Let me preface this review by saying that on the nerddom scale, I’m an optimistic 4. I grew watching all three Star Wars every Thanksgiving Day and frequently transformed our window nook into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. I’ve played a few Magic: the Gathering rounds against my brother in my day, and I still love the Muppets. I was even known to play a round or two of D&D back before we knew there were whole game books and 64-sided dice to guide the adventure. My real hole in nerddom is video games; I can count the number of real video games I’ve played (and enjoyed) on one hand. And while I enjoy an occasional trip to the arcade, I usually get my butt handed to me in everything but Hungry Hungry Hippos.
I almost feel inadequate, then, to recommend Ready Player One, which is the ultimate tribute to Level 10 nerds everywhere. But even as a pseudo-nerd, I absolutely loved it.
Was it the fabulous plot? (Billionaire gamemaker hides his fortune in an Easter egg in the online virtual reality world that he created?) The real-to-life characters? (Nerdy friends team up to defeat the corporate weasels who aim to privatize and profit from the online reality?) The delicious satisfaction of geeks using their freakish knowledge to save the world? (Take that, Sean-from-6th-grade who mocked my standing catalogue of Animorphs and Redwall facts.) Yes. Yes. and Yes.
Whether you’re an avid gamer or just got into the Star Wars movies this year, Ernest Cline’s novel will make you want to put your life on hold, pull on your haptic gloves, and climb into the OASIS to solve puzzles with Wade Watts. Power up.
Audience: Adult (for language and ‘mild peril’)
Read if you like:
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett
Deloreans, Atari, the Highlander, PacMan or anything from the 1980’s.