Finished Ready Player One.
I felt cheated by its incredibly simplistic ending and the not at all challenging message of, “Real Life is better than Virtual Life.” Have to say that it’s a great fun run and I really enjoyed Cline’s imagination of all the things one can do in a fantasy game — but they are not so out of what people have already created (except for the total immersion suits but that will come soon enough). When a story is set against a dystopian backdrop and when the characters start the tale by thinking of the big picture, one expects that there are some elements at the end of the tale that mirror or reflect what were presented at the beginning of the story. Mr. Cline did not accomplish that: instead, the story quickly turned into a simple tale of teenage love affair and taking down one evil enemy (or an evil entity) who is not much more than a painted cardboard villain: two-dimensional and quite shallow. So, I guess, I’m chalking this up to a book that I can easily recommend it to teens for pleasure reading but if I want to show anyone that Science Fiction is THE genre that comments on society and challenges many of our accepted notions of modern day life, I will go to so many other books, and not this one. (Epic by Kostick, written for readers as young as 10, deals with so much more ethical and societal issues set in the virtual reality game in a dystopic future, with much action and effective character development comes to mind.)