Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Video Games

Book of the Week: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Book of the Week

Every Saturday I will talk about my favorite book that I read during the week, whether it be a review or a spotlight, or maybe having the author over to talk about it. Who doesn’t want more happy bookish goodness? ^.^

This week I’m gushing about: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Released On: August 16th, 2011

Summary From Goodreads

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt–among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life–and love–in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

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Well that is one of the longest summaries I’ve come across. o_o On the bright side that means you know enough about the book now so that I can just gush nonsensically and everything will be just fine. Right? Maybe? Well I hope so because…

I LOVED THIS BOOOOOOK!!! ^.^

love

This book brought out all of my geeky/nerdy/gamer happy feels and made me want to do nothing but play some of my favorite classic games for approximately the rest of time. However, I’m kinda doing this book thing, so I’ll settle for that instead. ^.^

Ready Player One is about video games. There are dystopian feels to it, messages underneath it all about what is important and what not, but seriously, video games. Oh and the 1980s. That combination had me dancing around in my chair and loving every minute as more and more references to classic videogames and tiny details about stuff like Dungeons and Dragons were unleashed like a tidal wave of awesome.

OH, and it helped that the characters were fantastic, the romance was soooo cute, and it didn’t hurt that Artemis (the love interest) seemed like someone I would have fallen for myself. Darn my weakness for cute gamer girls. The humor and banter these two have too!

Plus this complex video game world that Cline created is nothing short of marvelous. I had no problem believing that a world could become obsessed with something like it, I know I would. It also gave me flashbacks to the world of Veelox in the Pendragon series which never hurts. So many different worlds to explore, the highest of stakes with your irl (in real life) future tied to the video game one you create, and a truly immersive feel? Yes please!

The writing style worked wonderfully for me, I couldn’t put it down, and there were enough twists to keep me guessing even at the very end! I loved every bit of Ready Player One and I know I’ll revisit this book as soon as possible, it’s just excellent. A sincere thank you to Kat at Katytastic for hyping this one up so much until I couldn’t ignore it any longer! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #8/365; Mount TBR Challenge #7/200; 2014 TBR Pile #7/50; New Author Challenge #4/50

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Beasts of the Field by James A. West: Frodo’s Review

Beasts of the Field

Summary From GoodreadsBeasts of the Field

They are building a better world.
No more hunger.
No more poverty.
No more corruption.
Utopia is within our grasp—and there is no escape.

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Beasts of the Field is a gritty way of depicting how easily the government, or any large power, could control us. Human susceptibility, inner darkness shown on the outside for all humanity to see, that is what this book depicts. It is freaky, jarring and it works so well because of how plausible the scenario really is. Using a game to control the population would never be easier than in today’s society where seemingly everyone has a phone capable of playing games on them at all times. West doesn’t hold back in shedding light on how humanity might react if we were faced with a supposed utopia, one that might not be morally sound and that wasn’t optional. Human primal urges are on full display in Beasts of the Field.

One thing you should know going into Beasts of the Field is that it uses a lot of points of view, and I mean a lot. It can be confusing, though I think that may be intentional since the book itself is built on a premise of pure chaos. Even the powers that unleashed the game might not be able to control the results so it is only fitting that the reader be as confused as the characters within. Anyway, back to the point I was trying to make, so many POVs. They are all interesting, the character each twisted in their own unique way, and each is vital to the story/plot somehow, but keeping track of who you are listening to and what’s going on is a feat. So if you aren’t into that sort of read I’d look elsewhere. I enjoyed it though, it made my brain get a workout.

The action in Beasts of the Field is really intense. You jump from one crazy display of human ferocity to the next and watch as the characters try their best to survive, and really try to understand what is going on, with varying levels of success. There are different tactics used, from going on the offensive and attacking the “enemy”, to hunkering down and trying to hide and even just attempting to escape. It’s pretty fascinating to “watch” and I was just as curious to see what would work as the characters were.

There isn’t too much else to say about the book. It’s creepy but thought provoking, gory but rich in depth and I really enjoyed it. I know West wasn’t going to release this book because it isn’t “mainstream” but I am really glad he did and that he’s allowing this side of him out to the bookish masses. I can’t wait to read more of his work that is in this vein. Definitely check it out and thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #115/200

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