Book Review: Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

Looking for your next read? Check out Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline, reviewed by Fulco Library staff, Kay C.

Ready Player Two picks up a few years after the conclusion of Cline’s first book, Ready Player One, and the High Five’s winning of Halliday’s Contest. Our heroes are still friends and are connected as joint owners of the Gregarious Simulation Systems, but each has followed his or her own path and is growing into adulthood on their own terms. Our hero, Wade/Parzival is still a diehard OASIS user and, like the vast majority of OASIS users, he loves the upgraded ONI interface that hardwires the user’s brain into a vastly improved virtual reality experience. The ubiquitous presence of AI across humanity is working swimmingly until its stability is threatened by a far more difficult challenge presented by an evil AI version of Halliday’s avatar known as Anorak. The consequences of what will happen if the High Five fail to solve this challenge in time are unthinkable.

As someone who is not a fan of fantasy or sci-fi, The Ready Player books are still fun, fast reads with characters who are easy to care about and settings that make me want to go re-read, re-watch and again listen to some of the high – and low – points that made the 80s such a fun and unique time to be a teenager. Cline’s ability to write engaging characters and instantly familiar scenarios is what makes the books so addictive. No spoilers, but the trip to John Hughes’ Shermer, IL is a high point of the novel.

The overarching theme of RP2 is that AI is an addiction that once set in motion is very, very difficult to slow and habit that can be deadly to kick and that we should think very hard about how much we should allow technology to dictate how we manage our lives.

Check out Ready Player Two on Libby, or from your branch's shelves with your library card today!

Ready Player Two

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