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Ready Player Two: A Novel by Ernest Cline
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Ready Player Two: A Novel (edition 2020)

by Ernest Cline (Author)

Series: Ready Player One (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2105912,399 (3.12)38
Member:Erikapayne
Title:Ready Player Two: A Novel
Authors:Ernest Cline (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (2020), Edition: First Edition, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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Ready Player Two: A Novel by Ernest Cline

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» See also 38 mentions

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"Don't you kids ever get tired of picking through the wreckage of a past generation's nosalgia?"

Sorry for the Neg but that was surprisingly good. But first it is a bit odd that these books use 1980's nostalgia so much given that they're also designed for an audiance that didn't live in the 80's. Apparently the word i should be using is Anemoia.
Anemoia (noun): Nostalgia for a time you've never known.

Anyway the first book was quite disappointing, not terrible by any means but certainly with a lot of flaws in its pacing and worldbuilding. I was not happy when i received the sequel as a gift.
However the author has improved a lot between books and there really are no obvious flaws this time.
Towards the end the pacing may seem a little fast but given the nature of the story i think certain priorities had to be made and the quest stuff from the first book was sacrificed a bit but it was the best decision in the circumstance in my opinion.

I had a number of reservations after the first few chapters. I figured since the protagonist got eveything he wanted in the first book the second would have to be about holding onto what he had which is a less compelling story. However this book goes in a very different less personal direction which avoids this problem and many problems of sequels.

Also this is a much darker book and i felt like the Quest portions would feel out of place given the stakes involved but again the author surprised me. The characters are still able to have fun even amidst the darkness but more than that it feels natural when they're happy... rather than forced.

There are also many poignant and interestingly modern ideas in here. So yeah very impressive overall. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
I wasn’t thrilled with the first third or so of the book, with Q making sketchy decisions about his personal life choices, not to mention connecting people’s brains into the Oasis and all that, but once the villain was revealed, it definitely was more interesting.

The middle was enjoyable, back to the vibe of the first book; plenty of teamwork and fawning over 80s pop culture, pretty fun and relatively light hearted. The end was not unexpected, but well resolved.

The very end, tho, was what got me. This is when the story turned from being mere entertainment with a bit of a moral to a rumination on immortality and what seems to be the belief that we can, and indeed should, seek it out. It was intriguing to read, an unexpected deep dive that stuck with me for days, providing a thought experiment that I actually really enjoyed. ( )
  Annrosenzweig | Oct 15, 2021 |
Another adventure/video game/futuristic thing. Not sure this set of characters was up for a sequel. t/he chapter where they battle the seven versions of Prince is hilarious, but it doesn't mean to be. ( )
  mojomomma | Oct 15, 2021 |
OKAY.. Ready PlayerTwo, sequel by Ernest Cline... Unfortunately, suggestion by many friends did not hold true, it did disappoint. It was as expected, a well crafted geek fest that picked up where the other left off, ended satisfactory, and was a little too full of geeky detail, BUT ultimately achieved a “okay not great” trophy.. I look forward to a movie version ;)

Great book? Meh. Enjoyed it? Sure... Suggest to others? Yup (see notes below).. standalone? Nope.. If you haven’t read the first book, dont skip to this one.

Deeper notes..

Annoyances.. While Ready Player One was chock full of pop culture detail that was very accessible to most people, Player Two went a bit further into the back catalog of geekiness and presented stuff I just was not able to handle. Was a bit of a miss when Cline reaches down deep and pulls out games no one I know has ever heard of, songs by bands that (while the band/song is good) are not memorable to most, and deeeeep Tolkien references beyond my caring. I just couldnt get behind it.

Likewise, a second quest for a prize left me lackluster and unimpressed.

Redeeming qualities.. I loved that this book calls to the carpet:
Geek boys who feel entitled to the girl as a prize,
The game industry not giving credit to women,
The utter lack of diversity in 80’s classic films,
Ownership of personal data,
Risks of AI,
The shortsightedness of immersion into alternate realities,
The (heavy handed) amazingness of Prince and Morris Day/The Time ( )
  Toast.x2 | Sep 23, 2021 |
Ready Player One was a story of an underdog against a megacorporation. It was an adventure romp through nostalgia, geekdom, and pop-culture that empowered the little guy. In retrospect the realities of that first book are fairly dark: that an incredibly unfair wealth disparity would continue to exist and this one lone figure would inherit it all based not on any actual merit, but because he out-shined the others in their absolute obssessive study and praise of a narcissistic programmer. There's so much there to be criticised and debated, but that layer comes later. First is the adventure-romp, later is the cultural criticism.

Ready Player Two is not that. By necessity our heroes are no longer the plucky underdogs. They are now the leaders of the impossibly gross monopoly that controls the lives of everyone on Earth. It is given to them to decide whether people are ready or not for a technological advancement that will clearly shift the nature of humanity. Since these misfits are just random gamer nerds it comes as no surprise that they force the decision without giving it any thought or study. Horribleness ensues.

By the time we reach the adventure plot our main character has been revealed to be emotionally stunted, petty, and immature. While that may be an interesting starting point for the plucky underdog to overcome this time he's the unfathombly rich guy in charge of literally everything. It's not charming. It's dark.

When his actions lead to a life-or-death crisis for billions there's no doubt that it was his fault. The fact that he's left in the position to fix it doesn't make things better, but worse. As the model from the first book comes back into focus--jumping from geekdom to pop-culture reference--it is without any joy. There's a doom hanging over all of it. This isn't an adventure of a hero, but a slog where every delay could cost the lives of innocents. Each moment of joy the heroes experience comes at a real cost for the rest of humanity.

There are moments of interesting action, fun cultural references, colorful imagery, and comedic moments; but overall the tone of the book is crippled by the stunted emotional development of the hero and his poor decisions that have caused all the trouble. This book is cultural commentary first, adventure-romp second, and that just doesn't work for me. ( )
  jamestomasino | Sep 11, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ernest Clineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Maureen O'Keefe Cline
and her namesake
Maureen O'Keefe Aptowicz
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After I won Halliday's contest, I remained offline for nine straight days—a new personal record.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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