Author: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/16/2011
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt–among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life–and love–in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
Ok I loved this book, I devoured it in no time flat. I started out with the paperback version and while I knew I would like it I had so many things on my plate that I borrowed the audio book version from a friend to listen while I was at the gym. Well the first day was great, the second day after the gym I came home broke out the paper back version and read till I finished it. Wil Wheaton who narrates this book, which is a nice twist because he is mentioned in the book, could not read fast enough t satisfy me. So the kids had to suffer through a carry out dinner while I read.
The time frame of this book is in the future, and in a way reminds me of Tron. But the culture and the references, out side of the technology, is all in the 80s. My time, the time I grew up, so I lived all the references to the things that I enjoyed from the 80s. The characters, not including the bad guys are very likable, and I just love the fact that their online image in all honesty is what they really perceive themselves to be and not necessarily what they are in real life.
In this book the main theme is to find the Easter Egg in an online world, and solve the puzzels to get to the end prize. Which is a worth a boatload of money. Now the bad guys want to get the prize first because they want to charge all the people who use this virtual reality world, while currently people can get on and interact with little to no money. People with money, like in the real world have a lot more bling and can travel and do more things.
Almost everyone in the World goes to this virtual reality world because the real world is not a nice place anymore. Natural resources are all mot extinct, the weather is not what it should be due to people messing things up. It really is a world of the haves and the have nots. But in the Oasis people can escape from the harsh reality of real life, so that is where people go.
This is the story of Wade Watts and how along with other gunter friends end up banding together to do the right thing, to find the prize and keep it out of the hands of the bad guys.
If you love the 80s, know Zork, War Games, Pac-Man Joust, and other 80′s movies and video games this book will be one you will enjoy. I have to be honest here, and say that I loved this book so much I couldn’t even keep it out of the hands of my ex who if he actually takes the time to try and read it will enjoy it too. So my copy of the book was given to him on what would have been out 17th wedding anniversary.
My 16 year old son also has a copy of this book, and as soon as he finishes reading it I will add his comments to this review. This last week he had finals and his mind and actions were spent on dealing with those tests instead of reading. He is also one that should enjoy this book too, so I do look forward to him finishing this book to get his take on it.
Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Stars