"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

11 June 2018

Ready Player One

Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One. Crown Publishers, 2011.

It's 2045 and the world is falling apart. Wade is a high school senior who lives at the top of a stack of mobile homes. He goes to school online via the OASIS, a virtual reality world invented by a genius game designer. When the game designer dies, he leaves a cryptic message and puzzle for the world: the first person to find three keys to go through three gates will inherit his fortune. Wade becomes a gunter (egg hunter) looking for this hidden "Easter egg" in the game. But as he gets closer to finding answers, he discovers that others are also searching and are willing to do whatever is necessary to get him out of the way.

I cannot believe I didn't read this book when it came out. I must have picked it up and put it back down a dozen times, but it wasn't until this past weekend that I actually tried to read it. And then I couldn't put it down. And I wasn't paying attention to anything else - food, sleep, sunshine - because I just had to find out what happened. Once I finished it, I turned back to the front and started reading again, which is something I don't think I've ever done. This book is simply fantastic. It is certainly an homage to all that made the 1980s what they were, but inside of that there is the adventure story and the mystery of the different riddles Wade and his friends had to solve. I haven't seen the movie yet, as most of the time when I love a book I do not love the movie, but I do highly recommend this book.

UPDATE: On page 173 of the paperback edition, Parzival and Art3mis are having a conversation, and Parzival asks Art3mis: "Are you a woman? And by that I mean are you a human female who has never had a sex-change operation?" This is unbelievably transphobic and once my spouse pointed it out to me, it left a bad taste in my mouth. The story itself would be fine without this ridiculous line. 

Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: lots of threats of violence, both in the real world and in the game
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Read-Alikes: Ender's Game, Scythe, Proxy

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