As you may know, Ready Player Two, a direct sequel to Ernest Cline’s 2011 #1 Best Selling Book Ready Player One, released on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020. For many, it was one of the few bright spots in this wretched existence of a year.
After reading this novel in a span of forty-eight hour to properly digest the information and allusions in the novel, I have come to the conclusion that I genuinely wish that the book didn’t exist as a whole. Here are some reasons why…
Even MORE Depressing Than the Original
Fans of the book & movie is very aware of the depressing lifestyle that exists in the Ready Player universe. There’s a gross, malnourished, overpopulation, alongside a slew of various other issues prevalent in this universe. Although this may not be the focus of the book or movie, it definitely attributes to a large factor of why the world stays on a virtual realm instead of playing catch outside. If you thought that the last one, don’t even pick up this book. The first fifty pages are even more depressing than the entirety of the last novel. Now, I have to give respect to Ernest Cline as he intentionally didn’t have a genuine conversation in the first fifty pages or so intentionally to portray the mentality of the main character, which makes you feel as isolated as they do based on the bleak daily rituals & mentality you get a glimpse at in the beginning. Surely, it did not have to be THIS depressing.
No Real Character Development
One of the highlights of the previous novel was how Aech & Parzival grew with Art3mis and the rest of the High Five. It was about a bond of a team going against an evil empire that was hell-bent on taking over the physical & digital world. The camaraderie was increasing with every play and the romance existed genuinely between an socially-awkward protagonist and an almost equally socially-awkward heroine.
In this novel, sadly to say, there is not real character development throughout this book. Any semblance of it apparently occurred within the time gap that the book doesn’t explicitly cover, but is merely alluded to in a character’s mind. Additionally, the characters that are added to the story are given virtually no spotlight or notice in the slightest. Parts of the book set-up a couple of interesting characters that you hope to see more of, and you hardly do. It is a real missed opportunity in terms of expanding the cast of the story.
The Ending Killed It For Me
The entire time I was reading this book, I was asking myself the critical question all book readers need to ask; did I like this book? Well, to be honest, I was back and forth the entire time up until the end.
The start was slow, then the conflict was increasingly interesting, the new challenges the group faced were also good additions to the OASIS, the climax was a bit lackluster compared to grandiose, insane, war Ready Player One had, so all in all it wasn’t too bad– until the end.
Now, this point is entirely subjective (more so than any other point I have listed here) due to personal preferences, but I don’t have any doubt that the ending will ruin it for around half of the readers.
If you have read a novel in the same Young Adult Nerd-esque Adventure Genre titled Ender’s Game, you know that weird, awkward ending with the main character finding an alien egg on a different planet, creates a new religion, and then they just…leave us there? Yeah, this ending has the same exact weird, unnecessary tones as that one does. I won’t go into it, but the ending alone was painful to read through a first time– so much so that I highly doubt I’ll be reading this book any time soon (if I ever read it again).
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