Ready player one
Wade Watts spends most of his life online. In his in-game search for a late game developer's wealth, he finds new friends and new mortal enemies. The search even takes him outside, into the real world.
"Going outside is highly overrated"
- Anorak's almanac (Halliday's journal), chapter 17, verse 32
Wade Watts' life sucks! His parents are dead, he lives in a trailer with 15 others and the world outside the trailer is in bad condition. So 18-year-old Wade spends most of his life online instead, in what's called the Oasis. It's an almost completely virtual reality where he and many others spend most of their life.
When Oasis' creator and richest man on the planet, Halliday, dies he leaves all of his wealth and shares in the Oasis to whoever can find his hidden "Easter egg" inside the virtual world. This is the start of The hunt. Three keys are needed and for every key there is a gate with a test to pass. To find the keys and the gates Halliday has left clues. These clues are based on Halliday's obsession with 80's pop culture. So Wade and the other hunters immerse themselves in knowledge about 80's games, music, books and movies so they can solve the clues leading up to the prize.
But the book also has its bad guys; a company that employs people to win the hunt so the company can make Oasis theirs. That way the company can start charging people for access to the Oasis. And they will stop at nothing to win.
The 80's in detail
The whole book is littered with references to the 1980's and especially to the nerdier side of the decade. So the book is easiest to read if you have some knowledge about these things, but everything is explained so you don't really have to. To me it felt nostalgic but the detail level of the book can be said to be its best or worst feature, depending on reader and mood. But the treasure hunt keeps the action up and you get drawn in.
I liked that there's both a dystopia and utopia in one book, a utopian world inside a dystopian world. And that it's a book set in the future that is mostly about the past. Not something you read every day. Because I also listened to the book, read by Wil Wheaton, I can't help but think about the tv-show The big bang theory, where Wil Wheaton also appears. This book really would be the perfect book for the nerds of the show. I really adored the book with all its geekiness.
This book is definitely for all the geeks out there. But also for the closet geeks or anyone really who just want to have a good geeky time.
I can't describe the book better than the author John Scalzi: "A nerdgasm... imagine Dungeons and Dragons and an 80s video arcade made hot, sweet love, and their child was raised in Azeroth."