Thursday, May 20, 2021

Fiction Review: Ready Player Two

NOTE: If you have not yet read Ready Player One, click the link to see that review, to avoid spoilers. This is a review of the sequel.


I gave Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline to my husband for Christmas, he recently read it, and then it was my turn! (Best kind of gifts, right?) My husband, son, and I all loved the first book, Ready Player One, (and the movie) and have been looking forward to the sequel.

The novel begins just nine days after the end of Ready Player One. Wade, Samantha, Shoto, and Aech are now the co-owners of GSS and its immersive virtual world, OASIS. On his first official day at work, Wade discovers a new technology that Halliday left for him. He and the others agree (with Samantha against) to release the new technology, which quickly begins to change the world, not necessarily always in good ways. A year later, Wade is struggling. He has not handled fame and fortune well and is living the kind of isolated, mostly virtual existence that Halliday once lived. But Halliday also left behind a new quest that was revealed shortly after the new technology was adopted. No one has made much progress in the quest in the past year, but now events in the real world make the quest suddenly urgent, with real-life consequences. Wade and his friends set to work to complete the very complex quest, but this time, the fate of the world is at stake and they have very limited time.


The sequel follows much the same formula as the first book, with Wade and his friends working in OASIS to solve this quest; however, the stakes are much higher now. As in the first novel, the story is loaded with fun pop culture references, especially from classic science fiction and the 80's. In working through the quest, they visit virtual worlds associated with Prince, John Hughes’ movies from the 80’s (I particularly enjoyed those chapters), and early Tolkien, among others. The author also weaves in some ethical issues about technology advances and A.I., which makes this novel a bit more thought-provoking. I found the early chapters a bit slow (and a bit depressing), but hang in there: the action really picks up by about page 100, and the rest of the novel carries the fast-paced exploits fans loved in the first book. I enjoyed this fun new adventure with life-or-death consequences in and out of OASIS.


366 pages, Ballantine Books


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  1. I agree, I thought it preserved the fast-paced fun of the first book with some interesting questions about technology use.

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, too!

  2. I've heard mixed reviews of this second novel in the series and while I really liked the first one (though I skimmed some of the video game descriptions), I haven't picked this one up yet. I did love the '80s references!

    1. There were some slow sections for me in this one, but overall, I enjoyed it!