Tag Archives: Ready Player One

Upcoming Releases

This year, there are three books in particular whose releases I am eagerly awaiting. Two of these books I have mentioned in previous posts, and all I have seen before, but I have not until now seen confirmed titles, covers and release dates. The aforementioned books:

  • The Silkworm – J.K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith – estimated release date: 19 June 2014
  • Mr Mercedes – Stephen King – estimated release date: 3 June 2014
  • Armada – Ernest Cline – estimated release date: 7 October 2014

 

The Silkworm:

This book is the sequel to J.K. Rowling’s first crime novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, which I read, reviewed and raved about last year. I am glad for the prompt release of this sequel, as reading these books I would say is like watching an episode of a TV show. The Cuckoo’s Calling features detective Cormoran Strike, and his secretary/personal assistant/companion/cook, Robin Ellacott. In their first adventure, Cormoran and Robin solved the mystery of the famous supermodel Lula Landry’s supposed suicide, and in this book, they return to investigate the disappearance and subsequent murder of novelist Owen Quine.

Booktopia Blog post about The Silkworm: http://blog.booktopia.com.au/tag/the-silkworm/

Mr Mercedes:

Mr Mercedes is the next novel that Stephen King is set to release, and the first of two he will release this year. Mr Mercedes is a mystery/thriller novel which, to quote an article I found by The Guardian, ‘…is about a retired policeman being taunted by a murderer…’ As you may have noticed, I really like crime and mystery novels, which is the first of two reasons why I want to read this book. The second is that it is written by Stephen King, the extremely successful author of more than fifty bestselling novels, many of which have been adapted into equally successful movies and television shows.

Booktopia Blog post about Mr Mercedes: http://blog.booktopia.com.au/tag/mr-mercedes/

The Guardian article: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/13/stephen-king-publish-second-novel-2014-revival

Armada:

First, I need to say that it does not matter what this novel is about, who the characters are or where it is set – it is written by Ernest Cline (the author of Ready Player One) and hence it is going to be brilliant no matter what the subject matter is.

Moving along to what this book is actually about. Zack Lightman is just another bored teenager daydreaming through just another boring maths lesson when a high-tech ship lands in his school’s courtyard and men in dark suits and dark glasses start calling his name because the government needs him and his video-gaming skills to stop earth being invaded by aliens.

Not only is that a very interesting premise, but this book is going to be just that bit more brilliant because it blasts into oblivion the cliché that no-one who is forced to stop an alien invasion has ever seen any movies or read any books and will not have the slightest shred of knowledge about how to deal with an alien invasion – because Zack Lightman has.

Notes:
Estimated release dates are from the Goodreads pages of each of these books, the links to which are above. The links provided are where I found all of the information for this post.

Ready Player One

This is a spoiler-free review of Ernest Cline’s debut novel, Ready Player One.

Ready Player One is a novel that I definitely think deserves more recognition that it has received. It was the best novel that I read in 2013.

It is a dystopian novel set in the 2040s. The world’s economy is collapsing, and natural resources are scarce.Ready_Player_One_cover Ready_Player_One_cover2

That is the real world, and whilst it is all doom and gloom and heading speedily downwards, the evolution of the internet and online games into a virtual utopia called the OASIS has changed things for the people who live in this world, even more so than the disasters that are destroying their planet.

The OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation) is a massively multiplayer online simulation game created by James Halliday and Odgen Morrow of Gregarious Simulation Systems.

And then James Halliday dies. With no heirs or living family, I might add.

He leaves behind a video in place of a will, which is circulated to all users of the OASIS the morning after his death. This video explains that Halliday, whilst programming the OASIS, hid three keys (first the Copper Key, then the Jade Key, and finally the Crystal Key) and three matching gates for any user of the OASIS to find.

And whoever does find all three keys and gates and then completes a final challenge will inherit James Halliday’s entire fortune – an estimated 240 billion dollars – and control of his company, including control of the OASIS.

And so begins the hunt for Halliday’s Easter Egg.

Those who search for the egg are called ‘gunters’. These people devote an extraordinary amount of time to studying everything about the 1980s, the era when James Halliday was a teenager and first became a programmer, and the main inspiration for a large portion of the OASIS.

The book opens in 2044, after five years have passed. It follows one gunter in particular. His real-world name is Wade Owen Watts, but it is his OASIS identity of Parzival that is important, because to every other OASIS user, that is who he is.

But things start to get really interesting when–

Actually, I can’t tell you that, so you’re just going to have to read the book.

To summarise: Ready Player One is a brilliant book written by a very knowledgeable author. I think that anyone and everyone who reads adult (or even young adult) dystopian novels should most definitely pick this up. Along with everyone who grew up in the 1980s (apparently there are a lot of references in the books to that era, but I didn’t notice them if there were) or likes video games of that era. You just have to read it.

Ready Player One is an action-packed novel, and will be hard for Ernest Cline to top.

Finally; I cannot wait to see how the movie adaptation pans out. I also look forward to the July release of Cline’s second novel, Armada.

Ernest Cline is my new favourite author, and Ready Player One is my new favourite book.

Now please go read it. Trust me, you won’t regret it.