After previously having read Ready Player One, I had high expectations for Ernest Cline’s sophomore novel. I read the blurb on the back of the back and already I had a feeling that I wouldn’t like it as much as RPO, or get as many of the references.
I found that I didn’t have much in common with the main character. I’m not into flight simulators, I don’t have a dead father, and I don’t have anger issues. Actually, I found that the characters in this novel weren’t as relatable as in RPO. I shouldn’t compare the two so much but it’s hard not to.
There were a lot of pop culture references in this book. While I’m a big enough need that I got most of them, there were some that went over my head. I feel that a reader should be knowledgeable about alien encounter movies, video games, and things like Star Trek or Star Wars in order to understand a majority of the references.
There was a really neat setting in the moon base on the far side of the moon. A lot of description was given and it seems like something out of a video game, pun not intended (you’ll know what I mean if you read the book). With all its defence systems, hidden spaces, and crazy technology, it was quite a cool spot.
The battling in this book was also really cool. It reminded me of a book I read when I was much younger in which people remotely fought wars through drone-like machines. The idea of mechs and drones also made me think of Gundam or even the megazord in Power Rangers. It was a different way of combat than I’m used to reading and I really liked it.
However, the antagonist wasn’t very interesting to me. I didn’t feel that it was fleshed out very well. When the big reveal happened at the end, I found it to be a bit lacklustre. The way the story ended also left me a bit confused. I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be a cliffhanger for a sequel or if it was just meant to end with uncertainty because it definitely seems like there’s more to the story.
The book didn’t quite grab me. I started reading it around a month ago and whenever I put it down I didn’t think about picking it back up. Sometimes I went a week without even touching the novel because I just wasn’t very interested in what happens next. Again, this might be because I was expecting Ready Player One levels of awesome, and therefore is partly my own fault.
Overall, this was an ok book. 3 stars!