Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great book. It was full of action, retro pop culture references that added to the plot rather than just distracting, a dystopian setting that brought its own drama, and a satisfying conclusion.

One of the things I really liked about this was book was the good old fashioned happy ending. Some might criticize it for being predictable, but I found it refreshing. None of Wade's friends betrayed him. The bad guys didn't have to completely win to provide an impressive come back by the protagonist. Wade was not without challenges, but when it was time to fight he won, and I appreciated that.

For examples, the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix is the poster child for contemporary novels where the protagonist has to lose to win. In the Beyonders (Brandon Mull), Jason has the same issue. And The Hunger Games. And on and on... I understand the writing advice to put your character in the worst possible situation, so the vistory is sweeter when you get them out of it, but the problem is that what used to be the unexpected failure scene is now predictable. I'm waiting for the world to explode on the protagonist, so I can see what excuse the author has for somehow rebuilding it.

Anyway, that is a bit of a tangent, but it is something I like about RPO. While I'd like to recommend this book to everyone I know, including my sons, the language and few choice scenes make me hesitate. So I give it a cautious recommendation and thus 4 stars. If you can stomach some adult language and situations this book is worth the read.