In the not-so-distant future, the online world is a lot more appealing than bleak reality. Anyone, no matter their station in life, can immerse themselves in the virtual world OASIS, the brainchild of gaming guru James Halliday. Users can create avatars of themselves, go to school, explore different worlds, fight, quest, and play video games to their heart’s content, which is exactly what down-on-his-luck teen Wade Watts does to escape his unfortunate real life.
After the death of James Halliday, Wade and hundreds of others are feverishly playing Halliday’s last contribution to the online world: a quest to uncover a hidden Easter Egg that will grant the winner control of the OASIS and vast amounts of money. For an impoverished kid like Wade, this offer is too tempting to pass up, and he dedicates every moment of his spare time to researching and egg hunting. Against all odds, his avatar, Parzival, becomes the first OASIS user to hit the high score board.
Propelled suddenly into fame, Parzival attracts a lot of attention (including some very welcome notice from Art3mis, the girl he has a crush on) and a lot of enemies. All too quickly, the hunt for the Easter Egg becomes less a game and more a matter of life and death.
Ready Player One is a big love letter to pop culture, the 1980s, and video games that just might become a sci-fi classic. The pacing is snappy and fun and each chapter will leave readers (young adults and the young at heart!) wanting more.
978-0307887443 384 pages Ages 14 and up
Molly Weeks Crumbley, Librarian, Maryland USA