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Pay It Forward

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline 3-4 stars. I keep changing my mind.This book is unlike anything ive encountered on the bookshelves before. Imagine an arcade/internet/video game inspired world, decorated with sections of 80's retro pop culture including (but not limited to) pac man, bladerunner and that catchy song "3 is the magic number". In Ready Player One, Oasis is practically that. An internet style gaming world where you can literally live, attend school, and search for the holy grail. Despite always claiming my rights to call myself an 80's baby (technically I was born in the 80's), I'm not at large an 80's fan. Despite this, I still enjoyed this. Many reviews have critisized the lack of futuristic developments outside of the oasis community, and whilst that is true, I did not think this was an integral part of the story. Instead, the book focuses on finding the treasure that is hidden inside the Oasis, left their by its creator prior to his demise. This of course is the plot of the story, and it's a good one. Despite the first 100 pages of information overload, the story is an adventure ridden one and once the action begins its a tonne of fun. That said, the book does have it's flaws. The characters lacked depth and despite being in 1st person point of view for 400 pages, I still feel as if I hardly knew the main character. Why did Wade want the treasure so badly? Was his obsession with 80's pop culture only the result of wanting the treasure so badly? The romance, whilst cute, felt out of place. The one redeeming relationship in my eyes was that between Wade and Aitch and their love and obsession for all things 80's.The main thing, for me, however was the references to pop culture. They are explained to you in wikipedia detail and by the time the explanations happen it ruins the reference. Im not explaining this in the best manner, but do you remember watching an episode of the simpsons as a kid and not quite understanding all the references until you'd actually seen the movie/show it was referencing? Regardless the book is fun and original. Personally I'm more of a YA, paranormal fan, but 80's enthusiasts and video game lovers will enjoy this.