Wow, this book became an instant love of mine within just the first few pages. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, is a thrilling adventure set in the not-so-distant future. The year is 2044 and the world has gone to hell. Resources are limited, especially fossil fuels, space is limited, the world is overpopulated; war, disease, and crime run rampant. It’s just not a good place anymore. Which is why most people spend their entire lives within the Oasis, a virtual reality, which started out as a game and turned into a way of life where you can work, go to school, go to church, but also at the same time go on quests, play video games, and even more. Wade is one of those who lives his entire life within the Oasis, he’s in his senior year of high school and he spends as much of his time within the archives of the Oasis searching for something that thousands of others are searching for, an Easter Egg left behind by the game’s creator, James Halliday.
When James Halliday found out he was sick, he decided he wanted to leave the biggest Easter Egg to ever be found within a game. All players had to do was find three keys, which each opened gates that would lead to different obstacles; once a player found the third key, and completed the third gate, they would become the winner of his entire fortune and also controlling owner of the Oasis. This competition created a group of people known as gunters, people who were in search of the egg. The competition, which began after Halliday’s death, led thousands to join but a few years later, when the first key still hasn’t even been found, people are left feeling like maybe Halliday never actually completed the quest, or maybe it was a sick joke of a dying man. That is until Wade figures out the riddle left to find the first key, and discovers it’s a lot closer to him then he could have imagined. As Wade becomes the first to find the first key and also complete the first gate, he finds himself not only in a position of power, but also a position of danger, as other gunters as well as a corporation, known as IOI, is after him.
This book is a never ending journey. This is actually Ernest Cline’s debut novel and it succeeds in making me want to read anything he writes. Never once did I feel like the book dragged or had a slow part, it was constant action and adventure, with a dash of romance, and the book leaves you with a lesson to be learned about our reliance on technology and the possibilities of if we let that consume us. And a fun bonus is all the references to 80’s pop culture (movies, video games, computers, music, etc.) as Halliday was obsessed with that time, being that it was the time he grew up in.