Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Summary:In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
It’s not hard to see why Ready Player One is such a beloved book. It has a bit of everything for everyone – mystery, puzzles, ’60s references, video games, a post-apocolyptic setting…the list goes on and on. It’s hard not to find yourself engrossed in what Ernest Cline has written.
In 2044, the world is sad and desperate. To escape the harsh reality of life, scientist James Halliday creates a virtual reality: the OASIS.
The OASIS would ultimately change the way people around the world lived, worked, and communicated. It would transform entertainment, social networking, and even global politics.
Soon after the OASIS is released, James Halliday dies. In his will, he states he has hidden an Easter egg somewhere inside the OASIS, and that the prize to whoever finds it is billions of dollars.
Our protagonist, Wade, is one of the gamers searching for Halliday’s hidden egg. Wade is the kind of character you can’t help but like – he’s clever, intelligent, and passionate, yet he’s not without his flaws. (When Wade falls in love with another gamer also looking for the egg, he gets so disappointed that she doesn’t feel the same about her that he stops trying to solve the clues for a few days This self-pity just didn’t suit well with me).
To find the Easter egg, you must follow a series of complex and confusing riddles, most of which have something to do with the ’80s. Even though I’m not extremely familiar with the decade, I still enjoyed seeing how the pop culture references played into the story.
Anyone who enjoys the ’80s or dreams of what a virtual reality might be like should pick this up immediately. And even if you don’t enjoy those topics, still give this a try.