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.
A nostalgic read set in 2044 – I am sure that will be the most bizarre statement I will ever write, but that is what this is. In 2044 the world is a mess and everyone lives there lives online in the virtual reality game Oasis, James Halliday has set a quest that whoever solves his puzzles will inherit his entire estate. Halliday has littered his world with pop culture items from the 80s and this is why I had to read this.
If Halliday was a real person he would be 2 years older than me, and as a teenager in the 1980s a lot of these pop culture references were easily recognisable. And I do love the idea of the game within a game scenario that Cline has created.
The story is well written and nicely paced, the crush that Wade has on fellow Gunter (egg hunter), Art3mis is sweet and believable as is their rivalry, and his addiction to Oasis system. I really found myself routing for him and hating the bad guys IOI, they are intimidating and nasty, and using brute force. I did have hunch as to the third key based on the riddle, but I think that is the point. The reader tries to work out the puzzles as well.
A great read well written and a brilliant ending
5 out of 5*