Armada by Ernest Cline

16278318Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

“Oh, grow some balls! If killing these alien dipshits is half as easy as it is in the game, we’re gonna kick their European asses!”

“Europan, Milo,” I said. “You. Rope. An. Not European.”

Well.. This is a tricky one.

Most authors don’t write a debut novel that is as amazeballs as Ready Player One. Ernest Cline had some really high expectations placed on him for this book. Most authors write a few books, then find their blockbuster success. That’s not the case with him.

I enjoyed this book, but it’s not without it’s issues; [spoilers ahead]
1.) His dad has a definite death wish.
2.)  Based on the information, his dog is at least 17. Dogs don’t live that long
3.) His father had sex with his 38 year old mother ONCE and she got pregnant. What are the odds.
All these things made me roll my eyes.

But this book also had all the things that made me love Cline’s writing too. The friendships, the nerdgasms, the wit and the humour. So, although I found faults, I would still recommend it and I look forward to Cline’s next Nerdventure.

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