Author: Ernest Cline
Published: August 16, 2011
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
I loved this book SO much! I listened to it on audio and Wil Wheaton was the narrator . . . the ultimate nerd for the ultimate nerd book! I wasn’t born until the very end of the 80’s, 1988. I was more a 90’s kid than an 80’s kid, but I’ve seen enough movies and TV shows, listened to enough music, and experimented with enough fashion that I know a bit about the 80’s.
Unfortunately, I didn’t start with gaming until the Nintendo 64 came out, and I got into serious gaming when Ivan and I started dating. The thing that I love about this book is that you can be someone who never once watched an 80’s movie, never heard a single 80’s song, and never played a game one day in your life, and you would still feel like you knew exactly what Cline was talking about.
This book is so nostalgic, even if you never lived during the time described, even though this book is set in the future. I couldn’t wait to get into the car just so I could listen more. Wade/Parzival is a likeable character that you root for from the very first page. James Halladay may be a computer geek recluse, but you can feel his brilliance leap off the page. The OASIS is a place that I would totally love to immerse myself in! I doubt I’d have made a very good hunter, but the hunt for Halladay’s easter egg was so amazing!!!! And if I had friends like Art3mis and Aech, I’d just live my life in a constant state of geeked out.
There were some places near the beginning where Cline skirted the line of being too political, but he managed to bring the story back so it wasn’t a problem. There was language, but it didn’t ruin the book at all for me. I would absolutely recommend this book to any gamer. And even those who don’t game, I think they’d still like it a lot!
Jessica here: The movie comes out Friday and here is the trailer. I have not read the book, but the beginning of this trailer has a creepiness with that Willy Wonka song! OMG!!! And did I see The Iron Giant and King Kong!?!?!