Author: Ernest Cline
Genre: Adult, SciFi
Ready Player One reminds me of every action movie ever. Don’t get me wrong, I love action movies/books where the snarky, funny, heroic main character goes on a good old quest with danger and action with his band of interesting side characters and finds some romance along the way. See The Mummy or Jurassic World or Star Wars or every single Marvel movie ever, Big Hero 6 or my favorite Star Trek. So I should have loved Ready Player One because it follows Wade Watts as he tries to figure out a puzzle left by deceased but wealthy owner of the OASIS Let’s break this down and compare.
The main character
Wade Watts is our geeky main character who is you guessed it, snarky and funny and overall good guy. Ok, so far so good. But I felt like he just told me his traits but then didn’t really show that he even had them. He told me maybe twice during the book that he was insecure about his weight and looks and that was it. It felt he just said them but it didn’t really have anything to do with his character development or even his character in general etc.
The side characters
The main side characters include Aech, Wade’s best friend, Artemis, the love interest (rolls eyes) and Daito and Shoto are the other contestants. If Big Hero 6 did not develop Fred or Wasabi or Honey Lemon with distinct personalities, it would have been so boring and that was my problem with the side characters of RPO, they didn’t really have personalities..at all..I can kind of tell Aech was there for comedic relief but there wasn’t really that much..and the side characters don’t really play that well off Wade.
Why do I love Spock and Uhura together? Peter Parker and Gwen? Princess Leia and Hans Solo? Because the writers convinced me that they were meant to be together. I was not convinced with the romance in this book. What drew them together besides the fact that they can geek out over ’80’s references together??
I liked that you had to play videogames to solve the puzzle and get to the next levels. That was pretty cool.
You probably already know that this has a lot of references to ’80’s pop culture and it’s true that you can still enjoy the book without knowing them but trust me when I say your experience will probably be twice as better if you did know them. It’s like being invited to party and everyone’s gossiping about this one person but you barely know that person at all. Some aspects of the OASIS felt a little contrived because Wade would come to a problem and then suddenly “oh I forgot to mention this aspect of the world that conveniently solves my problem”. I felt like there were no rules to this world and everything felt really random. References were just thrust in for the sake of reference.
Cline’s writing definitely does its job for what I think this book was meant to be: a loving nostalgic tribute to the ’80’s with action and adventure. I just wish it had been executed better.