Zach 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 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 was thrilled to be sent this book from Penguin Random House, so thank you very much!
I'm not even sure I know where to begin with this book. What I mean why that, well it's literally everything I could ask for. You know what made it an even better read for me? Well I decided to download the audiobook for this book and the narrator was the fabulous Will Wheaton, I mean who better really he did all the voices perfectly so I fully recommend you read along with the audiobook too haha.
We meet Zack Lightman (what an ace superhero name right?), a high school gamer who is obsessed with games, music, movies of the past- more so his Dad's past who he lost at the age of only ten months. One game that himself and his friends play is Armada, and Zack isn't just good at this game he is amazing at this game! So amazing that one a boring day at school, turns into a day of trying to save the world.
There were some great characters in this book that I hold dear to my heart, particularly Lex. She was definitely my favourite character, having her own R2D2 and just being a general badass just made it for me. Her relationship with Zack was rather cute but it didn't override the book thankfully.
The story was well developed, fast paced and a lot to take in. I never once felt bored because there were so many different elements to it.
My only complaints I have regarding this story is the rather open ending, I mean I have so many questions that I feel haven't been answered and I'm pretty sure the characters feel the same too. Or am I completely missing the point of "aliens" being mysterious and not explained because well, they're alien?
I would like to point out that if you're not familiar with 80s arcade games and sci-fi films, you may struggle with some of the gags Cline references in this book. I struggled with some of the terminology with regards to the technology but it's not too tricky to figure out, it's just remembering what everything does!
The genius that is Ernest Cline has brought out my inner nerd with this book and all for the better, I suddenly want to whip out my old playstation games and spend a copious amount of hours on a videogame. Admittedly I haven't read his earlier novel 'Ready Player One' but oh my I certainly need to get my hands on it, and soon!
A thoroughly enjoyable book, one with little fault in my opinion. This book is every hardcore gamers dream book! I'm not a hardcore gamer by any means but I could really geek out with it, and right now I'm just itching to watch Star Wars for the millionth time and pretend I'm Han Solo's accomplice...Chewie!
Thank you once again to Penguin Random House for giving me the opportunity to read this brilliant book!