It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
I am in awe. Utter and complete awe. This is how novels are supposed to be written fellow readers. This is an example of pure talent. Ready Player One is a masterpiece and you need to read it now.
In the ever evolving technological age a future such as this is in all realms possible. The novel explores a world that is lived primarily online, but it is so much more than this. Cline dives into the pitfalls of such a world that relies on being ‘plugged in’, whilst at the same time making an alternative reality that is thriving with endless possibilities incredibly enticing.
It has been an incredibly long time since I have felt completely emerged in the world of a novel. Just completely interested, invested and engaged with the outcome of the story. I loved the use of 80’s references and how these guided the exploration of the OASIS in search for Halliday’s hidden egg. If I grew up with the games, movies, music or novels I would be surely commending Cline even more on his ability to insert these so naturally into an online world.
Often with great novels there is very little a reviewer can say about them without giving things away. And with this one you don’t want to be spoiled, you just want to be able to marvel at its creativity as so many other readers have done before you.
At the heart of this novel is an epic adventure that is absolutely memorable. It will grip your from the first pages (but do give yourself a good 100 before deciding whether to put it down or not) and ensure you eagerly await a day that the OASIS becomes a reality even though it ultimately will destroy mankind.