Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1)Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When it comes to my experience of this book, there are a few things that marred my enjoyment. When I first heard of it and didn’t know all the info about it I did by the time I actually read it, it sounded interesting and I added it to my To-read pile. Problem is, if I bought every book that caught my attention, I’d be broke. So things languish on there there for years. Meanwhile, I buy book bundles from Humble Bundle or Story Bundle (and not all of those or I’d be broke, too) because if they have authors or a theme I’m really interested in, it’s usually about a dollar a book. Both of these combined to make me enjoy this book less. On the former, everyone I know (mostly family) who’d read the book made a big deal about how it was definitely a book for me since it has video games and lots of 80s references. So a bit of over-selling there. Then, from the latter, I ended up with Massively Multiplayer in one of the book bundles. It was actually published a year before Ready Player One and, on a basic level, has the exact same plot. It even has the exact same Moral or Lesson at the end of the story. So when I decided to move Ready Player One to the top of my queue before the movies meant that everyone (not just book readers) would know the plot and it’d be too hard to keep from spoilers, I ended up reading an over-hyped book with a plot that was already stale.

Nowadays, it’s fashionable to poop on Mr. Cline’s writing or the story in general. That always happens to things that get a little too popular. But that’s not what this is. Yes, Cline disappointed me with the Art3mis reveal vs what I said in the status updates. But it’s a competently written YA book. (And that’s commendable. Writing isn’t easy – I’ve tried it and failed quite a bit) It’s just that the 80s stuff that everyone is losing their minds over is just window dressing to a plot that’s not original and that doesn’t have any interesting plot twists. (Again, if I’d read this when it came out instead of after reading Brandon Sanderson‘s awesome fiction with its great twists) It’s a meh story and frankly the mining of the 80s and 90s is getting tiresome. It must work for some people or Hollywod/publishers wouldn’t do it, but I don’t like nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake.

So if you haven’t read it yet and the movie hasn’t spoiled it for you and you haven’t read too much Game-Lit you might find it refreshing and fun. Otherwise, maybe don’t get on the hype train.

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