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review 2019-10-10 19:09
Guide the future by the past
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

I FINALLY read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, y'all. I absolutely loved the film adaptation of it and while I also enjoyed the book (hold on to your seats, folks) I preferred the movie version. While the book was able to go into more details in terms of world building and the puzzle solving aspect of the plot I enjoyed the storyline of the movie more. [A/N: I don’t want to give the impression that I didn’t enjoy this reading experience because I definitely did but the film just has an extra oomph.] Additionally, the book's version of Halliday seemed cruel and cold whereas Morrow was a lot of fun (and mostly absent from the film's version). The hero of this dystopian novel, Wade Watts, is living in a world that has become entirely taken over by The Oasis which is a virtual reality environment where anyone can be anyone. The majority of the human race has been crammed into tiny communities that are stacked one on top of the other but their consolation is getting to live their dreams online. Even school is conducted in virtual schools! The creator of this world, James Halliday, passed from this mortal coil but left behind a grand prize (ownership of The Oasis) for anyone who manages to solve his puzzles and find the 3 hidden keys buried within The Oasis.

This is a boy's quest to pull himself from his dire circumstances while learning that he's got the 'right stuff'. (Did I mention this book is chock full of 80's references? I definitely downloaded some Rush albums after I finished reading it.) All in all, a really fun book. 9/10


A/N: Title courtesy of Rush "Bastille Day".


What's Up Next: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


What I'm Currently Reading: Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-04-02 19:51
Ready Player Two
Armada - Ernest Cline

There is a 6 minute short in the Futurama episode Anthology of Interest II in which the character Fry uses his video game skills to fight an alien invasion. Replace Fry with the less likable Zack Lightman and pad it out to 355 pages and you have Armada.


The story borrows heavily from The Last Starfighter, Ender’s Game, and Contact. The author lampshades this by having the main character point out the similarities. Without spoilers, the ending feels like the ending of an average original series Star Trek episode. The novel is not terrible, it has some decent twists, but it is disappointing.


In Cline’s debut novel Ready Player One the main character is a teenage boy who uses his knowledge of 80’s trivia and video games to win a contest and become the richest and most famous man in the world and find true love. In Armada a teenage boy uses his knowledge of video games to save the world, become famous and find true love. It feels like Cline’s only storytelling move is nerd wish fulfillment in which an obsession with video games turns out to be extremely useful instead of completely useless and brings the nerd wealth, power, respect, fame, and love. All things missing from the life of the average video gamer.


I find myself wondering if Armada might have worked better if it had been the sequel to Ready Player One. Wade Watts discovers that while the human race parties in the virtual reality Oasis, an actual alien armada is preparing to attack the Earth. He considers deactivating the Oasis to awaken humanity to the threat, but instead launches a new game in which the players are unknowingly piloting real drones to fight real invaders. Maybe Zack uncovers the conspiracy and reveals to the world that the invasion is real. Maybe that is exactly what Wade hoped would happen and he ends up selecting Zack as his successor. The similarities between the works become a strength because it is a continuation of the story.

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review 2018-10-04 02:59
Zach the star fighter saving humanity
Armada - Ernest Cline

Zach is a teenager who like games and science fiction. 


Like a lot of geek, he is not popular in school.


He has lost his father when he was still a baby. He loves his mom and is aimless. 


Then his daydream came true. The UFO and alien invasion is coming. 


The video games are just simulator for trying humans to fight alien invasion.


There is more to story than this. 


Why is the aliens with so advance in technology not use their technology to whip out their enemies in a more efficient manner? 


That's the story. 


It is really enjoyable. The reference to pop culture of games and science fiction movies are familiar and it is bugging. There is a deeper layer to all of this. 


Image result for the only legitimate reason for computer is to play game


Deep. But not as deep as the quote from previous book Ready Play One. 


Related image


Reading this for Free square. 



This book would also work for Doomsday square. 

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review 2018-10-03 07:33
Reading progress update: I've read 121 out of 372 pages.
Armada - Ernest Cline

What takes me so long to read this! 


Image result for This is awesome


That's limited to persons who watch Science fiction movies a lot.  Not as much as the main character Zack but close. 


And game playing. The setup is good as it is about fantasy, not just in US but in Japan, when the world is in danger and only a teenager or preteen could help to save the world.


Image result for Japanese anime school robot fighter


So, Zack is probably losing his tie to reality and thought he see a UFO. Then he was being invited to join a group of fighters who are all good at aliens fighting video games to defend Earth against aliens invasion. 


If this sounds familiar, it is because this the plot for The Last Starfighter. 


Image result for Last star fighter


Reading this for free square. 

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review 2018-08-19 11:21
Ready Player One
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

The most amazing fast forward and flashback at the same time. If we have oasis in real life - you would never see me walk out of my room ever again.

Going outside is highly overrated.

Ready Player One is time traveling without the use of a speed force or a machine developed by mad scientists. While reading – you would either find yourself in the past or in the future. I just can’t imagine how much dedication Ernest Cline put up to get this book to be liked by the people who are actually from the ’80s and the Generation Z who are technology know-it-all.


Hats off to you Sir Cline for giving all of us something to geek about and for introducing a very good ’80s jam.


As someone who was born in 1999 (nearly 2000) I’m way too late to experience anything from the ’80s. Not the classic films nor the retro games. For a reader who isn’t familiar with half of the references used in this book, I don’t know how many times I have wished to be born on the said era just so I could say it also gave me a sense of nostalgia. Fortunately, there’s google and internet to tell me what these references are.


You can say “Oh this book wasn’t for you then. Why did you even bother reading it?” but I have to to disagree. This book is still a haven to my nerdiness. Nothing stopped me from actually enjoying this book and solve James Halliday’s riddles and look for puzzle pieces with the rest of the High Five.


Speaking of our top five in the leaderboard, these characters made this book 10x better. Artemis, Aech, Daito, Shoto and Parzival have their own distinct voices and are characters that undoubtedly make the readers root for them to team up because they are all bad-assess and with them as a clan they will easily defeat IOI.


Also, we have Wade Watts whose narration was very refreshing to read especially when you realize there is someone who can be as trashy as you. There were times when he’s too unbelievably perfect for managing to answer Halliday’s riddles just from thin air but still you can’t deny that he has a burning passion for the oasis that he dedicated his whole life learning everything about Halliday. Although there were lots of flaws to Wade’s character like how he sees Artemis as a trophy to be won or how pathetically he had been when she broke up with him, he still redeemed himself in the end.


Yes there were cons – but were easily foreshadowed by the world building, the action, and all the intriguing aspects of this book. The ending was already more than enough and I don’t see the need of a sequel but because it has been already announced I have no choice but to just set high expectations for it.

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