READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline
Verdict: The most predictable book I wouldn't be able to write.
The hunt is on to find the egg, hidden inside an endless virtual world known as the OASIS, and shrouded in eighties references. Whoever finds it will inherit the creator's empire and entire fortune, which naturally means an evil corporation is playing dirty to win the contest. However, it's Wade, a poor orphan obsessed with OASIS's creator, who finds the first key. Game on!
This had a slow start, probably because of the predictable plot and generous heaps of exposition and references. At first, Wade talked a lot about OASIS without being able to explore it, but it's clear that's where the story is going. It didn't help that I correctly predicted the first 100 pages with ridiculous accuracy, or that the prologue tells us how the story will kick off, but Wade is in no hurry to get there. I knew the hoops we'd need to jump through for the rest of the main plot, so it felt slow going most of the time.
The details in this book are insane. This is a proudly nerdy book, a history lesson in early video games and 80's film and music. Sometimes the detailed descriptions were too much; a whole chapter describing the character's routine and equipment was too much information for me - I just wanted the hunt to continue. But then again, the details are what make this book special. Unique. It only could be written by Ernest Cline.
The predictability ended on level 3, for a little while anyway. This section starts with an impossible puzzle, a risky plan, and real mix up of what was happening before.
So I enjoyed learning about the world, even if I did also feel impatient to get going somewhere. And it's still an entertaining read, even if it's very guessable.