Being an avid video game player my whole life, I knew as soon as I heard about this book that I should read it. However, I went most of last year with a sample of it on my Kindle without actually reading it, so I decided to make it my second book of 2015.
First of all, I must say that for fans of the 80’s, this book would certainly be a nostalgic read. However, as a 90’s kid, I didn’t get most of the references that had to do with music and TV shows back then. I did appreciate the video game and movie references, and I was laughing out loud reading the scenes that talked about Monty Python.
However, overall it is hard to categorize my feelings on this book. I tend to read a lot of dystopian novels, and the world building in this book fell short of my expectation. I feel like he had so much power to really stretch the boundaries of the video game world, but he often played it safe. There wasn’t as much suspense as I would have liked, mostly because the main character, Wade, never made me feel his emotions. He would say in one line that he felt scared and then move on.
If you are someone who likes plot driven stories, this is definitely a perfectly good read. I am happy I read it, although the writing didn’t measure up to my expectations. The book definitely gets you thinking about how our world would be if it were completely taken over by video games where no one ever interacted with each other in person. It’s not hard to imagine this happening if we forget to appreciate the IRL (in real life) relationships we have.
If you watch video games in passing and just happen to like a few 80’s movies, perhaps this book will go over your head. Cline tends to name drop a lot and I found myself looking up pictures of characters to be able to envision them better. His writing needs some work, but the book is a fun read, despite the heavy amount of telling rather than showing and information dumps.