Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review.
When Ready Player One came out, I did not read it. A librarian friend of mine told me about it and said that my husband would probably really like it. He did – he devoured it like I’ve rarely seen him devour a book. Then he started recommending it to other people (who all also loved it) before lending out his copy and never seeing it again.
To be honest, I wasn’t planning on ever reading it. Science fiction, video games? Not my thing. I was able to participate in Duck Hunt and my brother enjoyed using me to get better at Wave Runner but mostly, I was reading.
So you’ll be surprised to find that I just finished reading Ernest Cline’s second novel, Armada. And that I kind of loved it.
I’m sure part of that has to do with the fact that the only expectation I had of this book was that it would be light hearted fun. I wasn’t looking for it to live up to any expectations of greatness as I might have if I had read Ready Player One first.
Zack Lightman is a couple of months shy of graduation. He has a part time job at a video game store but no plans for the future. The only thing that he’s really good at is playing Armada, a first person video game that has him piloting a spacecraft in a war against an alien species threatening the world as we know it. Zack is one of the top 10 pilots in the entire game so when it turns out that the game is actually a sophisticated military training program and aliens really are coming to attack Earth, Zack is among the first to be recruited to fight.
I kind of feel like any story where the human race is fighting in space against aliens is going to have an element of kitsch to it. And that certainly applies here. But it didn’t bother me, it made me laugh. I don’t think this book takes itself too seriously and that made it a really fun read for me. I’m not a gamer, I don’t always get Star Wars references, or understand the science behind any of this and I still really enjoyed this book. I thought it was clever and fun and I couldn`t wait to get back to reading it whenever I had to put it down.
And now I have Ready Player One to look forward to. As soon as we buy a replacement copy…
What books did you take a chance on that you ended up loving?