Review of 'Ready Player One'

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

ready_player_one.jpg In the year of 2044 disaster has struck the planet with the population converging on the overcrowded cities. Wade Watts lives with his aunt at the top of a “stack” - A tower of trailers and mobile homes held together by metal scaffolding. People escape the desperate realities of the planet by spending most of their time in the “OASIS”, a virtual universe designed by James Halliday. After his death Halliday's will in the form of “Anorak's Invitation” left the entire fortune of his company to whoever would be able to find a treasure hidden somewhere in OASIS using three keys. Halliday bases the contest on the pop-culture and video games of the 1980s that he obsessed on. Innovative Online Industries (IOI) (known by those in the OASIS as “the sixers”) is an organisation seeking the fortune that they will use to priviatize the now public OASIS systems so is largely despised. For a number of years the contest leader board remains empty until one day Watts finds and solves the first ridden obtaining the first key. The race that will shape the future of the OASIS is on.

Quite a page turner that is surprisingly largely free of technical jargon yet manages to weave a tale of politics, adventure and wonder. Though dealing a lot with computer technology it is only a character in the real story of a young man trying to make good in a world of despair and corporate greed willing to stop at nothing to get its way. Perhaps slightly derivative and predictable in premise it is put forward in a new and interesting way. Sympathetic characters with the requisite heroes and villains…

Well written first outing by author Cline. Will be interested to see what he comes up with next.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2017-06-17

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Arrow Books

Publication Date: 2011

ISBN: 9780099560432