Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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.I received a copy of this book in my LootCrate and was really excited because: 1. I got my LootCrate and 2. Geeky books! And when I started reading, I was only semi-impressed. I found the first bit flat and boring but once it picked up speed I really enjoyed it. I also thought there was a bit of a lag in between the climax and the final conflict.
I liked the 80s reference as I am a huge fan of 80s pop culture, but at the same time it tended to be too much some times. It was as if Cline wanted to show off just how much he knew about 80s culture rather than use these as an actual plot point.
But it still was a lot of fun. I liked the actual "game play" and the insights into the world outside. I thought there was a lot of good world building for both inside the game and why the game could even exist. I liked the idea that gamers could rule the world but at the same time there were consequences of this as well. There was a side character that was LGBTQ+ diverse but I am not sure it was enough for me in terms of diversity.
Overall: 4/5 stars for this one. If you read and liked The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, you will also like this one.