THERE WILL BE SPOILERS HERE. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Book Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
All the fans are going to get really angry/frustrated at me for this one (I’m sorry that we have a disparity, but I’m also sorry that I can’t apologize for my opinion).
Overall, I really didn’t enjoy this book. But I’ll start with the positives, and then move into my personal irks and peeves.
Firstly, the premise was great. The concept of humanity degrading to the point where everyone chooses to live in a virtual reality to ignore real life problems, coupled with the intelligent way in which the OASIS platform was thought out (things had a cost and a benefit, you could easily die and be forced to restart, other such little things which are often ignored in other books) appealed greatly to me. Unfortunately, the benefits of the story (for me) ended here.
There are several things that bothered me about the story, starting with the protagonist. Wade (Parzival) was egotistical, maudlin at times, and overall just slightly irritating as a person. It bothered me quite a lot how he glorified dropping all real activities, not seeing any daylight for months, and ignoring his family, expectations, and reality to participate in the easter egg hunt. I mean, I understand his fascination with it, but WHY was he so proud of himself for doing this? The romance between him and Art3mis also bothered me on many levels, firstly because of how desperate and needy he was (I mean, the first girl he ever meets and he’s instantly on her case so much that he ignores his only other friends and all his other goals just for her, I mean, what?) and also how she was portrayed as “the cool gamer chick who’s sensitive and hurt about her appearance” (Maybe I’ve just read too many books with this trope, but I just found it severely underwhelming).
Moving on to the general environment — what irritated me most about this was that the name-dropping and random references seemed to serve no purpose at all. 80% of them could’ve easily been removed with no harm coming to the story, and we really didn’t need the insight into the amount of time Wade wasted trying to memorize all this information and show it off at the smallest opportunity (I don’t like Wade, can you tell?)
I also don’t like the style in which it’s written — all the dialogue seems forced and stilted, most of it made me cringe because it felt like when your grandparents throw in the redundant slang word to try and seem related to us “younger millennials”, and there were too many solid chunks of information dump which I started skimming over after a few chapters to get to the actual storyline. I understand the necessity of making sure readers understand what’s going on, but that stuff should either go in the appendix so that it’s optional, or should just be excluded and replaced with a warning at the beginning that gaming terms and 80s references will be required to understand every small detail of the book.
So yeah, overall, not my favorite.
I’ll be happy to hear other people’s opinions on this, though, because I really wanted to like this book after all the positive things I heard