Ready Player One Book Review

Ready Player One

via K. Smith

Ready Player One

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, while made in 2011, is a book that was recently brought to attention because of the early 2018 movie adaption. While many might think that the book must have been near perfect to receive a movie adaption, strip away the obscure while fun 80’s references and you’ll find that the book is mediocre at best.

Before this article starts, there are many things that the book excels in. It shines best in its 80’s references, making comments featuring everything from movies to books to tabletop RPGs to TV shows (and anime- lots of anime) to retro video games. To those who understand it, it’s a magical time turner full of nostalgia and reminiscence. However, to those who don’t, or didn’t grow up in the ’80s, the references are confusing and besides the point. In fact, the book relies a little too much on the allusions.

For example, the book mentions the character owning a DeLorean. Most people who haven’t watched Back to the Future don’t understand why that particular detail is important, so they might ask “Why include it?”. Another reference is the fact that the protagonist, Wade (Username: Parzival) uses “No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful” as his password. Normal readers may wonder why he uses that, but it’s actually a quote from a song by They Might Be Giants.

One of the things that could definitely be improved was character depth. Wade, besides being a big-time geek, barely has any life. (Which was part of the point, but the reader barely knows anything about him except that he plays OASIS.) Art3mis had the potential to be a great strong female character but eventually, she’s just reduced to love interest. Aech, who was in real life female, African-American, and in the LGBTQ spectrum, never did or was mentioned of these things in the OASIS. If viewers could’ve seen more of her real self, it would’ve been much better. Daito and Shoto… well, actually, they were okay, no criticism there.

The plot, besides the heaping amount of 80s everything, was basically an average rags-to-riches story, with a video game twist. Wade lives in a poor part of 2045 America and strives to escape through the OASIS. He ends up finding the easter egg everyone was looking for, winning him 2.4 billion dollars and Art3mis’s heart. Besides a couple rather convenient plot-points, the story was average while still being fun.

Everything above being said, many people note that the 80’s references is what makes the book good. However, references aren’t the meat of the book and while they’re fun, they shouldn’t make or break a book.

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