Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 11 hours and 58 minutes (368 pages)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and absolutely loved it, so I was very curious to read Cline’s next book. This was a decent book with an interesting premise. I thought it was a bit predictable, but it was fun to read all the same.
I listened to this on audiobook and it was narrated by Wil Wheaton. He did a fantastic job narrating this book. The characters all had distinct voices and Wheaton did a great job portraying emotion as well. I really enjoy listening to audiobooks narrated by him.
Zack Lightman has two obsessions: the video game Armada and the vintage video game and sci-fi materials his dad left behind after his death. He spends most of his time obsessing over both. He works at a video game store and avoids any topic involving his future (much to his mother’s frustration). Then he sees a spaceship outside his window…a spaceship from the video game Armada. Imagine his surprise when a secret organization offers him a position fighting for the human race…it’s a position he’s been training for his whole life through the video games he plays.
As Zack reels from the information that video gamers across the globe have been unknowingly training to save humanity from alien invasion he can’t help but feel that something is a bit off. The way the aliens react seems familiar and a bit stupid…what exactly is going on here?
This was a well science fiction story with a few big twists. There is a lot of 80’s paraphernalia in here again, which should appeal to those who enjoyed Ready Player One. There is also a lot of video gaming which should appeal to gamers. I mean isn’t it kind of every gamers’ dream that their gaming skills will one day save the world? Not to mention that the whole idea of your everyday human controlling drones in war seems like something that maybe isn’t all that far in the future.
This book takes place over the span of a day, and man what a day it is. A lot happens in the day and one revelation after another leaves poor Zack reeling. I really enjoyed Zack as a character, and I loved the great relationship he has with his mom (his mom is pretty darn cool).
I just couldn’t give this 5 stars because it was so predictable. There are just too many things in here that are supposed to be twists that were absolutely predictable right from the beginning of the book. I think maybe there was too much foreshadowing throughout the story and it just made the big reveals kind of…well…boring.
Overall this is a decently done science fiction novel that was a fun read. It should appeal to fans of 80’s gaming culture and gamers in general. There is the whole alien invasion theme to it so fans of those kind of stories will probably enjoy this. This book didn’t have the same level of awesomeness as Ready Player One, but let’s be honest that is a pretty hard book to follow up. It’s a fun read and I would recommend it.