Your SPECIAL EDITION Late To The Party Quarter’s Worth
DORKSLAYER: Defending Ernest Cline’s READY PLAYER TWO
A funny thing happened in the almost six months since READY PLAYER TWO dropped. Everybody’s said it sucks.
But how could that be? READY PLAYER ONE is the best science-fiction fanboy novel ever written. It speaks to entire generations that grew up planted in front of screens. It was their hobbies, their interests, and their youth.
Ernest Cline’s other novel, ARMADA, was a great read too. It’s Ender’s Game meets Spaced Invaders meets…well. . .READY PLAYER ONE.
Cline’s batting 1000 stepping to the plate with this sequel. So why has a whole community of geeks and the entire internet turned against READY PLAYER TWO?
To begin with we must read the book, right?
Not according to the mass of reviewers who trashed the book and gave it one or two stars on Goodreads and Amazon before its November 24th 2020 release date.
Some reviews even date back as far early 2018, two and a half years before the book hit shelves.
READY PLAYER TWO‘s publisher, Ballantine Books, didn’t even advance any copies for critics to review, so how was it possible? Do the trolls have access to a time travelling DeLorean?
Where was the vitriol coming from?
Even the majority of the staff here at 5280 Geek thought the book stunk.
This is Ernest Cline’s is target audience. Did Cline finally whiff?
I ignored all the hype and read READY PLAYER TWO anyway.
I’m a fan of Cline’s work. I have faith that the sequel to my all-time favorite book will be far better that what I’ve heard about it since before it dropped.
So what was the verdict???
READY PLAYER TWO didn’t deserve the hate. It’s not just not bad. It’s pretty darn good.
It’s definitely not READY PLAYER ONE, but it’s fun. It hits a lot of the same chords that the first did, but with a whole new adventure and quests.
The book does start off rough.
The protagonist, Wade Watts, is mopey and unrelatable in the wake of his massive inheritance and his blown relationship with girlfriend Art3mis as a result of his actions since.
The opening chapters read like the autobiography by Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos when not assisted by skilled ghost writers.
Then the game begins.
Wade isn’t afforded much time to wallow when his recently deceased idle returns and hits him with the second quest of his lifetime. With its advent the story takes off.
VR and AR, Prince and Molly Ringwald, AI and the Singularity, and of course D&D and SEGA MASTER SYSTEM, all weave together to create the epic everyone who consumed READY PLAYER ONE expected.
Despite being unable to escape the negative buzz, READY PLAYER TWO turned out to be a solid book. 1.5 quarters’ worth out of two to be exact.
Diverse and relatable characters, allegory, and pure fun await those able to wade through the book’s murky first chapters—pardon the dorky pun.
The pacing is intense. The story plays out exactly like readers should expect from the mind of Ernest Cline; geeky fun!
Was READY PLAYER TWO as good as READY PLAYER ONE? Definitely not.
Was it an adequate follow-up to one of the most entertaining books ever written? Absolutely!
If you read READY PLAYER ONE and loved it, but are unsure about giving READY PLAYER TWO a shot, ignore the hype and negative preconception and experience it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
But if you hate it, you can always take to the internet and trash READY PLAYER THREE before Cline announces he’s going to write it.
Written by John Andreula
Edits and Photoshop assist by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk