Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Well that was a very enjoyable read. I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk for a while now so to get totally immersed in a book again was nice. It’s set in a pretty depressing future about 30 years from now. Due to a global energy and environmental crisis the world is a pretty bleak place. People are packed like sardines and life seems to have not much value. Corporations rule the roost and I particularly was repulsed by the idea of ‘indentured’ corporate employees who are basically slaves because they couldn’t pay their bills. The only happiness people seem to have is playing in OASIS, a virtual reality game they gives users full immersion with headsets, bodysuits and gloves. It is a seriously cool place, whole planets/systems devoted to people’s favorite games/movies/books etc.

So the premise is that the founder of OASIS dies and leaves his entire fortune, including the future of the OASIS to anybody you can find the ‘Easter Eggs’ and solve the puzzles he’s left somewhere in the game. And so sets up the story of our hero and his friends to find the clues while battling against the evil corporation. It sounds fairly generic but it’s put together well. The founders obsession with 80’s geek culture means that there are loads of cool references throughout, even to me who was never much of a gamer. I really liked all the characters and particularly liked the twist with Aech at the end, I wasn’t expecting that!

The story flows at a nice pace and though I didn’t really enjoy the whole romance thing, I didn’t mind it either. A very good read and I would recommend to almost anyone, even people who aren’t up on their 80’s music/movie/games trivia.

5 stars out of 5

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