“Book Review: Ready Player One”

Hiya everyone, Noreen here with a book review on Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. In this review I will be looking at the plot, major characters, writing style, and other miscellaneous things about the book. Warning!: Article may contain spoilers.

 Have you ever wanted to be inside a video game, to see the game like you’re experiencing it with your own eyes? In Ready Player One you can do just that with the use of OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation)- which started out as something similar to World of Warcraft. In the year 2044, we are out of almost all our resources and only the highest class can live comfortably. Almost everyone on Earth is “on” OASIS, where they spend most of their time. What used to be a video game is now a whole new world. When the creator of OASIS- James Halliday- dies he leaves a little “Easter egg” inside the game. Most Easter eggs are cute, cool, or funny things that don’t really mean much, but Halliday’s Easter egg is much more than that. Halliday will give his entire multibillion dollar fortune, and control of OASIS to whoever can find his Easter egg. Of course, with the stakes this high, the Easter egg is extremely hard to find. In a broadcast and e-mail to every OASIS users’ account, Halliday explains that to find his Easter egg you must find three keys, and find then beat three gates. Of course he doesn’t tell you where they are, but gives you riddles.

James Halliday was a huge fan of everything 1980’s. Every riddle has something that leads you to the place of a  hidden key. The trick to finding the keys, and gates are to know everything from popular 80’s culture. Getting the key is relatively easy compared to the gates. Both keys and gates have a challenge from popular 1980’s culture, whether it be beating an old arcade game or reciting movie lines it seems incredibly difficult- you must remember that as the audience we know some ’80’s trivia and pop culture, but the book takes place in a time where the  1980’s were almost 70 years in the past. I’m getting ahead of myself though so, lets talk about Ready Player One‘s characters.

Wade Watts, named to sound like a superhero’s alter ego, is our main character. Losing both his father and mother, he is sent to live in the Stacks with his aunt. The Stacks are pretty much trailers and other trailer sized containers stacked at least 20 stories high.

Wade’s avatar goes by the username Parzival (I will be calling Wade that from this point on). Parzival is a Gunter (egg hunter), which means a person who is on the hunt for Halliday’s Egg. Unfortunately, he is incredibly poor and can’t afford to hunt for the egg as well as other Gunters. Only able to be and explore on Ludus- which is a planet where all the schools are- Parzival is very limited. On a better note, Parzival knows practically everything about the 1980’s. He knows how to beat every game, lines to all the movies, and all the song lyrics.

Knowing this is all very necessary. Things that James Halliday liked as a teen are always pertaining to the keys and gates. For example, the first key was in the Tomb of Horrors from a Dungeons and Dragons module from the 80’s. And to even get the key you need to beat the final boss in a game of Joust. See what I’m saying? To actually find the egg, and win the billions of dollars, players have to smarten up on 80’s culture.

Most Gunters have formed into groups, though some Gunters fly solo- like our main characters, Parzival, Art3mis, and Aech. Through out the entire book none of them tell each other where the keys and gates are, apart from one occasion where Parzival and Aech help each other by giving a hint on what they’re going to play. Speaking of Aech, his avatar is a thin white male. Nothing out of the ordinary there, right? Well actually yes. Aech is an overweight black girl. What’s the reason her avatar is the complete opposite of who she actually is? It’s sad, but true why she does it. People now pretty much do all their work in OASIS, both her mother and her worked there. Aech’s mother thought that an overweight black woman wouldn’t be taken serious so, she made a thin white male as her avatar- and it worked. Aech’s mother told Aech that she needed to do the same thing.

Aech is very well respected in OASIS. Who knows how it would be if she used her real appearance. Even in the year 2044 people still have prejudice against the opposite race and gender. I feel as if Ernest Cline did this on purpose, to prove a point on how humans will never change- and it sucks a whole lot.

Overall, Ready Player One is most likely the best book I have ever read. The book is so well thought out, the way Cline writes immersed me into the world. I have to thank my friend Lauren, for telling me about this book. I suggest this book to everyone who wants something new to read. I hope you enjoyed this week’s book review. If you’ve read the book or you just have something to say, comment it down below (just be sure to mark your spoilers). Thanks for reading!

If you would like to snag a copy of the book for yourself, or a friend, you can find the book here.