It is the year 2044 and teenager Wade Watts lives for one thing, the OASIS. In reality, his world is dismal and gray. His parents are dead and he lives in a part of Oklahoma City known as the stacks. He escapes the poverty and crime by escaping to the online world known as the OASIS. Wade does everything the OASIS, he makes friends, he plays video games, he even goes to a virtual school. When not in school he devotes his time trying to find the "Easter Egg" that the OASIS creator hid in the OASIS. The person who finds it will inherit the creator's vast fortune and take over control of the OASIS. When his avatar, Parzival, finds the first key he realizes that he is racing not only to find the egg but racing for his life. There is an entire army of corporate slugs known ad the "Sixers" who are determined to get the egg and will do anything in their power to stop Parzival or anybody else from getting it first. Will Parzival and his band of misfit friends find the egg before the Sixers take them out for good?
I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed Ready Player One. It is a pop culture lover's dream. Wade Watts or Parzival, is a complete misfit who has pinned his future on finding the egg. He has no life outside of the OASIS - his friends live there, he goes to school there, he even has a job there. As someone who is pretty much a homebody with a whole slew of friends that I have met virtually - I can relate. The world outside of the OASIS is very bleak and I could see the world heading that direction very quickly. Parzival has to complete a serious of puzzles and tasks to get the next key. The amount of 80's pop-culture in one book is astounding and so much fun! Movies, TV Shows, Music, Games, and even 80's cereal has a role in this book. Ready Player One is being made into a movie and I cannot wait to see how it translates to the big screen - it is going to be epic!
Bottom line - even though Ready Player One is a gamer's dream book, it will appeal to everybody. There is action, there is friendship, there is the spirit of competition, and of course all of the pop culture. I loved the book so much I bought my gamer step-son a copy. You will want to do the same for the gamer in your life. I promise.