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Armada by Ernest Cline: Gamers! iiin Spaaaaace

Do you guys remember Ready Player One? Do you remember how AMAZING and fun it was and how you wanted to re-read it even though you rarely re-read books because omg there are SO MANY BOOKS and life is finite, so how can you justify the time? Remember all that?



Right, so that guy wrote another book.

Armada is basically Ender's Game + The Last Starfighter, and Cline definitely puts a lampshade on that particular aspect. The main character, Zack is in high school, plays video games all the time, and is very very very much obsessed with his dead dad. Then one day he looks out the window of his classroom and -- hey, it's one of the spaceships from the main video game he plays, which is called -- wait for it -- Armada.

So the book goes from there. There're some pop culture references thrown in, but honestly...while entertaining enough, this one let me down a bit. I couldn't help thinking that part of the reason Cline's insane number of referenced copyrighted items went down so much is that he was thinking about a movie deal the whole time. And the main fun part of Ready Player One was that the protagonist goes to places like the Tyrell Corporation from Blade Runner, and has to solve puzzles using knowledge from areas of nerdery.

Didn't know THAT, did ya

You spend most of Armada knowing how it's gonna go down. It's still fun along the way, barring the introduction of "cool gamer girl" who is instantly charmed by Zack's "m'lady"-style flirting. I think I was actually really on board with the book until that point. Cline does a pretty good job of including people of color and having diverse characters, but this is still a Dude Dominated book, and it's very focused on kids with dad issues, which.....I personally am not fond of.

BUT. Cline's writing is easy and fun like before, and while I gave this a 3/5 instead of Ready Player One's definite 5/5, it's always pretty awesome reading about the trope of the kid who suddenly has to help save the world. I'd say read, but maybe don't buy and cherish forever. Which you should definitely do for Ready Player One

...you should read Ready Player One

(Note: I definitely got a copy of this from the publisher, and while that obvs didn't prevent me from saying the issues I had with it, still, TRANSPARENCY AND SO FORTH)

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