READY PLAYER TWO (Ready Player One #2)
Written by Ernest Cline
Published by Ballantine Books, November 24th, 2020
My star rating – 4.5 stars
Days after Oasis founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis a thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. A last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade’s life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.
I was honestly terrified to start this one. Ready Player One held such a place in my heart. I’ve read it 4 times and, my own unpopular opinion, I really enjoyed the movie. So much time had passed between the first book and this one, which also made me a little nervous…… but I just wondered how the sequel would hold up. So I held off on reading it lol!! But then I was assured by everyone I know that this book was just as good as the first. So – I trust their opinion and dove in….. what a ride!!!
First off – this book does the thing that most authors rarely do…. and that was starting the sequel just days after the first one ends! That almost never happens! Usually we start a book years after an epic conclusion so this was refreshing! Eventually we go years in the future, but we feel like we’re actually a part of the events that got them there. So, thanks Mr. Cline!
Tiny spoiler alert here…. Sorry! But I need to complain about something for a second. It’s mentioned VERY early on in the book so it’s not really a spoiler – just go into this paragraph with caution. The beginning of this book was very difficult for me to get into. I understand it, but it made things very slow and kind of boring to be honest. Of course, things for the High Five changed after they won the contest. They moved to different cities around the world, they found partners, they followed passions and worked hard to change the world. Basically what I’m telling you is that they were all in different places and we were following Wade as he was alone with billions of dollars inside a sprawling mansion. Like I said, I get why this was the way it was, but the first 100 pages were a little hard to wade through (pun NOT intended). Prepare for a bit of a slow start but once things pick up, they don’t stop until you’ve turned the last page!
Being a child of the 80’s, this book made my heart and soul happy! The references to movies, music, games, and more had me smiling the whole way through! Actually, I think that there were a lot more references in this one than the first one! Or maybe I just caught more? Who knows. There was a mention of one of my favourite 90’s movies Hackers that made me nerd out so hard that I literally ran downstairs yelling to my husband that they were in Cyberdelia!!! HACK THE PLANET! Best of all though – prepare yourselves…….. There is an entire chapter dedicated to John Hughes as they visit the planet Shermer Illinois!!!! Best chapter of the whole freaking book!! The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, The Great Outdoors, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Home Alone……. I’ve watched those movies so often that I could recite them by memory from start to finish! I actually might go back and reread this chapter just because I can lol.
This book had many unexpected things. It made me cry/tear up about 5 times. That shocked the crap out of me and then made me even more emotional. Damn! I didn’t expect any of it! There were such strong themes of love and loss. There was also found family and the High Five coming back together again. And there was a lot of realizations of mistakes made and taking the steps to mend fences and get the people back into your life that matter the most. If you’re a fan of the Og and Kira love story, this book will not disappoint!!!!!
Also unexpected – the ending! I won’t say a word, but the last chapter had my jaw on the floor a little! It was a really interesting way to end things that’s for damn sure! I kind of wish that there’s going to be a third book lol.
The only problem I had was pacing. At times it got a little slow and repetitive. I’m the type of person who reads every word of a book for fear of missing out on something. Quite a few times throughout this book I feel like I could have skipped multiple pages and missed nothing. In fact, I tried it a few times and, you guessed it, missed nothing but a whole lot of details that, in the grand scheme of things, didn’t matter. So I guess it could have been condensed a little. I’m not complaining though – every word was worth it!
I LOVED this book more than I expected to! I loved being back with the High Five, all the 80’s nostalgia, and this insane computer/video game world that I fell in love with in Ready Player One. If you loved the first book, you NEED this one in your life!
Until next time, happy reading!