Book review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ernest Cline created a cultural hit in 2011 when he wrote Ready Player One – a book that features a virtual reality world with a large corporate and lots (and lots) of cultural references for those who grew up with video gaming. Dubbed as “one of my favourite science-fiction books of all time” on my Goodreads, below is my review of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One plot – 5/5

Set in the year 2044, Wade finds himself living on a horrible version of the future which he’s desperate to escape from constantly through a virtual reality world called the OASIS. The OASIS is our world but much cooler (imagine The Matrix but you know you’re in it and it features lots of video-gaming icons and avatars.)

Wade has dedicated his time in the OASIS to finding clues that promise massive wealth and fortune to whoever can solve them. However, when he begins to get a bit too good at finding the clues, his challenge soon follows him back to the real world he lives in as he finds himself in a deeper, darker secret than he could ever have imagined.

I loved everything about this plot. I loved the clues themselves, I loved the pop culture references. I loved the utter absurdity of some of the things that take place. And as a massive video game nerd, I obviously loved all of the gaming nods. This book had me absolutely hooked – whether it would others who wouldn’t get the references is another story. However, if you have any interest in video games, I couldn’t recommend this book anymore.

Ready Player One characters – 4/5

The characters in this book were great. I think as a debut novel it’s very hard to write good and deep characters so I think Cline has done incredibly well here to write characters that are fun and likeable whilst also writing others who are deeply unlikeable.

This book isn’t a character-based story, it is very much more about the plot and Cline getting in as many nods to the history of video games as he can so I don’t feel comfortable giving the characters 5/5. However, he does well to make the characters feel unique and does even better to make you care for them which is a huge win for me.

Ready Player One summary – 5/5

Ready Player One is one of my favourite science-fiction books I’ve ever read. This could well be down to my love and history with video games; however, I feel there’s so much more to love in this book. You’ll like this book if you like romance books, books about political wrongdoings, books about conspiracy theories, books with twists and more. There are more layers and far more depth to this book than a large amount of video game content to read about.

I’d recommend this book to almost anyone but would recommend it to video game lovers 100%. Interested in more science fiction? Read some of my science fiction book reviews.


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