Posted in adult fiction, Dystopian, review, Uncategorized

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

“These three words were always the last thing an Oasis player saw before leaving the real world and entering the virtual one: Ready Player One.”

61d6DhRCBSL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Blurb: “In the year 2045, 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.”

Ready Player One has been very much an “on the fence” book for quite a while: I knew it was very popular but I just couldn’t quite bring myself to commit to reading it. Whenever I’ve brought up the prospect of delving into this one, I’ve had quite a few people speak very highly of the audiobook – which is narrated by Will Wheaton – so I decided to go for that format.

The world of The OASIS is equal parts fascinating and terrifying: since  its creation, it has grown into essentially its own kind of universe in which people marry other avatars without knowing where they are or what they look like in the real world and many, like the protagonist Wade, actually transferred from school in the real world to an education institution within this virtual existence. Learning how this way of life had become a way of life for so many people was really interesting but the concept of these characters spending hours upon hours motionless in a unit while they explored a different world with their avatars created this sense of vulnerability; which doesn’t work out well for a few of the characters.

The story gets straight into the crux of the plot, opening with the death of Halliday, the OASIS creator, and the video footage in which he reveals that he is leaving his fortune to whoever finds the hidden easter egg. The protagonist, Wade, goes on to explain how he went about solving the mystery and for me, the storytelling really fell apart. I appreciate the fact that this story takes place over a vast number of years (it takes five years from the Halliday video to the first clue being found) but the narrative went through consistent lull periods throughout and often, for that reason, ended up getting a bit sidetracked with other things. A lot of the plot points were just told in a “then I did this and then I did this” sort of way and I’m not sure how I found such issue with this as that’s basically how stories are told. But it felt like I wasn’t really being shown things. Along with that, I’m not sure if Wade comes across really obnoxious because of the writing style or if it was the way that Will Wheaton acted the part, but it didn’t sit right with me.

A big thing that made me apprehensive about picking up Ready Player One is that I knew it is packed full of eighties references so I felt that I wouldn’t gain full enjoyment given that I was born the decade after and have only see the odd eighties film. Naturally, there are a lot of jokes and sly comparisons that readers more familiar with the era will pick up on but it doesn’t majorly detract from the enjoyment if you’re not as aware of them.

The standout character for me was Artemis. Her frustration really seeps through the story as she always seemed to be just a few steps behind Wade throughout the book’s events.

For me, Ready Player One is a book with a fascinating concept but doesn’t quite hit the mark.

For more of my reading adventures follow me on Goodreads

For my writing adventures follow me on Twitter

For my videos, check out my Youtube

For bookish photographs follow my instagram: @charlottereadsthings

Posted in Audiobook Of The Month, contemporary, review

Audiobook(s) Of The Month | Ready Player One & Killing Floor

So I finished my previous audiobook with a few days to go before my Audible credit renewed. Therefore, I did what any other sensible person would do in my position… I bought another audiobook. For that reason, I have two to talk about this month. So let’s get into it:

61d6DhRCBSL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

A man called Halliday has created a virtual reality universe called The Oasis which is so popular world-wide to the point where people spent most of their lives within it; some even get married to other avatars not knowing where they are in the real world, or what they really look like, and others even go to school. At the start of the story, Halliday dies and leaves his vast fortune to whoever can find the hidden easter egg in the game. The reader follows the protagonist, Wade, on his quest to find it.

I’ve been on the fence for a while about delving into this one but quite a few people recommended the audiobook because Will Wheaton is the narrator. I’m going through phases with it because I can’t work out if Wade is coming across obnoxious because of the writing itself or the dramatisation from Wheaton. I’m really enjoying learning how the world is made up and the tresure hunt element is fun but it just has so many periods where the story seems to really lag.

At the time of writing this, I am 67% into the book.

8147+-jvguL

Then my audible credit renewed, so I decided to give a new genre a try and picked up Killing Floor which is the first book in the Jack Reacher series. My dad is not a big fiction reader but he really enjoys all of Lee Child’s books to the point where when we’ve seen the films, he’s the one sat there saying “that’s not how it happened in the books!” So I figured I’d find out why he likes them so much. Apparently you don’t have to read  them in publication order because each book is a standalone, but I decided it would be best for to start at the beginning.

Jack Reacher is an ex-military officer who rocks up in a new town only to be arrested as a suspect in a homocide case. There’s just one small detail: he only just got in and the crime happened the previous night.

The narrator for this, Jeff Harding, is awful. He’s so robotic in the way he’s telling the story that it’s difficult to listen to but the story is interesting enough for me to keep going. If I do end up liking it overall and want to read his other works, I’ll probably pick up the physical books.

At the time of writing this, I am 8% into this book because I’ve been focusing more of my time on Ready Player One.

So that’s what I’ve been listening to this month! Do you have any audiobooks you think I need to listen to? What are your personal favourites?

For more of my reading adventures follow me on Goodreads

For my writing adventures follow me on Twitter

For my videos, check out my Youtube

For bookish photographs follow my instagram: @charlottereadsthings