FICTION

Ready Player Two

Books on Tape. 2020. 1,330p. ISBN 9780593396957. $45. F
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This second installment picks up shortly after the events of Ready Player One and quickly fast-forwards. Wade Watts and the surviving members of the High Five are now in charge of running the OASIS, an online simulation that also helps run the world. Not long after winning James Halliday’s original contest, Wade stumbles upon another Easter egg hidden within Halliday’s vaults. Inside the egg is a new technology that allows users to experience the OASIS in an incredibly immersive, and addictive, way. It also triggers a fresh quest. A powerful new nemesis appears, forcing Wade, Samantha, Aech, and Shoto to come together to find the rest of the quest items in a life-or-death race against the clock. Many readers will enjoy Cline’s trademark deep dives into pop culture references from the 1980s, though some may not connect with readers unfamiliar with the source material. Wil Wheaton, who narrated Ready Player One, once again brings something special to the story through his enthusiastic reading, giving parts that may drag on the page a bit more life and excitement.
VERDICT The story will make much more sense, and be far more enjoyable, to listeners already familiar with Ready Player One (either the book or the movie) and those who have general knowledge about movies, music, and games from the 80s. The audiobook version is definitely worth the time investment due to Wheaton’s expert narration.

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