I had heard of Ready Player One when it came out last year. It was hailed as an amazing new science fiction voice in the market. When I saw it on the shelves at work, I knew I had to read it.
Ready Player One is set in the 2040s, after the internet has basically been turned into a giant, all immersive separate world which people rarely leave called the OASIS. The creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, has recently died and left a very interesting will: there are three keys that open three gates within the OASIS. Whoever finds all three keys and completes all three gates will win ownership of his estate and OASIS with it. And thus, the great hunt begins.
Our protagonist, Wade Watts, is your average computer geek. He lives in a dystopian RV park with his aunt and spends all of his time locked within the OASIS. He doesn't have the money to level up or buy weapons so he's very low level but has friends in high(er) places. He has spent the past year trying to decipher the puzzle of the first key, along with the rest of the world. However, something special happens to Wade: he actually solves it.
Ready Player One is a ridiculously fun read. It's a strange mix between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Matrix and the entire decade of the 1980s. Since Halliday was a teenager in the 80s, all the hunters have to know pretty much anything that could halfway be related to the decade. There are more geek references than you can stamp your foot at.
The story is interesting if a bit typical. What's really fun are all of the throwaway references, the characters quoting ridiculous 80s trivia as if it's the holy grail which, for them, it is. Even narration bits have references in them. It's very silly but very fun.
I enjoyed the story overall. I definitely read it rather quickly. It's a bit predictable but never in a bad way. You know things will ultimately go well for Wade, he'll get the girl and win the contest, blah blah blah but along the way are fun characters, silly side quests and more nostalgia than most people can even think of.
It's fun. If you consider yourself any sort of geek, I think you should check it out.