Ready Player One Audiobook Review | Book Reviews

Beauty and the Best

Ready Player One Audiobook Review

Reviewed by The X

Ready Player One is one of the best times I've had in literature since I was a kid. Filled with adventure, danger, mystery and even a touch of romance, Ernest Cline is clearly dealing with subject matter near and dear to his heart. Imagine a future where most people spend their waking hours inside a virtual video gaming world that looks real because it renders its hi-res imagery directly onto your retinas. This book will immediately resonate with those born in the 70's and 80's and fans of retro gaming, sci-fi, anime and John Hughes films.

The story is about a 16-year kid named Wade Watts living in 2044 and all hell has finally, totally and completely broken loose due to a Recession that turned into an endless Depression throughout the world. We have depleted most of our natural resources to the point where we’re just about out of everything we need to survive. Very few true cities exist any longer and humanity is about 25 years away from devolving into Thunder Dome. There are still some semblances of normalcy, such as running water, electricity, and public school but for Wade the latter is more like a nightmare. After the death of his mother, Wade has to live with his junkie aunt in The Stacks, a rickety network of trailer homes projects vertically stacked in order to conserve space. However, as with any good story, there’s a spark of hope and it exists within a virtual reality that’s become most people’s only reality called The Oasis. The Oasis (and yes, it’s an acronym) is accessed by the user via haptic gloves and a visor similar to those seen in Caprica. What? You haven’t watched Caprica? Yeah, I know. You and lots of other
people Anyway, The Oasis is what the name implies – a magical escape across the landscape of the digital created by the now deceased eccentric multi billionaire, James Halliday. Halliday, a teenager in the ‘80s, was obsessed with the culture of his youth, especially all things pertaining to video games. Inspired by the common practice of creating Easter eggs, or hidden secrets with video games, upon his death Halliday released a video announcing an Easter egg hidden somewhere within the massive world of The Oasis. Generally, these hidden prizes only held value to the hardcore gamers who weren’t satisfied until they’d successfully unlocked every part of a given game, but the prize for finding Halliday’s Easter Egg (as it became called) was his entire fortune, in excess of 240 billion dollars and complete ownership of The Oasis itself. Now the race is on to find the Egg and Gunters (Egg Hunters) have come out of the woodwork to join the hunt. A privatized faction of elite Egg Hunters called the IOI are hell-bent on monetizing The Oasis and Wade has to do everything in his power to stop them by getting to the Egg first. Wesley Crusher…I mean Wil Wheaton’s reading of Kline’s debut novel is heartfelt, colorful and down right cool in part because you know he loves the material, but also because of his natural sardonic charm. And if you listen closely, you’ll note that he even makes an appearance in the book himself. If you love the 80’s, video games, sci-fi and puzzle solving you’ll absolutely love listening to (or reading) Ernest Kline’s Ready Player One. You CANNOT have full nerd certification without complete consumption of this spectacular piece of contemporary fiction.

PS. Take a look at Ernest Kline's visit to gaming com… And Sepiawolf’s rendition of The Stacks

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