In a not too distant future, the economy has crumbled, energy is hard to come by and earth’s population is living on top of each other in the cities. Literally. Wade lives in a trailer park where the homes are stacked on top of each other and you run the constant risk of being mugged. It’s no surprise that for many the escape of the virtual world inside OASIS is such a draw. When the creator of the system, Halliday, dies he leaves in his will a clause; his fortune and control of OASIS goes to whoever finds the easter egg he has hidden in the code.

At the start of the story, it’s been several years since the hunt for the egg started and there are thousands of β€œgunters” who take the challenge very seriously. Halliday was a fan of 70s and 80s pop culture and therefore the gunters learn as much as possible in their quest for the egg. If you get nostalgic about computer games or remember the 80s fondly, I think this will be right up your street. Whilst I’m not a big gamer myself, I have grown up with the evolution of computers and have been on the edge of geekery for quite some time. I spent a lot of my teens in a MUD and I can remember pixels being a common feature in games!

I’ve heard from several sources that girl gamers often get a raw deal online. I think they will be pleased to see female gamers portrayed in a positive light throughout the story. They’re just as good as the boys, if not better!

There are underlying issues that are addressed beneath all the fun gaming adventures. For many, the virtual world is an important escape from other troubles or they only way for people to be themselves. If only real life had a mute function for bullies!

I started recommending Ready Player One to my geek friends before I’d even finished it It’s going to be a Marmite book though, you’ll either love it or hate it. Though I would suggest it as a stocking filler for those awkward relatives who already have every gadget or game going. There’s a good chance they won’t have heard of this book and I’m sure they will enjoy it if they can put down their consoles long enough to read a few pages.

I’ve included both covers, as I much prefer the retro UK one but I received the US one to review via NetGalley. Thanks to Crown for providing me with a copy, I would have probably missed out otherwise!