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?
I went into this book expecting great things after having read Ready Player One by the same author. I was not disappointed. The book is full of references from many things from video games to movies, and still does not lack on the story. The main character Zack is full of personality, he has likes and dislikes and realistically thinks that he is going insane when he spots a UFO outside his classroom window. The story keeps you on your toes, twisting through the plot as the circumstances change, and gives you a pretty sweet soundtrack to read to. The ending was very pleasing to me as it wrapped up the story nicely and tied off all the lose ends.
I give this book a 4/5, there are some areas that could be improved as some of the characters are a bit flat, and the story is more focused on the action then the interactions between people, but I enjoyed this book very much. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Ernest Cline’s style of writing or science fiction. To really enjoy this book you would have to be okay with eh characters using pop culture references to explain many things in their daily lives, so bring out your inner nerd and enjoy.