“Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest.”
Wade Watts is a socially awkward (inept?) teenage boy in a really bleak future where we’ve fucked things up so badly that just about everyone spends most of their time in the OASIS, a super duper elaborate virtual world. When the creator of the OASIS dies he leaves his considerable fortune to whomever can find the “Easter egg” he’s hidden under layers within layers of puzzles. Thus begins a massive virtual egg hunt that includes everyone from individuals to clans to vast, multinational corporations. Wade Watts is just one teenage boy against thousands who have dedicated their lives to finding this hidden fortune. Cue nerdy quests galore, etc. etc. etc.
I went into this book expecting to love the shit out of it, and at first I did. It had an interesting concept, lots of pop culture references to books, movies, and shows that I loved, and the promise of lots of puzzles and adventures and all that jazz. Problem is, once I got over the novelty of getting stoked on Wade flying a Firefly class airship, the rest of the story just wasn’t strong enough to captivate my attention. There was way too much telling rather than showing, and way too many convenient “aha!” moments for Wade. I was really excited to read about these nerdy ass quests, and there’d be chapters upon chapters of him kind of sticking his thumb up his butt and not knowing what the clues meant, but once it got down to him actually getting into the challenges there would be a couple paragraphs that more or less said “then I found all the stuff and beat all the bad guys and TADA CHALLENGE ACCOMPLISHED!” I really wanted him to actually BE challenged, and not arrive at every single gate only to gloat over how he had mastered such and such video game LONG ago or watched this movie forty-seven times or whatever. On that note, isn’t this kid 18? How in the shit did he actually have enough time in his day to be obsessive about all the things he is obsessed with? It takes time to watch entire series and read entire books and listen to entire discographies. I know this is one of those “suspension of disbelief” things but the fact that he was such a god damn expert on everything, to the point that none of the “challenges” were actually that challenging, kind of bugged me.
The exception to this gripe was the final battle scene/gate thingy, which was what I was hoping the entire book would be like, and in a way made all the stuff that came before it even more of a let down because it made it clear that Ernest Cline was 100% capable of writing that kind of tense action, he just chose not to, which is kind of lazy if you ask me.
Also, I kind of hated Wade when he behaved like a fucking entitled male stalker when his ass got rejected by Art3mis. Any sympathy I had for him up to that point pretty much dissolved.
Anywho. These are the reasons why I did not love Ready Player One. Obviously I liked it enough to read it to the end, and I DID like it, just with a lot of reservations.
For music I am going with “Ana Ng” by They Might Be Giants, because there was a moment when some lyrics were dropped and I thought “Oh, that’s They Might Be Giants” and I am pretty sure it was this song, but not 100% sure because I don’t have a photographic memory and s my d.