When this book was selected for book club and I heard the description, my first thought was, “How boring.” Reading numerous mixed reviews on it merely reinforced my hesitation to read it.
Then I bit the bullet, started reading it, and basically didn’t stop until I was finished. I blew through this one in a few hours, stopping only to sleep and, like, take care of my daughter.
What a fun book! I thought the premise was unique enough and the bad guys were just bad enough. The heroes were socially retarded nerds. It was awesome.
I like how Halliday had set up the game to win his empire. It seems odd that a genius like him didn’t consider how IOI would find loopholes to cheat, but it wouldn’t have been a terribly interesting story if OASIS could only have been won by a geek. It needed the danger of being won by an evil corporate goon to create sufficient conflict.
I thought the ending was just about perfect. I like how Parzival didn’t feel any desire to log back into the OASIS after the contest. Learning how to live in the real world, crappy as it is, was something too many had forgotten. It was a very Wall-E-esque world, with some similar messages.
The only flaw I found was that there wasn’t one reference to The Princess Bride in the whole book, unless I simply missed it somewhere. No self respecting book full of 80s references should miss out on having at least a couple from The Princess Bride.
Overall, this was a supremely fun, quick read. Highly recommended for anyone who’s a gamer, was young in the 80s, our generally has a love for pop culture.