Book Review – Ready Player One (Guest Review)

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

What are you doing right now? Whatever game you are playing; whatever comic you are reading; whatever T.V. show you are watching… drop it!

You have got to read this.

Ernest Cline wrote the movie Fanboys. What’s that? Oh, you’ve never heard of Fanboys? Oh, well…that’s another story in itself. Suffice to say, this guy knows a thing or two about geek culture. He has crafted a fantastic read – if you have ever played a video game, read manga, grown up in the Eighties or even just have a passing interest in Sci-Fi you will likely find something to enjoy about Ready Player One.

The world is a dystopian future; people live on stacked trailer homes on the outskirts of mega cities; the bus trips between these cities is fraught by danger; and a massively multiplayer online game is the world’s favourite source of entertainment.

No! Wait! Stay with me here, I promise you it’ll be worth it. You see, that’s just the background. The designer of the game – a child of the 1980’s – has passed away, and has promised his hidden fortune to anyone who can find the three keys he has hidden in the world of the MMO. Like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, he kicks off a worldwide craze.

This world is a virtual reality world. The kids go to school in virtual reality, they make friends with AVATAR’s and not real people. And everything was a whole lot friendlier inside the game until the quest began.

Like all great reads, it’s about the journey more than the destination, and this is one fantastic journey! The characters feel very real; there are clear-cut good guys and bad guys with no grey. The book is written with great humour and most of all fantastic imagination, with scenes so amazing you’ll find yourself laughing at the ingenuity. I know a few people who haven’t read a book in years, yet they’ve kicked this over in a week.

I’m reluctant to reveal too many of the details because being blindsided by this book is such a beautiful thing. The story’s unique hook is that in order for the characters to find the keys they have to know their Eighties trivia. I was six years old when 1980, hit and to see so many cultural highlights brought back in this book that are relevant really struck my chord of nostalgia. Do you remember the first time you saw The Goonies? What about hearing the crack of Indiana Jones’ whip? Ready Player One will stir up those feelings. You may be tempted to think that the book sounds like something with a limited appeal – but we can never underestimate the draw of nostalgia…it’s why most of us are here in the first place.

I may be drinking from a rose-coloured glass, but I can assure you it tastes good


AKA. The Fountain.

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