS and start charging a fee so that they can make money off it. When Wade turns them down, they put out a hit on him. He has to stay one step ahead of them in both the real and virtual reality worlds.

I have to admit that it took me a bit to get into this one. While I grew up in the 80s and enjoyed my Atari and ColecoVision, I was never a hardcore gamer. I really enjoyed the pop culture references to the movies and music of the 80s, but I felt at first that it was hard to follow Wade's descriptions of what he was trying to accomplish in the game. Once his life was at stake and there was more action, I did get sucked in. I really loved getting to know the other characters, including Aech, Art3mis, Shoto and Diato.

By the end of the book, I was just in awe over how Cline developed the storyline and the characters. I cannot believe this is his debut! Wow, he is seriously talented and imaginative. I am excited that he is writing a sequel, and I will definitely be reading (listening) to it!

Wil Wheaton was totally THE BOMB!! Although it did take me a bit to get into this one, I do highly recommend the audiobook because it is fabulously narrated. I love the attitude that he brought to the characters. Here is a sample of the narration:



I think this is the type of book that will (hopefully) translate very well into the big screen. In my opinion, this is the type of book that is made to be a movie and my expectations are very high going in! I can't wait to see it. Here is the movie trailer:



MY RATING:


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you like science fiction!

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