This book is written well enough to be keep me wanting to get to the end, but it does have some issues. The biggest is the sheer amount of exposition. The whole beginning sets up the global and environmental situation and timeline, the nature of the Oasis, Cline’s views on religion, the Halliday quest, and an overview of the 80’s in general, before getting into the actual story. It’s interesting enough, but is a bit much. Then Wade spends plenty of time throughout the book gushing over some aspect of the 80’s and launches into even more exposition. I get that he likes it (although the whole quest seems to have halted all cultural progression within his world), but come on, he could be a little more discerning. Not everything about the 80’s was perfect.
The setting of Ready Player One is interesting, but the book is a little predictable. The characters are black and white: his friends are good, the corporation is evil. The premise is fun unless you think about it. How does knowing 80’s trivia and getting good at arcade games prove you’re worthy to take control of the biggest corporation (which happens not to be evil) in the world? Then at the end (view spoiler)[the Halliday avatar tells him to live in the real world, even though the whole reason Wade spends so much time in the Oasis is because of Halliday’s own quest, which didn’t depend on real world skills in the first place. (hide spoiler)] I was born in the late 80’s, so I grew up in the 90’s and don’t get all the references, but it’s fun enough to learn about them. Just not enough for me to actually check them out. The upcoming movie doesn’t seem quite so 80’s-centric (someone uses Tracer from Overwatch). I’m interested in seeing how Spielberg handles it. We’ll see. This book is overall good, but far from great.