Date Started: November 9th, 2016
Date Finished: November 19th, 2016
Overall rating: 4.9/5 Stars
The actual start date to this book should be somewhere in 2015. I can’t tell you how many times I had picked this up and put it down, simply for the fact that it starts out a tad slow. Now having read it, I could kick myself for letting it go unread all this time. As soon as I got past the first few chapters it was smooth sailing, and honestly the only reason it took me 10 days to read it is because of work and my video game hobby. I am in love with 80’s pop culture. I wasn’t born until the mid-90’s, but most of my favorite songs, movies, bands, and the like come from the 80’s time period.
Wade Watts, a high school senior in both the real and virtual world, lives with his aunt and her nasty boyfriend, where he is treated horridly and completely unhappy. Therefore, his uses the virtual reality that is the OASIS as his everyday escape, and he goes to his hiding place every day which is miles from his aunt’s trailer. Trailers, at this time, are very common. They are so common, that they are actually stacked on top of one another to save on space because of the state of the Earth’s decline. Every one (well, almost) is un-wealthy, and these ‘sky-trailers’ are about as affordable as housing gets. Wade actually got his hands on his Virtual Reality (VR) set through school when public students began to be allowed to attend school online. So, a little after he first got his VR set through school, 5 years prior to current time of the story in 2044, James Halliday (OASIS creator) passed away. Upon his passing, he left a video-will for the entire population stating that he had created a game within the game. 3 Easter eggs have been hidden throughout the very vast virtual world, which are found by opening 3 gates, which are opened by obtaining 3 keys. The prize? Whoever finds all 3 eggs first, inherits Halliday’s entire multi-billion dollar fortune and OASIS itself. He left the first riddle for everyone in his video-will, but for there to be any more clues revealed, one must locate the first key.
“What you seek lies hidden in the trash on the deepest level of Daggorath.”
Pretty straight forward, right? That is, if you’ve ever played Dungeons & Dragons. This first riddle put the world in a frenzy over finding the keys to get the eggs. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a multi-billionaire? However, it took a whole 5 years before anyone found where the riddle was leading to.
This tale is one of friendship, love, hate, pride, and fun all throughout its entirety. Wade gets to meet his girl gunter (egg hunter) crush, eventually gets to meet face to face with her AND his best friend that he’s never met in person. They get to take down a huge evil corporation, who only wanted to win the prize so that their ownership of the VR game would allow them to make subscription fees present in an otherwise free-to-play realm. Greedy, greedy, greedy. Instead of making the world a little bit better and making world hunger less of an issue, let’s charge every one a monthly fee and further plummet the economy. Great idea. But what can you expect from those with already plenty of enough money that they don’t have to worry about themselves or their family going hungry. They’re only concerned with making their own bank accounts bigger. It’s always grand to see ‘government’ evil corporations get kicked in the teeth.
As soon as you pass those first 5 chapters, you’re golden. I sped through this book because I was so in love with it. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it. I couldn’t hardly put it down. Please, if you love nerdy things, classic 80s games & movies, or anything 80’s really, pick up this book. My husband, who NEVER reads, loved this book. Mainly for all the 80’s and pop culture references and that it was about video games, but still. It’s amazing and the only reason I gave it a 4.9 and not a 5 was because it starts out slow. Don’t miss out on this one. Also: This is being made into a movie with the release year of 2018. AND THERE WILL BE A BOOK SEQUEL. Ernest Cline has posted several times, hinting that the title may be called Ready Player Two.