James Halliday was the richest man on Earth and when he died, he left his entire legacy and fortune at the end of an elaborate Easter Egg Hunt. With the only hint being a mysterious riddle, the egg goes undisturbed for five years. Until one day, Wade Watts–just your average teenage boy–makes a connection and is the first to find the Copper Key, the starting point of the Egg Race. When his name appears on the long empty scoreboard, the world goes into a frenzy. Wade will have to use his knowledge of all things 80’s and battle against friends and an evil corporation if he wants to win.
This book is great. I first read it a few years ago and what immediately drew me to it was the title. “Ready Player One”. I just feel like it’s a REALLY good title. It makes you want to read it while at the same time telling you exactly what this book is going to be about: video games. The beginning of the book (one of the few scenes where we’re in the real world) is a little boring as we’re being introduced to this version of the future. There’s a lot of background on Halliday and GSS and OASIS and all of that. It gets a little wordy and too much (but you can obviously tell the the author knows his video games). Other than that, the action is pretty non-stop. It only really slows down when the author is going into more technical things (he does this a few times, but it’s not too bad).
I’m not really a video game person, but this book almost makes me want to be. The games all sound fun and the passion that Wade has for them makes them seem even MORE fun. The book is fast-paced and it’s easy to get caught up in the various quests and challenges. I liked the timing between the first and second keys, but once they got through the second gate, it was like boom, boom, boom. With how much trouble they had figuring out the first and second keys and the second gate, it seemed too easy to find the Crystal Key and then it was also pretty obvious where the Crystal Gate was even if it was more difficult to open. One thing I did really like, though, was that this is a standalone novel. He could have split it up into a series if he wanted to (book 1=copper key/gate, book 2=jade key/gate, book 3=crystal key/gate, book 4=taking down IOI, book 5=book that only abstractly relates to the original concept, book 6=book that does not relate to the original concept but still makes it into the series.) There you go, he could have easily had six books out of this story.
Overall, a good read even if you don’t like video games. I felt special every time I recognized something that Wade referenced. Dig Dug? Totally used to play that. Rumor has it that this is going to be turned into a movie sometime directed by Spielberg. We’ll see!
Overall Rating: 4
Violence: Moderate. A lot of fighting/slaying of monsters (like a video game), but no explicit gore.
Sexual Content: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: Mild. Some drug references, but nothing explicit, nothing used by the main characters.