As an avid MMO player this felt right at home for me. Wil Wheaton is an amazing narrator. I found the story incredibly unique and extremely plausible as a future for our world.
I felt the book contradicted itself. The ending moral of the story was that real life was better than a fake life. But EVERYTHING good in the main character's life came about because of his virtual life. So it's both saying that real life is amazing, but also awful and needs to be escaped.
That's really my only gripe with the book and it's a small one at that.
This book was recommended because I bought Snow Crash. That's like saying "if you enjoyed Breaking Bad, you should try watching Barney the Dinosaur."
This is a terrible book about a protagonist who has everything he needs to beat the bad guy in video games and 80s trivia from the very beginning. There's no growth, there's minimal story, there's some predictable conflict, but of course it gets wrapped up nicely at the end. Pure neckbeard fan boy wish fulfillment bullshit.
People rave about all of the 80s references, but I would argue that there are no 80s references, in fact, nothing is effing referenced, it's listed exhaustively and explained ad nauseam. Instead of a nod to the 80s, it's a headbutt to your taint from some guy with OCD who only cares about the 80s.
Will Wheaton is an excellent narrator, this is obviously a project he enjoyed, which makes me wonder what is wrong with him.
If you are intrigued by the idea of an 80s centric puzzle quest set in a virtual reality world, I would recommend waiting until the movie version of this comes out. As much as I hated this book, I could see how it would be an entertaining movie if done correctly.
I enjoyed this. First of all Will Wheaton is a great narrator. Second the writer knows his 80s and gets into the minute details many people dont know, like the TRS 80 needing a cassette tape to upload programs (I know this is true because I had one). It was a fun, fantasy, trip into the future and past and kept me engaged. Was great for my trans-pacific flight.