Rating: 2 Stars
Published: July 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
“The apple had fallen right next to the crazy tree.”
Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.
But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.
And then he sees the flying saucer.
Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.
No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.
It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?
At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon. (Summary taken from Penguin Random House)
Ernest Cline is the genius behind Fanboys and Ready Player One. This anticipated novel has been on my radar for a long time. And while I have heard many wonderful things about Ready Player One, I have yet to read it. I know. The horror. Follow him on Twitter, Goodreads, and check out his website.
From what I have gathered from my friends Ready Player One is a singularly epic reading experience that is hard to top even for the author that wrote it. That being said, it’s clear why I’m so disappointed with Armada.
I consider myself a fan of sci-fi. I’m a Star Wars/ Star Trek (only in the sense of the new movies, sorry)/Marvel/ Doctor Who/LOTR fan. I play video games sometimes (Kingdom Hearts, Super Paper Mario). A good portion of my friends in college are gamers/nerds/fanboys. I’ve been to con. I dream of going to ComicCon one day. I’m like geek-lite because it’s not the majority of my interests but I do value that side of me.
This book was just too much for me. It was over my threshold in the same way that The Martian had too much science for me. The book had a lot of pop culture references, which I normally love, but it was a little over the top for me. Don’t get me wrong, there were parts that I liked and appreciated but the over all effect didn’t work for me.
It had a lot of cliches and insta-love. Insta-love is the WORST.
The ending set up a sequel, which I will probably not read. I know a lot of people will love this book and continue to enjoy his writing but it’s not for me. I’m still interested in reading Ready Player One because I do think I’ll enjoy that.
Thank you, Blogging for Books, for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.