Yes, I only finished this book now. And boy, did I enjoy it.
Without giving too much away, this is a story about a young man living in an online-dependent world in the year 2044. Life is only partially lived in the real world where much of it is a wasteland and filled with, but most everyone around the world live their real lives online through a virtual world called the Oasis. The Oasis gives essentially gives everyone a chance to live out a different life than the one they have in the real world under the guise of their avatar. With enough credits, they can “travel” anywhere and do a whole lot more than what they’re physical selves can do.
And one of the creators of The Oasis has created a contest of a lifetime. The first person to solve the puzzles through the clues that he has laden with 80s references and you could win a mass fortune.
Wade Watts is one of those people. Author Ernest Cline lets us experience these challenges through Wade’s eyes, and he’s done an impressive telling of it for his debut novel. Wade is not unlike many people I know and have grown up with, especially when it comes to those who are fanatical about one thing or another, be it sports or games or movies. So, this kid is pretty relatable, and pretty likeable.
He doesn’t come across as arrogant or pitiful or vengeful, although he can be a bit obsessive, but in this story, that’s an advantage. Because the puzzles are ridiculously challenging and that’s what makes this story even more fun to read.