Fun reads are back!!! It’s been way too much time since I’ve had a chance to get into a fun sci-fi book. Huge thank you to my neighbors for gifting me Ready Player Two for Christmas. Back in May of last year, I gifted their 11yr old son the original ‘Ready Player One’ which I loved. This year the two of us were going to read this at the same time so we could get into the details together.
The start of the book made me immediately embarrassed about suggesting this book to my neighbor’s kid. I’m a new parent myself (daughter turned 1 today!!!!) and I’m not sure what is or isn’t age-appropriate.
First, there was the idea of spending 12hrs a day playing a simulated video game and the theme of escapism. I enjoy the hell out of some video games and getting lost in those worlds. I also know that my real-world self grew immensely when I dumped my Xbox years ago when I realized how many hours a day I was playing (upwards of 4-5hrs a day). Things “magically” started falling in place for me at the time once I did this. My efforts and enthusiasm funneled into things that helped me grow as a person instead of into a fake character that couldn’t do much more than frag the shit out of some other players (Halo 2 Online…How I miss three).
Second, sex, porn, and gender-fluid experiences came up a few times early in the book, and each time I cringed. People have sex and experience porn…yep but I also understood there was a young kid that will read it and felt it was a bit of a teenage thing vs a 6th grader. Maybe not 🤷♂️ an issue but it’s like when you’re a kid and a kissing or romantic scene comes up in a movie that you’re watching with your parents. Super awkward…that feeling is what I felt.
Overall, the book has some very cheesy, thin moments in the story but there were some cool concepts. There were also some fun adventures during the hunt that kept me engaged.
Spoilers: Favorite Moments
The way some of the easter eggs worked in the world was fascinating to me. There was one moment early on where an old calendar had to be placed on a wall and turned to the right month…then the setting of the whole location would move forward/backward in time to reveal clues that would have only been available during that time on the calendar. Brilliant. What a fun mechanic and a way to hide an easter egg. I haven’t played many ‘Myst’ types games in a long time but this put right back to being a kid and amazed when you uncover a clue and things happen. Such joy!
The John Hughes and Prince missions were the best part of the planet for sure. I learned a ton about the creators and gained a new respect for their work. The imagery was vivid and it brought me back to some of my favorite movies. :Chef’s Kiss: This was the most like the original book.
Diving deep into the implications of being immersed in a game for 12hrs. Again, the mechanics of how it would work to be lying still for very long extended periods of time was interesting.
- How would a user protect their real body?
- What are the effects on the mind/body?
- What does that do for the overall health of the world, does it make it rush faster to 0 since everyone wants to be in the simulated world?
- Also, the idea of conscious that can not die. With Elon’s Nueral Link and Meta pushing harder for better experiences…could this be a thing? In the book they did the bullshit thing of not letting anyone know that they are being copied as well as not giving them the option to reep the benefits of such a thing happening :-/ Yuck
His Mom’s backpack!!!! Ugg there could have been interesting tear-jerking moments that could have been pulled out there.
The whole idea of the Vonnegut spacecraft. I didn’t understand the need for this at all or how it helped move the overall story forward. It was odd.
Sorrento 🙁 I’m not sure this could have been any weaker point in the book. So many details were given to the hunt… little care was put into this character who was driving a major part of the story.
Another fast read, the first one I finished in three days because of how excited I was to see what was next, this one was about 2-3 weeks because the first few chapters really hard to get through. Honestly, the last couple of chapters were hard too. But did I have a good time…certainly. I give it a 5/10, but sequels are really hard (Return of Jafar, what a stinker). I still think Ernest Cline should be proud of the works he created and put out in the world. I’m unsure of the factors that played into this book’s release. Really cool elements and interesting thoughts but some funky decisions that made it feel sloppy. Side note: I noticed the other day he doesn’t have Twitter anymore….that made me sad a bit and I’m not sure why…but I hope it’s not because of this book.