Monday, March 21, 2022

“Ready Player Two” written by Earnest Cline,
Read by Wil Wheaton (unabridged)

This book takes place years after the end of “Ready Player One.” In it, the “High Five” who won Haliday’s contest & claimed the vast fortune as their prize, are no longer quite as close as they had once been, though they all run the company together. When  Wade Watts discovers a device called an UNI, that Haliday had created, but never released to the public, it was up to them to determine whether or not it should be, or if it should be kept secret. The UNI allowed anyone using it to be connected to the virtual world directly from their brain in a way that allowed them to feel, taste, and touch things as the haptic sensors never could. 

But was this something that was truly safe enough, and also was it something that was going to be good or bad for humanity simply because of its existence. Once the decision is made to make the UNI available to the world, it sparks a new game that Wade and his friends must solve. Haliday’s old partner Ogden Morrow was against the release of the UNI and refused to help them with solving the new puzzle. While he seems to know more than he’s saying, he won’t even give them a reason for why he doesn’t want anyone to complete the new quest. But naturally, Wade can’t just let it go, and must figure out what the new quest intends and where it leads.

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Having been a teenager in the 1980s, I appreciated the many references to events, people, music, and locations from back then. And listening to the book being read by someone who was himself easily recognizable to Star Trek Next Generation fans from his time on the show, for me added an extra layer to the fun geekiness of the characters and the plot of the story. 

There were a lot of interesting sub-themes to this book that were all very integral to the story. And while I would like to talk about them in my review, I’m afraid that doing so would give away too many spoilers. So all I truly feel comfortable in saying is that if you enjoyed “Ready Player One” you will also enjoy this book. It is a very fun and entertaining mishmash of 1980s trivia and nostalgia. And I found the story both interesting and entertaining, though I don't think it will be for everyone. (I freely admit that I am a sucker for 1980s trivia, and there is a lot of it in this book.)

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