Written By: Ernest Cline
Published By: Crown Publishing
Read: July 12- August 7, 2015
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.
I had heard a lot of really good things about Ernest Cline and his first novel Ready Player One but I had never read it. When I received this copy of Armada from Crown Publishing I wasn’t sure if I was going to be something that I would enjoy. I am so happy that I gave it a chance because I loved it! Armada is one of my favorite books of 2015 so far.
The characters were everything in this book. Each character was so well thought out. They each had a backstory that helped to better define who they were. They represented such a perfect cross section of the gamer world. They ranged in age, background, ethnicity, and sexuality etc. There wasn’t a single character that seemed underdeveloped or unnecessary to the story.
The relationships between the characters were perfect. The author was able to add just the right amount of romance that did not distract or detract from the story. There was the sweet and subtle romance between Zack and Lex but there was also the lustful relationships one might expect in an end of the world situation. The friendships between the gamers were wonderful. I loved how quickly they all bonded and the mutual respect that they had for each other.
The story itself was just as well developed and awesome as the characters. It was different from anything else that I have read. Armada is full of pop culture references that made the book fun and relatable. It was unique and fun and action packed. It kept a good pace throughout the entire book and I was interested from the first page to the last. I highly recommend this, even if you don’t normally read sci-fi books.
2015 Reading Challenge- A Book With A One Word Title
Recommended for Fans of: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Young Adult
Suggested to Read Next: The Martian