[Review] Ready Player Two – Ernest Cline: Bland and Disappointing 🎮

Ready Player Two is easily the most underwhelming book I’ve read this year.

Release Date: 24 November 2020
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Available formats: Hardback, eBook and Audiobook.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

An unexpected quest. Two worlds at stake. Are you ready?

Days after Oasis founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis a thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. A last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade’s life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.

Basically, it’s not great. This was both a rip off of Sword Art Online AND boring! I have no idea why it exists or what the point of this sequel was. It doesn’t build on anything from the first book or present anything new that’s actually any good!

Wade is creepy as fuck in this book, is super unlikeable and a complete departure from the heart-of-gold nerdy underdog gamer which really helped to carry the first book. The plot carries no weight; its just not exciting. One of the criticisms of Ready Player One was the ‘diversity bingo’ of H’s character (with the two other named female characters limited to love interests), so in this book there’s lots of talk about women’s contribution to gaming and sexism in the community. Problem is this doesn’t feel sincere at all and I was cringing every time this was mention. Also the choice to reveal a new character is trans, then immediately go on to say that a lot of people were trans now because of all the extreme virtual reality porn they’re watching is just… YIKES.

The nerdy word vomits from the previous novel are so much worse here; its not even enjoyable and I couldn’t even tell you what was referenced because it was delivered in the least informative or creative way. It’s as if Cline just brought up the relevant Wikipedia entries and copy-pasted them into his subpar story.

There are some pretty glaring plot holes, minimal character development, doesn’t even finish any of the themes presented in the beginning and ends on something that hadn’t been introduced until the second to last chapter and isn’t fleshed out properly.

Do not recommend. Only read it if you want to experience how bad it is first-hand. *shrugs*

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