GOODREADS SUMMARY | Crown Publishing | Hardcover, 368 pp. | July 14th, 2015 | Adult Fiction | Science Fiction | Rating: all the stars in the galaxy!
I don’t really get all the not-so nice reviews on Goodreads about this book. And frankly, I don’t really care. All I know is that this book deserves more adoration than the anaemic reception it’s been getting. This was just as brilliant as the author’s debut work, and I’m probably one of the few people who has no qualms to say that I enjoyed this more than RPO.
What it’s about.
Unlike RPO, this book is set in the immediate present. We’re introduced to a boy who, much like Wade Watts, is more comfortable socializing on-line than with people in real life. His unquenchable thirst for any information regarding his deceased father led to his fascination with video games. Particularly, a flight simulator game called Armada, in which he’s ranked 6th world-wide. One day, while he was lost in his thoughts about how much being in school sucks, he sees a flying saucer similar to that of an enemy ship from the game. It turns out that the game is very real; the enemy ship is real, and the game is actually meant for the United States government to train fighters for the coming war against interstellar enemies.
It’s a war that has been brewing for decades. One that almost guarantees the extinction of planet Earth. But who are our enemies, really? What do they want that they refused any peaceful communications between two planets? Whatever their endgame is, earthlings will have to band together to defend their home turf.
Why you should read it
I said this on my RPO review that I’m not the most patient person when it comes to Sci-Fi. I don’t like putting too much strain on the old noggin’. Ernest Cline’s books have certainly tested my limits. The thing about his books is that they read so effortlessly. Regardless of your comprehension level, the book doesn’t read like you have to work hard to imagine what was happening right then and there.
Much of this book’s critics have touched on its similarities to Ender’s Game and The Last Starfighter. Because I know nothing about those two, I was able to appreciate it as a new concept. And though I’m not into the whole space scene, there was enough human element in the story line to make it less Science Fiction-like. You know, sterile and clinical.
There was a big twist that I sort of saw from a mile away, but that didn’t diminish my adoration for this book any. Much like RPO, Cline’s penchant for 80s inspired gaming and culture showed prominence. And even though I didn’t get most of them (yet again), Cline’s predilection to details more than compensated for my lack of knowledge.
The movie rights has already been sold for this book. And I couldn’t be more thrilled! It’ll be exciting to see this in the big screen! I don’t care what the critics say, Cline gave what the fans have been asking for all these years. Sure it wasn’t a sequel to RPO, but Armada did its best to scratch that annoying itch, at least.