Armada – A Review

After reading Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, I thought I would see how his other book, Armada, would play out.

Armada

It’s just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He’s daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom―if he can make it that long without getting suspended again.

Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

At first, Zack thinks he’s going crazy.

A minute later, he’s sure of it. Because the UFO he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada―in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

But what Zack’s seeing is all too real. And his skills―as well as those of millions of gamers across the world―are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can’t help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little too… familiar?

Armada is at once a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien-invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before―one whose every page is infused with author Ernest Cline’s trademark pop-culture savvy.

When I first started reading this, I was disgruntled as I thought “Oh, here comes The Last Starfighter again”. To my surprise, it isn’t. The concept of the book is good, and Cline names a fair few programs, films and games that conspiracy theorists would have a field day with.

Whilst the book is not overly bad, there were some twists I saw coming a mile off. Whether it is because of Cline’s style of writing, or because they are twists that are all too familiar.

Like Ready Player One, the book is similar to that of a teenager’s daydream. It is similar to the kind of daydreams I used to have when I was at school. Albeit with a lot more pizazz and graphical interface. Graphics and processor power have increased a millionfold since I was a teenager, and it shows in the book.

Cline draws upon his own experiences with science fiction games, films and all other memorabilia with his descriptions and backgrounds.

It is a good book, but some of the “seen a mile off” twists and a few cringeworthy moments that almost make me ashamed to be a gamer, it gets three stars.

This, like Cline’s other book Ready Player One, is in production for being turned into a film.

Armada ……………………………. Amazon UK Paperback

Armada ……………………………. Amazon UK Kindle

Armada ……………………………. Amazon US Paperback

Armada ……………………………. Amazon US Kindle

Ready Player One … Boop Beep Boop

I was recommended this book by a friend who said she enjoyed it immensely. I had bought it over a year ago, but finally got around to reading it in February this year.

ready-player-one-book-cover

Ready Player One was suggested to me by a friend who knows the types of book that I like. I thought it was going to be a trip down the nostalgic lane, but it was so much more than that.

The book is set in the OASIS, a virtual reality system that with the right equipment can feel like the real thing, where people are searching for Halliday’s Egg, an Easter Egg that contains riches beyond belief to the person who finds it first.

The story is from the point of view of Wade Watts, an 18 year old “gunter” – Egg Hunter – obsessed with the 80s and Halliday as most people in OASIS are. He receives a wake up call when the first key is found and he learns what lengths some people will go to in order to win the competition.

Cline draws upon his own childhood and teenage years as the background and inspiration to flesh out the book. Being an avid gamer and roleplayer in the 80s, I can see all the inspiration through the games, books, films and TV programs. The detail is incredible, and at times you forget you are reading a book as you are transported in there.

It is one of the only books that when I finished it, I immediately started it again to see what I missed.

Ready Player One …………….. Amazon UK Paperback

Ready Player One …………….. Amazon UK Kindle

Ready Player One …………….. Amazon US Paperback

Ready Player One ……………..  Amazon US Kindle

First Chapter – First Paragraph (January 24th 2017)

first-chapterEvery week, Bibliophile By The Sea hosts a Bookish Event which is to post the First Paragraph from the First Chapter of the book you are currently reading.

Feel free to join in and pop around to see a few of the others (making sure to drop in on Cleopatra Loves Books of course). The book I am currently reading was suggested by a friend of mine and I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying it as it is also a trip down memory lane for me.

READY PLAYER ONE

It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle.

Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.

Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest. I was sitting in my hideout watching cartoons when the news bulletin broke in on my video feed, announcing that James Halliday had died during the night.

I’d heard of Halliday, of course. Everyone had. He was the video game designer responsible for creating OASIS, a massively multiplayer online game that had gradually evolved into the globally networked virtual reality most of humanity now used on a daily basis. The unprecedented success of the OASIS had made Halliday one of the wealthiest people in the world.

ready-player-one-book-cover

Amazon UK ………………… HERE

Amazon US ………………… HERE