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Lizreader's Blog

Also known as Liz on GR. I am here, but really just planting the seed. I am a student who likes all kinds of books, and I'll be honest about what I think about them.

Currently reading

The Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline Oh wow...I have mixed feelings about this particular book.First off, this book is incredibly fun for me to read, since I was able to geek out with all the references (in many places I squealed in delight from Monty Python to John Hughes films). I loved all the 80's and pop culture references. Also, one of the main protagonists is from Vancouver, B.C, Canada! How cool is that! However, as much fun as the premise in this book is...I do have some things to say about this book. This book has been getting a lot of attention for it's references and for people to geek out to. In a lot of ways, many things mentioned in this book I grew up with from Zork (one of the first video games I ever played, by the way). To watching John Hughes films, Star Wars, as well as Monty Python (and wooing the love interest with Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" made me laugh so hard). However, the references can only carry a book so far. You see the problem for me with "Ready Player One" is the fact that it relies on the references so much to make up for a spotty plotting and characterization. The main protagonist Wade, but known online as Parzival, for me is not a really well developed character because although in the virtual world he goes through a lot of changes, his physical self in the real world does not. At the end, we are lead to believe that he has changed, but in reality he is no different than the first page of his life. It is kind of sad really. He makes friends, but they are online. In this sort of book, I have to keep the online personalities different from the reality, which isn't always easy to do.The plotting was spotty because for the first 1/3 of the book it is good, a long exposition to get the world set up but then it starts to move. However, in the middle part of the book is where the plotting goes down hill. In the beginning the character of Wade sets out on this quest to find the hidden Easter Egg of Holiday, who is the creator of the OASIS world (a virtual reality world of gaming, shopping, and pretty much a universe to be whatever you want to be). He's died and left his will for a OASIS user to fine, hardcare users known as "Gunters" have chatrooms and follow Holiday's guide to try and find his inheritance. It's like "Willy Wonka" meets "The Matrix" as one reviewer puts it, which I can see why they say that. The middle of the book suffers from a terribly integrated love story with the character of Art3mis (pronounced Artemis if you can't read computer speak). Anyways, the quest part of the story we are led to believe is important and should be continued, but in the second part of the book the relationship between Parzival (Wade) and Art3mis is not only not well integrated into the novel it takes away from the importance of this quest for Wade to complete. It isn't the best written romance because it isn't integrated all that well into the story, which is where this book losses a lot of points in my book. There is also a section of the book where it does not connect very well. At one part something happens, and then something completely random happens only to find out later "oh this is not random at all," so in a lot of ways it is info-dumping a part of the story that could have been better integrated. It was a bit of a shock because at one part you know what is going on, and then out of nowhere he is taken this evil corporation and is an indentured servant. What? Anyways, I think that could have been better integrated into the whole plot line a bit more seamlessly. The last third of the book is what you expect from a quest/adventure kind of story, it is packed with action and the resolution is not all that unexpected. The characters I liked the most were Aech (pronounced as the letter H), Art3mis (Samantha), and Og...who was a friend of Holiday's and co-founder of the company and developer of OASIS. I thought they all had a good amount of growth, compared to Wade that is. The other part that bothered me about this book was the set up of the world where everybody pretty much relied on OASIS in their lives, and the world went to hell because people did not participate. As a political science major, this will never happen because not everyone will get involved in a virtual world--even if the world itself is going down the drain. People will figure these problems out, and will not let it go to waste. It doesn't seem entirely realistic in my mind, and something I wish the author took into consideration. My final thoughts are although I had a lot of fun reading this book for the 80's and pop cultural references, it was a big let down when it came to some of the characters and the integration of certain events in the story that ruined it for me. It's still a fun read, but I expected a bit more from the screenwriter who wrote "Fan Boys" where that was not only a fun movie to watch, but it also was sweet too. He can write a better romance than he did in this book.