Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The world Ernest Cline has created is one that completely envelopes the reader and takes them into the story and into the game. I loved this world. I do play video games. I remember the Atari I couldn’t wait to turn on when I visited my aunt and uncle, and when I got my Nintendo, I was SO excited. So, even though I don’t play much anymore, it was so much fun to delve into this crazy virtual reality world that Cline built.

How I Felt:

I listened to Ready Player One and while I am sure that reading this book will elicit the same exciting response I had to this story, I would like to highly recommend the audio edition. The narrator was wonderful. If you do not like to pay for audio, I found it through Libby at my library!

The characters are so interesting in Ready Player One. They are all alone in reality. Living their lives in their virtual reality suits, never venturing into the real world, and yet they come alive in the game. They have friendships that span years without ever meeting the other person. Their jobs are built into the game’s world. Wade Watts is the main character in this book, and he is one of the millions of players in the OASIS. I found him to be a wonderful MC. I cared about him, and I truly wanted him to win the game. I enjoyed his clever ideas and stupidity at times. He had character growth that really turned him into a person by the end. It was a great character arc, and I enjoyed it.

The world Cline created in Ready Player One is fantastic. I was so intrigued by the concept because isn’t that almost happening now? Games like Fortnite have people spending real money on skins so that they can show all their friends their new outfit, or dance, or emoticon. This story barely felt science fiction to me in a way because video gaming has come so far, this futuristic view of gaming, felt almost like a reality to be.

The story takes place in 2044 where the OASIS, a virtual reality game, has become a virtual reality world. Everything that a person needs to do can be done through it. While it is a game that is played to earn XP (experience points), there is so much more happening. It is as if the real world is disappearing and all of life is being lived inside the platform. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves his fortune to the player that can solve his riddles and discover all the keys he has hidden within the game. Years go by without anyone being able to solve or find anything. Then, one day, Wade realizes where the first key is. The game propels the reader through crazy twists and turns for the rest of the story. Can Wade solve all the clues? What started as a fun clue to win a fortune turns into a race to the end with life or death consequences.

Overall, I so enjoyed this book. I loved the storytelling and clues to solve. I enjoyed Wade’s crazy ideas to evade the “bad guys”. It is an exciting adventure in virtual reality that becomes too real.

To Read or Not To Read: I would recommend Ready Player One to readers that enjoy science fiction, video games, or action and adventure stories. If you have already read this book and enjoyed it, I would recommend The God Game for you. You can see my review of that here.

Where to Find This Book:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is available at these sites.

Bookshop.org | Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Audible | Goodreads

IN THE YEAR 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. 

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Publisher: Crown Publishers
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Pub Date:  August 16, 2011
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