In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage 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. 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.
- Paperback: 374 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books (5 Jun. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307887448
- ISBN-13: 978-0307887443
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|If you grew up in the 1980’s then you are going to love this book!! And even if you didn’t there’s so much in this story to connect with and enjoy that once I’d started reading it yesterday I was unable to put it down – and I’m now eager to see the film!
It’s a simple story – eccentric billionaire creates a multi-player online VR world that many people living in a dysfunctional and screwed up world (sound familiar?!) prefer to spend their time in! You go to school in the OASIS VR world, meet people – and with war, famine, and poverty ravaging the real world then you can’t blame them! But when the creator James Halliday dies with no heirs to inherit his billions, the task he sets to claim his billions is to find clues hidden in the OASIS world. But these are no ordinary clues and test even the most brilliant minds. And as the years pass with nobody even getting close to solving any of the clues people start giving up and it’s only the die-hards who continue with the quest.
Halliday was obsessed with the 1980’s – aren’t we all?! – and the references to 80s’ music, films, computer games is rife within this book and I think that’s why I loved it so much!! Every movie line reference had me smiling, every song mentioned had me singing it in my head, and every computer game reference has just made me want to dig my Commodore 64 and Atari out of the loft and get back to playing Donkey Kong and Pac-Man!
Wade Watts is an 18 year living in a trailer park, both his parents are dead, and he’s your typical loner keeping to himself and seeking privacy in an old van he has found, and this is where he continues his love affair with the 1980’s – he knows movie scripts offline and watches old TV series in a bid to try and find a way of cracking the codes that Halliday left behind. And then one day he cracks the first clue…… and this is where his quest really begins.
Along the way he meets others online who are searching for the same clues – some are there to help him, others are happy to threaten him and his friends if he doesn’t help them. And with billions at stake this brings the worst out in people. He finds himself having to cover his tracks, change his identity and be wary of who he can trust as he delves more into the online OASIS world.
I found this so easy to read as it was just a glorious retro geek fest!! It was extremely clever, full of humour and the darker elements fitted nicely alongside especially how the world had got so bleak because of the behaviour of humans and what they did to the planet – sounds very familiar and quite a frightening prospect.
Cannot recommend this book highly enough! Fabulous!!