Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This post contains affiliate links

Genre: Sci-Fi


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.

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


Ready Player One is a book I somehow missed on its initial release in 2012. Though the book is set in 2044, through the wonders of recurring trends and the promise of a huge boon, Ready Player One is essentially one big tribute to the 1980’s. Every clue the protagonist must solve is littered with John Hughes movies, Rush albums, and Atari games. I wouldn’t have thought my heart would start pounding in suspense while reading about someone playing Pac-Man, but wonders never cease.

The first 5 chapters of Ready Player One were pretty slow. In Cline’s defense, there was a lot of world-building to be done to set the scene for the story. Though the Earth circa 2044 is an interesting concept, the plot didn’t really get rolling until chapter 5. After the slow start, I charged through the rest with very few breaks.

Despite the draggy bits, Cline is obviously a skilled writer. The foreshadowing alone deserves a medal. Cline proves his prowess by dropping the most subtle tidbits early in the book that ended up being major pieces of the puzzle later on.

Ready Player One is worth the read for the nostalgia alone. Just be prepared to push your way through the start of the book. I promise you the story is worth it.

Click here to order Ready Player One