It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I seriously LOVED Ready Player One. I was on pins and needles for Ernest Cline’s second attempt at sci-fi nerdom fiction, and I have been following the updates for Armada since the moment the book first popped up on the Goodreads radar.
Now that Armada is out it seems like the readers are having a hard time accepting it as a suitable followup. It’s only got a 3.65 rating on GR, and most of the reviews seem kind of lackluster. Here’s where I agree with them: Ready Player One was spectacular! Now here’s what I want you to do, set your love for RPO aside and read Armada with fresh eyes. That is the only way you’re going to review this one without bias, both positively and negatively.
There was a lot that I liked about Armada. I really liked Lightman, a lot. I thought he was an interesting main character, and I identified with parts of his history that felt a little like mine. I thought he was a realistic, single parent, teenager dealing with the struggles that come along with the death of a parent. I also loved the idea that the government has been secretly training the world to prepare for an alien invasion through movies and video games. I applied that concept to the rise in Zombie pop culture in the last decade! Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, the video games… maybe? Maybe this concept was touched on previously in other works, but for me it was fresh and brand new and I loved it.
Anyway, the plot kept me reading, I even had a night where I dreamt I was fighting the aliens alongside the EDA and Zack. I woke up thinking about the ending this morning even after completing the book. Armada won’t go down as one of my favorites, and there were definitely some issues that I had sporadically while reading, (like one part at the end), but it was still so much fun. Especially, if you like gaming, enjoyed the 80’s, or daydream of a future where a secret branch of government comes down to tell you that they believe that YOU have the special talents, talents that others mock as useless, needed to save the world.
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