Thursday, January 19, 2012

The first book of the year I could not put down

I’ve read a few books since I’ve last been here. I’ve even read a book that wasn’t written for kids (it might have just been one, but I read it). But there has not been a book I’ve read that kept me as engaged and excited as Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It. Was. Amazing. Although I had a slew of chores on my list, I could not leave my seat until I had finished this original and fun book. Here’s the gist:
Wade Watts lives in the near future (2044) where the world has fallen on hard times, and most people escape to the virtual world, OASIS, to avoid facing it. OASIS was created by James Halliday who has become a recluse in recent years. When Halliday dies, it is revealed that he has left clues in OASIS, and whoever finds these clues will win Halliday’s giant fortune. And so the hunt begins. Along with the average Joe who dreams of finding the fortune, Halliday’s rival company, IOI wants to find the clues so it can take over OASIS and commercialize it. IOI is the quintessential evil corporation that will stop at nothing (not even murder) to win. So Wade, as his avatar Parzival, begins his quest. There are many references to late 20th century pop culture and video games, but you don’t have to be a trivia buff to appreciate it. Yes, many of the references went over my head, but I didn’t know a lot of the art Dan Brown was talking about in The Da Vinci Code, but I still loved the story of the hunt. Solving riddles and deciphering code makes for an exciting read, no matter if it’s a real hunt or one set in a virtual world. And because very few rules apply in OASIS, imagination takes over and anything is possible. You don’t have to be a gamer to like this book. The adventure aspect and storytelling is so strong, I promise Ready Player One will pull you in from the beginning.

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