Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published by Crown Publishing on July 14th 2015
Length: 11 hours, 58 minutes
Source: Purchased through Audible
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.
- Armada has a lot of the things I loved about Ready Player One. There is a huge focus on gamers and gamer life, but set in the near future that feels like now, instead of a vastly different, but conceivable, future. There is still a huge focus on 80s pop-culture, but I think it is a little more mainstream, and more understandable to those of us who didn’t grow up in the 80s.
- I loved the big government conspiracy. I loved the constant manipulation of the entire world that took place. It was crazy, but it was what I wanted for a book where gamers saved the world.
- I really enjoyed that the love interest was super smart and better than the main character at some things, especially some stereotypically male things, like hacking. (Plus, lady President!) Also, the end of the world was coming, so of course people were pairing off! I like that that motivation was recognized because it drives me crazy when it is ignored.
- Some of the storylines were predictable, but I didn’t care. View Spoiler » For example, the entire storyline with the dad. From him showing up again, to his actually being gone, it was a predictable storyline that I couldn’t imagine any other way. « Hide Spoiler
- Lots of real-life scientists showed up, which was awesome. I feel like scientists can totally be rockstars in science-fiction. Can we make them real-life rockstars, too?
- Wil Wheaton is the best choice for a narrator. This needed to be narrated by someone close to sci-fi history.