Ready Player One Book Review

Ready Player One: Book Review By Dinh.

4.5 stars

Ready Player One a novel


In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenager Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines- puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win- and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Synopsis from paperback edition, 372 pages, copyright 2011, published by Crown Publishing Group.


<Spoilers ahead>

OMG, I loved Ready Player One by Ernest Cline!

Surprisingly, this book was recommended to me by a librarian at my local library. She also told me to check out Cline’s second book, Armada.

As a fan of sci-fi and 80s pop culture this book was right up my alley. What a great find! This book was such a fun read.

Here’s why I liked it!


Ready Player One Book Review


Page Turner:

I read this book completely on the Kindle app on my iPad in a few days. It’s a really quick read because the story moved along quite quickly and I just kept on turning the pages.

Ready Play One was also action packed so the pace of the book was good all the way to the end of the book. There was no time to get bored!


Great Story Line:

At the heart this book is an adventure in virtual world to find three hidden keys to open the secret gates and get to the treasure that was step up by James Halliday, the creator of OASIS rvhscmf.

The prize for this treasure hunt is so immense that the bad guys (corporation) are willing to kill to get what they want.

The title of the book, Ready Player One, just reveals what the story is going to be about. It’s the words that appear as the person enters the virtual world.

I love the premise of the story. Set in the distance future where there’s even a bigger gap between those that have and those that don’t. In this dystopian world, the OASIS is where the kids have a chance to be on the same level.

I enjoyed the fact that it moved from reality, which in Wade’s life was grim, to the virtual world, which was Utopian. Cline does a good job in contrasting the differences between the two.

This story line was really interesting. I like the way Cline uses our current situation of using electronics more and more, and extrapolates it into the future, in a world where we are all jacked into the virtual world for some reason or other.

The idea of people hooked on the virtual world of OASIS, for schooling, entertainment, and work, is a unique concept that form the basis of this book.

The theme of escapism from the grim reality to the virtual world is poignant, considering today’s progression towards the cyber-world.

I loved that it paid homage to the 80s. I loved all the references it made, even though it did go overboard at times.

With references to Dungeon and Dragons, I had wished that I played that back then.

There were references to video games (Joust,Pacman), movies (War Games) and shows (Family Ties) that geeky gamer would enjoy as well as regular non-geeks.

You don’t have to be into gaming or the 80s to enjoy this book as the core story line is about beating the bad guys in this treasure hunt. It’s like parable of David vs. Goliath, where Wade is David and the corporation is Goliath.




I loved Wade’s geeky character. I liked that he was obsessed with the contest and spent all his time researching about James Halliday, his likes and dislikes in music, books, movies shows and video games.

This obsessiveness is what enabled Wade to get the first key. It had been 5 years since the start of the competition and no one had managed to work out the clue.

I liked that it was written from his point of view. You do get the backdrop to his life story and empathize with him. Then you start to root for him to win.

Wade is not the only young teenage school boy who has had a hard life living in the stacks. His other friends from he virtual world also escape to the cyber world.

All the people on the OASIS use their avatar names and are anonymous so you get to know these people in the virtual world, where you can be whatever you want to be.



I liked that there was a strong female character in this book.

Art3mis is a gunter and a famous blogger who Wade has a crush on. She is Wade’s main competition to start off with but then they become friends.

The friendship between them is sweet. Cline does make it convincing. Art3mis is concerned with winning the competition and Wade loses focus as he is besotted with her.


Ready Player One Page 102


What Didn’t I Like?

One slight complaint I have is that I did find the story line a bit predictable.

You can predict the ending quite easily.

The ending is just what you’d expect given that there’s a contest to find the keys in the virtual world, someone has to find it. And that someone has to be the protagonist Wade.

Wade is the main character after all, so you’d expect him to win the contest and he does. It’s the nice happy ending that you expect and it also has message of hope.

Have you seen or read the book Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory?Ready Player One has similarities. The poor, humble boy wins the contest.

Another criticism I have is that I found the writing style was a bit juvenile. Yes, I know this is a Young Adult book with point of view of a teenager, but it felt sometimes it read more like a middle school age book. Not a biggie but something I felt I should mention.

I know it’s a bit nit picky, but written in this manner made the characters a bit one dimensional.


My Final Thoughts:

Overall, this book was a very enjoyable book to read even though I had a few niggles with it.

It’s a fast pace and fun to read. If you are looking for a light, fun read and into gaming then this will be very suitable for you.

I would say hazardously that if you grew up in the 80s, like to reminisce on the pop culture from that period and like playing video game then you will enjoy this book too.

I would definitely recommend this book.

It was just a great fun read!


Get Ready Player One. Or, listen to it for free with an Audible trial.


Discover your next great read!


What do you like about the 1980s? They are making a movie of Ready Player One, would you like to read the book first and then check out the movie?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the increasing use of electronics in our daily lives.

26 thoughts on “Ready Player One Book Review

  1. Great review! 🙂
    I loved the book. It was actually the first science fiction book I’ve ever read and I will be definitely reading more of those. If you can recommend other similar books to Ready Player One I will really appreciate it.
    Looking forward to watching the movie. Still, I don’t believe that it will be good as the book.

    1. Hi Ivaylo!
      I am also looking forward to the movie as well. I agree with you that it’s a different experience from reading to watching a movie. I tend to find books so much better.
      I think Ready Player One is quite unique in its story line with the references to the pop 80s culture so it’s quite difficult to recommend something on those lines. Having said that, you may enjoy Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I absolutely adored this book too!

    I listened to it on audio rather than read it. It was narrated by Wil Wheaton, and though his voice took some getting used to for me, I really think it worked well in the end.

    I’ve bought a physical copy of the book too and plan to give it a re-read as soon as possible. I just loved it so much!

    1. Hello Jodie!
      I read Ready Player One really quickly so didn’t have time to do the audio book.
      I find some audio books are really well done and others not. I might check this one out later if I want to go back again.

      I like to read the book but find that doing an audio book at the same time really helps with getting more reading done.

      So glad that you enjoyed this book too. I will be checking out Cline’s Armada soon. 🙂 Did you read that one as well?

      1. No, haven’t read that one yet, but it is on my to-read list!
        I would be interested to see your views on it, as I’m still a little unsure about it! 🙂

  3. Sounds like a neat book, if they are making a movie from it I would like to watch that, then maybe read the book…backwards I know but Im not a big reader 🙂 But Im a little confused though. How do the 80s references come in…the story takes place in the 80s and the virtual reality world is in the future? Or the whole book is written as in the future? Thanks!

    1. Hello Summerly!
      The book is set in the near distance future. Everyone in the book in this future is hooked onto this virtual world.
      The competition for the Golden Egg is set in the virtual world. The creator of the competition is dead, but he loved the 80s, that’s the period he grew up in, and all the clues are from his favorite things. Games, movies, books, and music from the 1980s are all referenced because they are part of the clues.

      I can’t wait to see the movie! It’s going to be epic!

  4. I have this book but I just haven’t read it yet! I really need to do that though, because it sounds like this book was absolutely wonderful. It sounds so promising to me that I wouldn’t even mind it being a bit predictable as well. Brilliant review, Dinh!

    1. Hi Olivia!
      I think we have similar taste in books and I definitely think you’ll enjoy this one.
      It’s a page-turner and the whole concept of the virtual world is great.

      Predictable is okay as it’s a happy ending. 🙂

  5. Hiya, Dinh – great review you’ve done here – they get better and better.

    We live in a world where transhumanism (in the sense of how we will use future tech to help humanity) is growing fast. Sadly, the world’s getting worse by the Trumty Dumpty, spy on who-ever we choose, day. So tech’s darker side becomes greater every minute.

    Ready Player One sounds like a great read but I cannot imagine humans linking themselves directly into any interconnected computer system willingly – would you, Dinh? As recent years have proved, governments and others have full access to electronic system but it may well be that kids have no such reservations.

    Having worked in the computer and data industries for years I think we’ll be put off of total immersion in cyberland because of the overwhelming advertising that businesses place there and the degree of control that governments could use in people’s heads.

    I was born in Manchester, England, and can vouch for your correct use of Niggles. It can be very niggling when people are always wondering what you’re saying because of niggling local dialects, sayings, etc, but I don’t let it niggle me ever – that’s too much of a pain in the butt. We also say – Eh up, chuck & is that t’limpics on the telly? Quite quaint really, I guess.

    I’m currently reading Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator because of the brilliant use of language rather than the plot. Sometimes we can best appreciate the subtleties of language when we’re older and often teen books are well worth a re-read or a first read.

    I’m not plugging my brain into any kind of utopian tech driven future – I think technology and our use of it is out of our control now.

    Have fun, Dinh, and do keep up this brilliant work.

    1. Hello Andre!!
      It’s so nice to hear from you. It always make me smile and laugh when you share your thoughts!
      I think it’s the younger, and newer generations that are completely immersed in technology. They will go into the virtual world without missing a heartbeat. I think you’d be surprise on how little these kids regard their privacy. Hedonism always win when it comes to young kids! LOL, speaking from an old crony.

      I’ve never read Charlie and the Chocolate Fatory, but have watched and loved the older version of the movie. The newer adaptation of it, with Johnny Depp, was okay. I wouldn’t mind checking Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator out. I love Roald Dahl’s books!

      I’m with you, I like to go outside and smell the roses!

  6. Great book!! Glad you did a review! I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone of any age!
    With all the virtual reality stuff becoming a reality it kind of warns us about the future LOL.
    Good work love all your reviews!

    1. Hi Dennis!
      I am in total agreement with you. I think we are heading that way. So many of us are on our phones all the time. It is a big warning!
      I liked how Cline also showed the dystopian world where there’s a even bigger divide between those that have and those that don’t. What easier way to escape when you can just log into the virtual world.
      There’s a quote in the book that goes: “Going outside is highly overrated.” I can see where that is heading.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Overall I have found this book to be great. I love action fiction books. My nephew is 14 years old, and I do want to recommend this book to him. However, there is some sexual content in the book that I find might be a little too much for him at his age. What do you think about this? Or possibly are there any other books you would recommend for him?

    1. Hello Garen!
      Ready Player One is in the Teen section of the library. I think that this book does read like a teen book and I don’t think that the sexual content in the book was too much for that age group. There wasn’t really anything, nothing I would say that is offensive. I am normally sensitive to sexual content and I don’t remember any red flags going up when reading it.

      If he likes action fiction books then I would recommend him to check out the Percy Jackson books. They are great books to get into and there are several series as well as quite a few in the series.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

    1. Hello Becky!
      This book is great.
      I think the movie will be good too. I recently tweeted this book review on Twitter and someone tagged me with a link to some info about the movie. The location is set in Manchester,UK!
      I can’t wait to see how the book gets adapted to the movie. 🙂

  8. This book sounds right up my alley as well. I am a hardcore reader and do enjoy young adult books quite often. The fact that they are making a movie out of it makes me want to run right out and order it for my kindle before it comes out. Have you had a chance to read the author’s second book and would you recommend it as well?

    1. Hi Patrick!
      I think Ready Player One would make a fantastic movie as well. I can’t wait to see it when it comes out.
      I haven’t read Cline’s Armada but it’s on my list to be read 🙂 I hope it’s as entertaining as this book!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  9. Niggles? Just sounds fun saying it. =) Ah, this book is right up my alley. I like the virtual reality, fast-pace, fun characters, etc. I’ll be visiting the library soon to borrow a book for my son’s non-fiction book report. I’ll see if this is available, too. Glad you had fun reading this!

    1. Hi Lonna!
      Niggles is quite a common term used by us English folks across the sea. I guess it does sound strange if you don’t say it that often. I use the adjective word “niggly” quite a bit.
      I am going to use that term of my word of the day. Thanks!

      Oh, this book was so much fun to read. Most of us have played a video game or two and the 80s are always referenced like crazy so it made me happy.
      Ready Player One came out in 2011 so it should be available at the library. It’s in the top 20 best selling books in the NY Times when I lasted looked in December.

      Enjoy! 🙂

        1. Hi Lonna!
          I sometimes forget that certain words are use more in Britain than in America. So I am not aware that it sounds funny unless some one points it out to me. 🙂

  10. Thank you for the great overview here on this book – you have provided great depth but the ending is a little predictable as you say but nevertheless looks to be very intriguing. Any price guides available?

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