Prior to reading this novel, I had watched the movie, Ready Player One, and I was surprised at just how different the novel was than its movie adaptation. After reading the book, I understand why the movie went in such a different direction. A true adaptation of this novel would never work as a movie, since it wasn’t anywhere near as action packed, and it wouldn’t have worked well on the screen watching someone play video games, which were the root of most of the challenges. Having said that, I think both the novel and the movie succeeded in what they were trying to do.
I thought this was a very creative novel, weaving in nostalgia with a dystopian/post-apocalyptic world. Being a child of the eighties, I thoroughly enjoyed some of the eighties references. In particular, I geeked out when Wade used Ultra Man in a fight in his quest to get the golden egg. I thought there was good commentary about people’s addiction to machines and how some people would prefer to live in a fictitious online world instead of the real world. Yet, I think the message here is that true happiness can’t be achieved by hooking yourself up to a machine, but through living in the real world.
There were some things I didn’t like about this novel. The most notable being the evil corporation that was trying to destroy the Oasis by winning the competition through nefarious means. First, the evil, giant corporation is so utterly cliché. Have a little more creativity and come up with something more original please. Second, this evil corporation was so ridiculously over the top that it wasn’t remotely believable even in this dystopian setting. Otherwise, I found the novel to be enjoyable, although I probably enjoyed the movie more.