Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I had never heard of the author Ernest Cline before the 5th April and now he's the only author I can think about and all because my boyfriend bought me his debut novel [release in 2011] as a gift for our anniversary.
My fella hardly ever dissapoints when it comes to picking books for me, in fact I'm thinking it should be his full time job. This book choice proves it!
Right off the bat I was invested in the world that was presented to me; a futuristic version of our own world where computer is King and we are his slaves. It's not really like you have to suspend too much disbelief.
The story follows real-world-name Wade as he unveils Earth; 2044. He lives in a trailer park with his uncaring family where jobs are scarce and so is human interaction. Everything important happens in the OASIS; a virtual world where anything is possible, so long as you can level up your avatar.
Sadly, being poor in real life equates to being poor in the virtual world, too. Wade is stuck on the world his school is places and with no money to 'travel' he's limited to what he can do in-world. For those of you who have played or still play World of Warcraft you can probably feel his pain... just me? Moving on.
Wade's avatar, Parzival, is his only escape from the cruel real world and so he spends all of his time in the OASIS with his only friend Aech, a semi-famous online battle master.
The story unfolds in a way that lets you see the world for what is really is; over. The OASIS, though, is a haven for all and so when the creator dies and leaves the whole place and it's fortune to whoever can solve his riddles the whole world is thrown into competition and, for some, it's life or death.
The really fun part about this book is that it revolves almost completely around 1980's trivia and fanfiction. For those born in the era or those who simply love it the book is a love letter to big hair, loud music, coming of age movies and sci-fi movies with terribly brilliant acting. The referencing is so specific and integrated so well into the book that it's easy to imagine every second of it.
That being said, I'm not sure what it's like to read it and NOT get the references. I am an 80's child and, for me, the book touches on so many fond memories I couldn't not smile and I definitely couldn't put this book down.
Ready Player One is non stop action, a tale of online friendships and romances, as well as a homage to the 80's all wrapped up in a little package that might as well have a Golden Ticket slipped into the sleeve and I am a HUGE fan.
Never before have a read a book so original and yet seeped in pre-existing fiction. The story reads like a really well written piece of fan-fic and it works.
The rights to the movie were sold the day after the rights to the book were snatched up so it seems like, one day, we may get to delve into Wade's world once more. Until then I'm going to re-read it and listen to the Blade Runner soundtrack...