By Derek Hanke
In a world where reality has become unpopular, one teenager must traverse a virtual world in search of the answer to a puzzle that could alter his fate forever.
The year is 2044 and teenager Wade Watts is just one of the billions of impoverished people on Earth. He has no job and no life outside of OASIS, the virtual reality system that people have come to rely on as an escape from a cruel and unfriendly life. Then, everything changes.
Watts hears about a contest within OASIS where OASIS’ creator James Halliday has left his vast fortune to anyone who can solve an elaborate puzzle hidden within it. This begins a search that goes unsolved for years until Watts discovers the first clue and becomes renowned for doing it.
Watts is a member of a group known as the Gunters, short for Egg Hunters, who are on a quest to solve Halliday’s puzzle. When he gets the first clue to solving it, his fame skyrockets.
No longer is he the little known Wade Watts, but instead his online avatar becomes spoken of in households around the world. This earns him the girl of his dreams along with money that he has never had before. Everything goes well for him until Innovative Online Industries (IOI), a super corporation trying to take over OASIS, threatens to take his life and almost succeeds in taking it.
Author Ernest Cline does an excellent job in his first novel Ready Player One. Even with all the 80’s video game references, his humor is not lost on the average reader.
Cline’s novel has received praise from sources ranging from USA Today to Entertainment Weekly. His book is so addictive that you won’t be able to stop reading it once you pick it up. Cline’s characters are so real and reliable you might have trouble not thinking of them as real people. The only con is that if you read it and aren’t a gamer you may not appreciate the book as fully.
Journey with Wade Watts as he takes on an epic quest to win fame and fortune in the face of dangerous opponents and puzzling mysteries. Ready Player One earns a five out of five and a shining recommendation to any gamer who feels like reading a great novel.