Book reviews by Mobilism's Book Review team
Jul 2nd, 2014, 5:19 pm
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TITLE: Ready Player One
AUTHOR: Ernest Cline
GENRE: Fiction, Sci Fi/Fantasy
PUBLISHED: 2011
RATING: ★★★★★
PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon
MOBILISM LINK: N/A

Description: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Review: Picture a world just like ours, but subtly worse – more debt, less fuel, more corporate ownership. Then imagine the ability to escape to a virtual world that has everything you could possibly want. It’s complete with sectors that are inspired by just about any pop culture phenomenon you can think of – Whedon, Star Trek, Star Wars, Warcraft, Everquest. You can shop, you can battle, you can quest and best of all, you can do it from home. This is the Oasis – where 90% of Ready Player One takes place.

The creator of the Oasis, James Halliday, is a quiet, nerdy guy who has no one to inherit his amazing creation when he dies. He’s made billions since launching the Oasis, despite each account only costing a quarter for a lifetime subscription. As a nod to his childhood love of arcade games, each avatar sees “Ready Player One” as they’re logging in.

Halliday’s obsessed with the 80’s and after his death has left the most amazing and intense contest within the system – find three easter eggs and you inherit his billions and ownership of the Oasis system. It’s not as easy as it seems!

RP1 opens 5 years after his death, with Parzival (otherwise known as Wade Watts), his friend Aech (a player versus player god) and a female blogger named Art3mis. They’re all “gunters” – the shorthand for “Egg Hunters”. They’re far from the only ones, there’s thousands of solo hunters and clans who are all combing the information Halliday left behind.

Parzival is an unlikely hero – poor, overweight, and with a wimpy avatar because he can't afford to leave his educational planet where he attends school. He tries to keep his head above water but only the egg hunt gives his life meaning...
I'd always had a roof over my head and more than enough food to eat. And I had the Oasis. My life wasn't so bad. At least that’s what I kept telling myself in a vain attempt to stave off the epic loneliness I now felt.

Then the Hunt for Halliday’s Easter egg began. That was what saved me, I think. Suddenly I'd found something worth doing. A dream worth chasing. For the last five years, the Hunt had given me a foal and purpose. A quest to fulfill. A reason to get up in the morning. Something to look forward to.

It wouldn't be a near-future dystopian novel without the evil corporation that tries (and cheats while doing it) to find the Easter Egg so they can take control of the Oasis and turn it into an overpriced fantasy land for the few rich people who can afford it. The leader of the Oology department (colloquially known as the Sixers or Suxors) is a gleefully nasty villain and the entire wild ride through this virtual reality will have you alternately terrified for the heroes and booing the bad guys.

I read a lot. I also start a lot of books and don't finish them. The odds of me starting a book and refusing to put it down, reading under the covers while my husband sleeps, not even being tempted by other shiny collections of words? Not high. Ready Player One hit that home run for me. I've read it four times now and each time it sucks me right back into the world, gasping and absorbed, even ignoring people who are talking to me. I may have marched up to people in a bookstore who were looking at it and insisted that they buy it because it is that good.

The little touches are the thing that makes RP1 stand head and shoulders above the crowd. One of my favourites...
I did take the time to vote in the OASIS elections, however, because their outcomes actually affected me. The voting process only took me a few minutes because I was already familiar with all the major issues GSS had put on the ballot. It was also time to elect the president and VP of the the OASIS User Council but that was a no-brainer. Like most gunters, I voted to reelect Cory Doctorow and Wil Wheaton (again). There were no term limits, and those two geezers had been doing a kick-ass job of protecting user rights for over a decade.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'd HAPPILY live in a world where Cory and Wil were our leaders!

Obviously, I'm highly recommending RP1 but I cannot stress this recommendation enough. Very few books are world-changing, but this book is. I LOVED this book, with its pop culture, its amazing characters, and computer innovations. You may be inspired to proselytize about how amazing the reading experience is, just like I was. Either way, it’s fast-paced, fun to read, and interesting. There is a little rough language and violence, but overall it’s pretty clean – my best friend’s 10 year old son did his first book report ever on it, he loved it so much. (Can I give a stronger recommendation than that?)
Jul 2nd, 2014, 5:19 pm
Jul 2nd, 2014, 10:29 pm
Great Review Emmy! I've been meaning to read this for so long...thanks, it sounds great!
Jul 2nd, 2014, 10:29 pm
Jul 3rd, 2014, 7:19 pm
I agree with emmalina, it's been on the TBR pile forever...you did a great review, thanks!!!
Jul 3rd, 2014, 7:19 pm
Jul 6th, 2014, 9:21 pm
I thought this was a fun book. However, while I can usually have a pretty high suspension of disbelief, I felt this book was just a bit too far fetched to the point that I was taken out of it too many times.
Jul 6th, 2014, 9:21 pm
Jul 7th, 2014, 2:39 am
Once I'm OUT of the book I can see that (a friend was like WHEN DOES HE PEE!?) but during, all I can think of is "gosh DARN it, I want the oasis to be real!"
Jul 7th, 2014, 2:39 am

I'm AFK at the moment, unable to refresh my links.

Feel free to request a new link for my posts in book requests!
Aug 21st, 2015, 4:52 pm
this and the martian were the two books which before reading i was skeptical and after reading i kicked my ass for not reading these sooner. this is a book of rereading category. i can't remember how many times i have read it , but usually once every 3-4 months i read it and get drowned in oasis. :D :D
Aug 21st, 2015, 4:52 pm
Sep 19th, 2015, 11:25 pm
One of my absolute favorites.
Sep 19th, 2015, 11:25 pm

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed
Sep 1st, 2017, 4:54 am
After slogging (and I do mean slogging - took me well over twice my usual reading pace) through the 7 books of The Death Gate Cycle, a series I read over twenty years ago and greatly enjoyed at the time but found tough to get into this time around - I was looking for something a little faster-paced and RP1 delivered in a big way. I read it into the wee hours of the morning two nights in a row and the only reason I didn't do it in one session is my 3-year-old waking up and demanding I help him go back to sleep. Excellent work, easy to like heroes and easy to hate villains - and my next read-through of it I will probably stop to compile an iTunes playlist of the songs listed.
Sep 1st, 2017, 4:54 am
Sep 10th, 2017, 1:00 am
awesome. will add this to my reading list
Sep 10th, 2017, 1:00 am
Sep 12th, 2017, 2:47 am
This book is awesome, I particularly loved the integration of 80s culture. Im a bit younger so I wasnt too familiar with it and I liked the contrast both with what I am used too as well as the difference with the kind of books I normally read. Which are normally either medieval fantasy or urban fantasy.
Sep 12th, 2017, 2:47 am
Sep 15th, 2017, 4:40 am
lmcjaho wrote:After slogging (and I do mean slogging - took me well over twice my usual reading pace) through the 7 books of The Death Gate Cycle, a series I read over twenty years ago and greatly enjoyed at the time but found tough to get into this time around - I was looking for something a little faster-paced and RP1 delivered in a big way. I read it into the wee hours of the morning two nights in a row and the only reason I didn't do it in one session is my 3-year-old waking up and demanding I help him go back to sleep. Excellent work, easy to like heroes and easy to hate villains - and my next read-through of it I will probably stop to compile an iTunes playlist of the songs listed.



My husband LOVED the Death Gate Cycle his second time around, I didn't actually want to read it, but I made him tell me the story of the books, and it was super cool THAT way. ;)
Sep 15th, 2017, 4:40 am
Feb 6th, 2018, 9:53 pm
I enjoyed the audiobook, but I suspect that this is going to make a better movie than novel just because of how visual the story was.
Feb 6th, 2018, 9:53 pm
Feb 14th, 2018, 5:27 am
I am wondering, how different will be the book compared to the movie? :)
Feb 14th, 2018, 5:27 am
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