Monday, November 17, 2014

Best Books of the Year: Ready Player One

Since I haven't been active in the last year or so, I thought I'd share with you a couple books that I read in 2014 that I really really enjoyed. I think this will be a series, focusing on one book at a time because I can go on about my favorite books forever.
The book that I most enjoyed reading is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. The story is set twenty years in the future, where everything takes place on an online platform called the Oasis. When I say everything, I really mean everything. Business meetings, vacations, school, it all happens online. One day, the creator of the Oasis, James Halliday, dies. Instead of leaving a will, it is announced that whoever can solve his game within the Oasis and finds the easter egg will inherit everything that Halliday owned. So this is the story of Wade and his group of friends who go on the quest to find the egg.
I actually listened to this audiobook. It's narrated by Will Wheaton, and it is quite possibly one of the best audiobooks that I have ever listened to. Will Wheaton did an excellent job of embodying the voice of Wade. This book had a lot of description in it—it had to, in order to describe what the Oasis was like—and he narrated it in a way that it didn't get boring.
The descriptions in this book was actually one of the reasons that I loved it so much. Since this book was a quest, the characters hopped from planet to planet, and these planets ranged from Earth-like to completely weird yet awesome, and each time, I got a clear sense of what was going on.
Another thing that I loved was all of the background information. There's a lot of 80's references in this book because James Halliday grew up in the 80's, and his quest revolves around his favorite childhood memories. The 80's is relatively recent (only 30 years ago), but this book treats it like history, which I think made it really interesting. There is also a lot of background information on how the Oasis came to be; how Halliday and his business partner Ogden Morrow created it, their falling out, and what happened after his death, when the Oasis starts falling to the big business: IOI.
The characters are also fantastic. Wade is a strong lead, who makes a lot of discoveries about the differences in relationships online and offline. My other favorite was Ogden Morrow, who, though he didn't appear much, kind of reminded me of a more eccentric version of Dumbledore. Both of Wade's closest friends Art3mis and Aech are wonderful and smart, and my favorite, and I loved the fact that even though Wade is competing against them, they are his greatest asset.
As I have previously mentioned, I love this book. Writing about it like this has made me want to go pick it back up. I think this book is also really good for people who aren't that into science fiction. Even though I believe that it technically is science fiction, it also has a lot of fantasy, quest elements in it that people might enjoy.
5/5 stars (obviously).

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