This is one of those novels that came on my radar because of great reviews by Goodreads friends. When some of those friends decided to feature Ready Player One as a buddy read for the month of November, I was in!
This book was such a fun ride! The main character, Wade Watts, lives in the year 2044 in a world that has been run down economically and environmentally. The only bright spot in this world of despair is Oasis, an operating system that allows users to enter a techno-world through the use of an online avatar. Many people like 18 year old Wade, spend most of their time in virtual reality because it is a way to escape the terrible world they live in.
The original designer of Oasis, Richard Halliday, set up a contest before he died, which sets “gunters” (hunters like Wade) on a quest to find three virtual keys, which open three virtual gates. The contestants must solve riddles and win games/battles in order to progress through this game. The winner gets the whole of Halliday’s fortune.
Something about this book reminded me of watching a really cool movie. Halliday filled his virtual world full of 80’s references, and it was a blast reading how clues from old movies, video games and music help Wade and his friends to unravel Halliday’s mystery. There’s also IOI – the nemesis corporation that seeks to grab the winnings for itself, and they will stop at nothing to do it.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2011