Ready Player One

★★☆☆☆

I really wanted to like this book. It had all the elements I love: VR, video games, and pop culture references wrapped into a fun adventure story.

But, I felt it leaned too heavily on nostalgia and the protagonist’s uncanny mastery of esoteric knowledge of movies, music, and games to convince me that anything bad could happen to him.

At each turn, I felt that things would be ok. There was never any conflict.

Ernest Cline indulged in his own love about these topics so much that the characters lacked substance, leaning on references to movie quotes and song lyrics to breathe life into the story.

And at those points, it felt like a popcorn movie; a ride at Disneyland where I knew I’d return to the station safe and sound.

It’ll be interesting to see what Spielberg will do with the movie, given the tons of copyrighted material the book references. Given the subject and timing of the material, I think he could have a hit on his hands.