Rating: 3 out of 5.

3.5 stars

I LOVED Ready Player One and read it in one sitting. So, I was super excited when I heard the author was writing a sequel. While I liked this book, it pales in comparison to the first one. But hey, what do you expect? The first book was brilliant and I’m not surprised I didn’t like the second one as much.

This book starts off a few days after Wade wins Oasis founder James Halliday’s contest. The team that banned together to win the game with Wade are now splintered and doing their own thing. They get together virtually once in awhile when they need to vote to make business decisions, but other than that, don’t interact much. Wade is essentially alone.

Wade then discovers an even more advanced technology left by Halliday that increases a player’s enjoyment of the Oasis, and makes it much more addictive. But is it the right thing to unleash on the world? With the new tech comes a new riddle and new quest. It seems to be another Easter egg from Halliday, hinting that there may be another prize. Like last time, new and dangerous rivals want to get the prize first, and don’t care how many bodies they leave in their quest for power. Now, it’s not just Wade’s future at stake, but the fate and future of the entire world is at risk.

It’s hard to talk about this book without spoilers. It’s well written and an easy read, but there isn’t as much 80’s video game stuff in it and because Wade is essentially working by himself, it’s just not as much fun to read. While the stakes may be higher, the “quest” fell a bit flat. I also didn’t like sulky Wade, which dominated the book. There are a few moments that felt like the first book, but overall, this book didn’t seem to have as much joy as the first.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the book and recommend you read it, just don’t expect the thrills you got from the first book.