[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Ready Player One is a modern dystopian that hits a little too close to home be comfortable. Fossil fuels are gone, pretty much everyone spends as much time as they can in virtual reality, and corporations run the world. When it came out, a lot of people compared it to the Hunger Games, but other than “bleak” and “games” I don’t see a connection. That was a far fetched morality tale. This was an episode of Black Mirror (author’s note: if you don’t know what Black Mirror is I highly suggest looking it up. Especially if you liked the premise of this book but wished for more depth, death, and better writing).
I did enjoy Ready Player One. It was entertaining for the most part. It does tend to read like a nerdy boy’s wet dream, but at least it’s a great adventure. The overall “egg hunt” is a fun premise and sounds like something I would love to get involved in. The supporting characters were great. I especially loved Aech and Daito and wish we had spent more time getting to know those characters and less time following the poorly developed love story sub-plot. I mean, let’s face it. Art3mis was barely more than 2 dimensional and could have been replaced with any generic depiction of a “gamer girl” and the story wouldn’t have changed.
Having learned that Ernest Cline also wrote the movie Fanboys though and also wrote a fan fiction script for Buckaroo Banzai all of the above made sense. Ready Player One read like a Fan Fiction of life. Even while affirming the gospel of cannon materials, he took liberties with how relationships and the world itself works. He specifically built a universe in which he could be the hero.
Despite its shortcomings, I would still give it a 6/10. I listened to the narration by Will Wheaton and found myself sucked into the story. While listening to it, I had very little to complain about. It was paced well and followed The Hero’s Journey to a T. It was just when I stepped back to think about the themes and composition that I found myself being critical of the book. There were some social issues that it touched on well I thought. Race, gender, and socioeconomic status were all handled in a way that, from my perspective, was better than a lot of books written by Gen-X straight white men.
Speaking of Will Wheaton. . .
CONSPIRACY THEORY TIME!!!!!!
Anyone else think that maybe Will Wheaton had more to do with this book than narrate it? I think Will Wheaton wrote it and is using Ernest Cline as a cover. He’s mentioned in the book, he narrates it, the audio book came out the same day as the print. . . Totally, secretly written by Wheaton. I just need the motivation factor. But, I digress.
So all in all, Ready Player One was a fun read that still prompted some deeper thought about where technology is taking us. I sincerely hope it’s not into an 80’s themed wet dream, but there are worse places to end up. Like the Hunger Games. I will take the Oasis over the Arena any day, and let’s be real. As much as Art3mis and Parzival’s relationship was 2d, it’s still better than Katniss and Peeta’s, but that is a rant for another day. Let us know what you thought of Ready Player One and if you think Will Wheaton is secretly writing books and letting others have the fame. Until next time!