Armada by Ernest Cline
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Release Date: July 14th, 2015
Format: Hardback, 349 pages
Summary Via GoodReads
My Rating: ★★★1/2
Zack 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?
At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.
So I've got another review to add to my Sci-Fi Month Schedule. I didn't think I would finish Armada before the month was up, but I surprised myself by actually spending more of my free time reading again. Yay! So before I get into my review of this book, I want to make something clear about this book: THIS IS NOT READY PLAYER ONE PART 2. I will admit that this book doesn't live up to Cline's first book, but I tried to take the book at face value for what is was. It was a fun book, aimed at gamers' and sci-fi lovers. And that is perfectly okay.
I liked this book enough, and I tried to put myself in Zack's shoes a lot. So if one day someone from the Alliance Navy took me away from work and said to me, "Okay, you're ready to fight the Reapers with Commander Shepard now!" I wouldn't know what the hell I was doing either. Zack makes a huge mistake his very first day with the Earth Defense Alliance, and I was glad that happens because it showed that he wasn't the hero with all the answers. He messed up right away. but he learns from it, and I really appreciated it.
I think one of the reasons that I didn't find this book amazing was because I felt like all the twists and turns in the plot were way to obvious for me. I kinda of predicted a major plot twist that gets explained halfway into the book. I also couldn't help but feel like what was going on happened in a South Park episode. I'm not telling which one, but I think you'll get what I mean when you read this book. So for me, parts of it weren't that exciting because I knew what was going to happen. I almost feel like this book would have worked better on film. If the RPO film does well, I have no doubt that someone will try to make an adaptation of this one, and I would be excited to see that.
So, this book wasn't terrible, I just didn't find it as amazing as RPO. It was a fun book, and I would recommend it, but I just would stress not to compare it to Cline's first book too much.