10 Books to fill the void Ready Player One Left 2020
Ever since Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One took the world by storm, we have been eagerly anticipating the sequel Ready Player Two, which releases November 24th. Ready Player One introduced us to Wade Watts and the online world of OASIS. To fill that 80s RPG dystopian sci-fi void we have all been missing, here are 10 books similar to RP1 to get you ready for RP2.
And you’ll be happy to know they will not be any spoilers for any of these books.
10. Ghosts of Arcadia by Ramsey Isler
The Ghosts of Arcadia has major Blade Runner vibes and is a quick and easy read. Journalist Miguel has his heart set on getting to the bottom of why ARCADIA has fallen. ARCADIA the most advanced virtual reality game created, as it reads users neural signals to create a sensational world. Using the power of journalism he finds out how millions of users accounts real money was stolen through ARCADIA. Like RP1, it involves a truly impossible world where you can make anything possible and you can be anyone you want. The only where it could have been better is if there was a ‘tears in the rain’ speech at the end but that is just me.
9. My Best Friends Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Hitting you with the 80s. This is not game-related like a lot of the others on this list, however, it does give you that 80s dose. As the title, suggests this involves and exorcism and a best friend, what more do you want. Do you want more? Well, every chapter title is an 80s song. It is more horror than sci-fi but did I mention it has loads of 80s references?
8. Maze Runner by James Dashner
A popular book as it also comparable books to The Hunger Games and Battle Royale, The Maze Runner shares the dystopian nature of RP1. This book involves a group of people trapped in a complicated maze structure and the struggle to escape it.
7. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
A Slightly different concept to Ready Player One but still shares the idea of navigating alternative worlds. Jason Dessen is kidnapped and thrown into a world that closely resembles his. It is like waking up in the world where everything seems well but really everyone has been moved 5 inches to the left. Jason Dessen traverses the multi-verse, Rick and Morty style, to try to get back to his own life. A fast-paced book with a twist, it is not a book you will be able to put down easily.
6. The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
Again, involving the best decade the 80s, this books follows Billy Marvin, a computer obsessed boy, who crosses a girl who also shares his interest in computers. Also, Billy is trying to steal a Playboy Magazine with Wheel of Fortune presenter Vanna White on the front. Thankfully with the internet now and we do not have to steal Playboys magazines as the articles in the magazines can be searched online instead. This book plays on that 80s nostalgia that RP1 does with a cute little love story. This hits you right way it hurts, between the legs in the nostalgia, causing you to ‘I member’ Space Invaders and Oates songs.
5. One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence
Set in 1986, a group of lads who enjoy playing Dungeon and Dragons world gets weird when a girl called Mia decides to join them. It gets even weirder as the main protagonist Nick is followed by a man who looks like someone similar to him. It then gets even weirder as this man who looks strangely familiar tells Nick Mia in is in danger and he needs to act now. One Word Kill offers that nerd aspect RP1 has, in its weird imaginative way. Have I said it’s weird enough?
4. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game is the first instalment in Ender’s series. Ender is a protocol child who is being trained to fight the ”buggers” through a series of games. The games getting gradually harder as he gets older. Wade Watts and Ender share the actions of solving puzzles in RPG’s. This is a solid book, going through Ender’s growth from a lonely child to an absolute tactical genius, and is like Starship Troopers without the promoting of fascism.
P.S. I would buy it from a second-hand store as Orson Scott is openly homophobic so you do not want to be giving any money to him.
3. Warcross by Marie Lu
Following Emika Chen, one minute she is struggling to make ends meat the next she is competing in the International Warcross Championships. All thanks to her incredible hacking skills. Warcross is a virtual game like capture the flag but involves real participants. Emika Chen is sent to reveal the hacker who is causing problems for the creator of Warcross, Hideo Tanaka. With a twist at the end, it is worth getting a brew and sitting down to read this.
2. Otherworld By Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller
Marshall from How I Met Your Mother writes it, so you know it is going to be good. Featuring an immersive online world called Otherworld (who would’ve guessed) where you can leave your body behind, this shows the darker side of online gaming. The main character Simon sets out to save his best friend Kat from a dangerous realm. They have to survive in the online realm of Otherworld while protecting their bodies in the real world. Sharing a world where you can escape online like RP1, this is perfect for RP1 fans.
1. Armada by Ernest Cline
An obvious choice to end with. This is Ernest Cline’s lesser-known novel wrote in 2012 but it still has that 80s and nerd vibe. It is like the previously mentioned Ender’s Game but far less intense. It involves a young boy who is really good at playing a game where his avatar defends the world against aliens. This turns out to be more than a game, it has all been preparation for a real-world invasion. Woah. It is like if the game Destiny 2 turned out to be a government training program to fight off an invasion. Which would not be bad as long as you are good at the game. So I would be killed in the first 20 seconds if that was the case. This is perfect for getting you in the mood for RP1, apart from RP1 of course.
That was a list of the best books to get you in the mood for Ready Player 2. Hope you enjoyed it and get reading!