Normally, Ready Player One isn’t the kind of book that would catch my eye. A dystopian world built around a video game? No thank you. But I’d heard enough good reviews about this book that when I saw it on my roommate’s shelf, I picked it up. And I’m so glad I did.
In the near dystopian future, 17-year-old Wade has found that life inside OASIS, a virtual reality world that has taken over video gaming, is much better than his real, outside life. So when the creator of OASIS dies and offers his massive fortune to the first person who can find all the Easter eggs and solve the puzzles he has hidden in the world, Wade is one of the most committed egg hunters (or gunters, as they become called). Interest fades until Wade finally stumbles upon the first key–then the race is on between him, his friends, and an evil corporation who will do whatever it takes to win the prize.
This book is jam-packed with references to 80s pop culture, from video games to movies to music and beyond. But even if you’re not super familiar with the 80s (I’m not), you can still enjoy this book. The creative and incredible worlds that are created within OASIS are fantastic, and the challenges that the gunters attempt to solve are pretty cool, too. Wade is also a fun character. He doesn’t always make the wisest choices–what teenager does?–but he does the best that he can, along with the help of his in-world friends.
To summarize, if you’re at all interested in a fun and exciting romp through a virtual world, filled with pop culture references and creative puzzles, you’ll enjoy this book. Even if you know nothing about video games.
Rating: Pretty Darn Good