Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a very different kind of adventure novel, recommended to me by my daughter Jenna, a different kind of book for her, too. This is an adventure, race, love, and life-and-death story about geeks in their geek paradise. According to the novel’s setting in the year 2044, the real world is a miserable and desperate place to be. The best escape for all humans is to the game OASIS, invented by James Donovan Halliday. OASIS is far more than just a game which has caught the attention of everyone in the world. OASIS is now synonymous with the Internet and it has become the source of all knowledge and most of education. In the course of making this game, Halliday has amassed an untold fortune of megabillions, and upon his death, he created the ultimate challenge, the prize being control of OASIS and the totality of his wealth.
Wade Watts is an 18-year-old high school senior who has studied the game and Halliday. He’s become an expert at all video games and in the details of Halliday’s life. As Watts (avatar named Parzival) begins the challenge to solve Halliday’s final challenge, he realizes that he is competing with nearly everyone on earth, including some very bad people who are willing to kill in order to come in first. Ultimately, this is story a gladiator-like fight to the death.
The book is incredibly clever, a New York Times bestseller. There’s a comic book like quality to the story line which I found endearing. It’s scheduled for a movie release in two years from now, December 2017, directed by none other than Steven Spielberg. Given that so much of this story is in the form of fantasy and videogames, the special effects should be incredible. The enchanting Olivia Cook will play the female lead, Art3mis. I read the book over the Thanksgiving break, and it was a wonderful holiday read.