Ready Player One
by Earnest Cline
Rating: 5/5 Stairs
Set in 2045, Ready Player One embraces 1980’s pop culture as gamers across the globe try to find the Easter egg left behind by the late Halliday and win his fortune. I happened to pick up the audio book for this one thanks to a recommendation from Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog. (Thanks Grace!) The book is narrated by Wil Wheaton, and he is the perfect person to bring Wade Watts (aka Parzival) to life.
I should probably take a moment to let you all know that in real life, I am NOT a gamer. I just don’t have that skill set. I was never able to save poor Princess Zelda from her fate, those cute turtles always got the best of me in Super Mario Brothers, and let’s face it – I probably never made it past level two on Pac Man. I’m so bad, I can’t even remember. As far as modern day gaming, I am decent at Wii Bowling, and I did play my boys Lego Harry Potter game for about three hours. Once.
Why am I telling you this? To let you know you don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy this book. Yes, the plot centers around playing video games set in a virtual reality. But really it’s more about the quest and adventure in searching for Halliday’s Easter Egg. For me, the 1980’s references didn’t hurt either.
Teenage Wade Watts lives in a trailer stack (you read that right) with his aunt, just months away from finishing up high school. He does his best to stay out of her way, keep out of trouble, and attend classes in his (virtual) high school. And in his spare time, he’s a gunter (egg-hunter, get it?), having searched for years for Halliday’s first clue to his Easter Egg.
Really, I don’t want to say much more about the plot than that. I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing (except it was a great book narrated by Wil Wheaton), and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.
The writing was excellent, the story interesting and fast paced. Wade is a character you can get behind and root for. I never felt lost in the gaming aspect of the book. I highly recommend Ready Player One, and if you can, listen to the audio. Wil Wheaton is a fantastic narrator.