You’ve been pretty quiet lately. If I didn’t see you drooling over $4000 toys on Facebook I might be concerned for you. Anyway, here is the breakdown…..
Author: Ernest Cline
Genre: Science Fiction
ROTS Setting: CU, Near Future, Aliens
Synopsis: In the near future, Zack Lightman discovers himself on the front line of an alien invasion. But not to worry, the government has known for a long time and they have been preparing humanity for this event for decades…..and gamers are going to save the world.
Recommendation: I echo the Teen recommended audience and reading level. It has more modern references so the younger ages shouldn’t feel as lost as they might have in Ready Player One. It was a decent read that I found it enjoyable.
Just as a preface, this book is not at all connected to Ready Player One except by author and similar pop culture references.
Zack is a vastly different character than Wade from RPO. First of all there is the maturity level. Zack is a reasonably mature 18 year old who grew up in a small town and has no idea what he wants to do for the rest of his life. His one real skill is playing video games, more specifically the futuristic fighter simulator Armada. He’s got daddy issues because his dad died when he was less than a year old in an explosion at a waste management facility. I can’t fault him for having issues with that. Other than his elite level gamer skills he is a very normal average kid with normal average issues. His gaming skills might be considered overpowered except for the amount of time he’s spent playing to build those skills is reasonable and balance for time available and his focus on a single game.
Now layer on top a massive government conspiracy theory filled with expertly manipulated sci-fi plot holes and a garnish of pop culture references and you’ve got yourself a winner. It literally takes classic plot holes and either fills them in to use as a foundation or it dives head first straight into them. To me this shows a level of character, plot and world building that most writers have wet dreams about. Is it a highly complex, super deep, mind blowing, labyrinth of twists and turns? No. It is simple, straight forward, yet cunningly crafted.
This book may not be as popular, or as entertaining to the casual reader as RPO. However, I believe Armada is better written and highly pleasurable in a literary sense.
Sadly, I can’t add much more for fear of spoiling too much for you. I think I’m going to leave it there. I hope you enjoy the reading of this book as much as I did.