*Warning this review has a lot of Spoilers.* Read if spoilers don’t change your desire to read a book.
When we first meet Wade he’s in a stack in Oklahoma. A stack is a trailer park where the all the trailers are stacked on top of each other. In the future Cline has created there is rampant unemployment and most people live their lives and make their livelihoods in something called the OASIS, an Massively Multiplayer Online game that people play to escape from a global energy crisis and climate change.
We find out that one of the creators of the OASIS has passed away and left a will that would give someone all the money the creator has along with control of the OASIS. The catch is that to win the money and control you have to find an Easter Egg hidden in the game.
James Halliday is the creator of the game. He was an 80’s pop culture enthusiast and grew up as a teenager in the 80’s. Wade is something called a gunter ( a hunter of the egg). The world has been obsessed with finding the egg for the reason of 100 Billion left in the will. It is not until Wade unlocks one of the keys that the story truly takes off.
Along the way to end of the book there are pop culture references that had me thinking, I forgot about that. There are many references to 80’s TV shows, music, video games and Pop Culture Icons like Max Headroom.
What fascinated me the most was the way OASIS was described. I’ve played a lot of games as I said in Level 1. This book made me feel like I was right along with Wade playing in the OASIS. From the way the world is described “in-game” and the way the avatars are described is similar to the way I would describe an avatar or my surroundings in any of the MMO’s I’ve played.
This is where the book gets it completely right. I’ve logged many hours on multiple MMO’s and this is the first time I’ve read a book that has a game involved as a plot device that I felt I was in the game with the character.
Ernest Cline has done something incredible with this book. He made me want to play in the OASIS if for no other reason than to experience it.
From the suits that are worn while playing to the gaming rigs and everything other gaming idea this book knocked it out of the park.
I started to feel sorry for Wade and everything that he was going through to get to the Egg. With his problems with Art3mis and the falling out he had with Aech. I knew him, I’ve been there in games when you think you can trust someone and they turn around and take your prize.
The antagonist in the book is a large company named IOI. A large multimedia company that wants to find the egg and turn OASIS into a pay service. Something all of the Gunter’s (Hunters of the Egg) don’t want.
The final battle is like something out of a science fiction movie. I loved this book and possibly will read it again. It made me feel like I was in the game along with Wade.
I felt it hit it perfectly with its depiction of what being a gamer and player of MMO’s is like.
Here is the first part of this review.