DISCLAIMER: this review was originally written and posted to my booklr (bookish tumblr) on FEBRUARY 7th, 2015, and is being archived on this blog. This review contains my thoughts on the book at the time that I read it, but I have not re-read it since then, so my feelings about the content may have changed.
Publisher: Crown/Archetype Publishing
Date of Publication: June 5th, 2012
Dates Read: January 2nd – February 6th, 2015
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?
My Rating: ★★★★★
The plot was intriguing, with unpredictable twists that never failed to keep me on the edge of my seat. It had a good pace for the most part, too. If anything, there were some parts that were kind of slow, but they were mostly informational, so I could understand why they were necessary. Nonetheless, I never wanted to put it down, even though I had a test to study for. No regrets.
I really dug the characters, as well. I worried about them and called them my babies and got quite attached. They were snarky and fun and had their problems but were human and stupid and clever and I just loved this group so much.
I also loved all the 80’s pop culture references, some of which I understood, while others I had to read the explanations for. Honestly, the whole premise of the book was so neat to me. I grew up hearing about all this stuff from my parents, aunts, and uncles, and it was cool to read about it in action.
Sorry I don’t have more to say, but words cannot describe my feelings for this book. It was so so so so so good. So good. Shoutout to my boyfriend for letting me borrow it from him!
Overall: Definitely one of my favourites. Makes me want to read more sci-fi!