This book was reccomended to me by a friend of mine and I'm really glad she did, because what a great find!
Set in the near future, the world has continued on its current path of self destruction to the point where it is a dystopian environment. OASIS, a virtual reality simulation, is a part of day to day life and teenager, Wade Watts, escape from the world. When the creator of OASIS dies without an heir, he leaves behind his fortune to whoever can figure out the pieces of the puzzle he left behind which leads to an intense scavenger hunt across his virtual world.
This book had everything I loved in it - gaming, '80s pop culture references, D&D modules, etc. I was whooping out loud with joy at several moments through my read. And more than once I even shouted an explative or two because I was so caught up with the scene playing on in front of my eyes.
But I will be honest, as much fun as I had reading this and as much as I enjoyed the story, it is not a book for everyone. For starters, there is alot of long stretches of pure info dumps. Now the info dumps do help set the stage of the world and alot of the info in them comes up again, but for example, the action of the book itself really doesn't start until about chapter 7 (about page 69 on my paperback). For some, that is too much and I can see readers not wanting to stay tuned in. But being a massive geek myself, I knew all the references that were presented, so it made me incredibly nostalgic.
I think this book really is intended to be appreciated by hard core geeks and gamers. I'd imagine someone outside of that sub culture to have a difficult time understanding or caring for the story. But if you do happen to be a totaly dork like me - then it's great!
In my heart, this book is a 5-star to me based on the sheer fun it was to read, but to be a fair reviewer, I feel the need to take all things into consideration so I have deducted 1 star off for the multiple blocks of info dumps which, while important, could perhaps have been worked in a little more seemlessly to keep the pacing up.