It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
Miss Riki’s Review:
This book took me completely by surprise. It came highly recommended by a friend who completely fell in love with it, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’m not usually into sci-fi, and while this book isn’t quite sci-fi (maybe a little dystopian?), it straddles the line close enough that I was worried the cleverness might be lost on me. It took me about 50 pages to get into the world and absorb some of the backstory to a point where I was prepared to get invested in the main character, but once I did, I was in for a real treat.
It’s true that this book is incredibly nerdy and rife with pop culture references, but I say that in the best way possible. I was instantly brought back in time to the 80’s where nostalgia reigns and I loved the way that the book was able to use these references to propel a futuristic story forward in such a unique way. It has this wonderful ability to be both nostalgic and fresh all at the same time.
I loved Wade as the lead character. He’s just a little bit left of center with a good head on his shoulders and a wonderful self-deprecating humor, and it’s really easy to root for him. His home life pretty much sucks and outside of the OASIS interface, he hasn’t quite found his place in the world, but the fun of this novel is seeing him grow into a more self-assured and well-rounded man.
The novel is extremely fast paced and has a wonderful world building element. I wanted to jump right into OAISIS with my own avatar and roam the halls of high school with Wade and his buddies. The future of Earth might very well be bleak overall in this book, but the future for Wade and his great cast of friends is definitely bright.
I highly recommend this book for young adults and adults alike. There’s an added bonus if you grew up in the 80s and can really absorb all of the pop culture references, but the story is timeless and will keep readers of all ages turning pages.