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Publisher's Summary

Zack Lightman is a dreamer. He fills his days with wishful thoughts of life on other planets and spends hours playing videogames, neither of which have helped him make friends or find a girlfriend. His refuge from the daily disappointments of life is Armada - an online space-fighter simulator based on defending Earth from an alien invasion. It’s when he’s playing that he feels closest to his father, a champion gamer who died when Zack was a baby.

He rises up the ranks until there’s only one other player who can challenge his worldwide supremacy. As he closes in on his ultimate enemy, the game suspiciously shuts down, leading Zack to investigate the many urban legends and myths that surround Armada. What he finds will take him beyond his wildest dreams.

The game was just the beginning....

©2015 Random House Audiobooks (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Sci-Fi Great

Loved it! Ernest Cline writes another engrossing book I can't stop read/listening to. Obviously hard to follow up after Ready Player One and many themes are similar here, but still delightful though at times it did sound a little too similar to Enders Game.

The narration is the the best! Will Wheaton is frickin amazing as the narrator. Different voices and characters come alive and just add and pump up this book to new heights.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Book!

Pretty good, hey. A sea of pop culture references again. Story line was a little derivative, but credit was definitely given where it was due. A very pleasant read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wants to be Ready Player One, but falls short

Has similar themes to the excellent Ready Player One (80s culture, video games, global scale competing), but I just didn’t find the story that interesting. Look forward to the author doing something different in their next book.

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A must-listen for fans of the genre

Yes. It's no Ready Player One" (how could it be?) but (proud) geekdom will still find this a highly satisfying and heartening offering from the same author. And, really, what can be better than Wil Wheaton once again taking us on the joyride?
It's not life altering (probably) and is just a tad heavy handed somehow in dishing out some of its pop culture pearls (the very beauty of Cline's work I know and agree) but you will enjoy the storytelling way too much to let that detract.

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Fun, quirky, way too many pop culture references

Fun listen with Will doing an excellent, as usual. Does feel like a ride on the nostalgia train, using pop culture references like nails to embed you in the story, as if referencing The Thing or Star Trek will somehow make it feel more based in reality and more intriguing, despite being pretty average. Do read, it's still fun.

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Nom nom nom

What did you like best about Armada? What did you like least?

After Ready Player One, I was expecting another epic three course banquet. In comparison, Armada is more like a happy meal. But hey, there's NOTHING wrong with the occasional happy meal... just know that this book is a completely different meal from RPO and you'll be okay.

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  • Antti
  • 05-09-16

Millenium Falcon Has Problems With Hyperdrive

Unlike many readers and listeners, I wasn’t exactly won over by ”Ready Player One”, and I admit that only a third into ”Armada” I was ready to give up. The premise was too thin for my liking, and while I could appreciate fantastical things taking place out of the blue, unlikely turns and even, as it happens, the likeliest and most obvious ”twists”, I felt completely detached from what was going on to the point where I asked myself why I should bother reading further.

I did, however, until the very end, but I’m not quite sure if it did me any good. As has been pointed out, Cline’s referential style revolves around him writing his versions of his favourite stories, amply referencing them and toying with them along the way, but his hybrid just doesn’t seem worth the trouble to me. Perhaps I’ve never been into the whole fan fiction thing to appreciate what’s going on, but then again, this isn’t really supposed to be fan fiction as far as I’m concerned.

Yet then again, this is a light read, and to some extent fulfills its function. In some way I think the strength in Cline’s writing is that he trusts the reader to know what’s coming next so that he can offer his variation on it. And to be honest, isn’t this what storytelling has been about since forever? Not that there weren’t awkward moments, or that the deus ex machina he used so much in ”Ready Player One” didn’t pop up conveniently here as well. It’s just that when it read well, it read incredibly well. I suppose that’s part of the irritation, really: I’m boarding Millenium Falcon and just as we’re about to hit hyperspace, it doesn’t work, fiddlesticks! See, I was trying to be the geeky me.

As for narration, I wasn’t too fond of Wheaton before, but he’s really growing on me. There are moments where he’s the one making it all click with his enthusiasm and obvious freewheeling fun he’s exuding. Definitely carries the narrative.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Evil RobotNixon
  • 09-18-15

Another great book by Ernest Cline

A great second book, like Ready Player One, full of pop culture references. Moves along at a good pace and does not let up!!!

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob
  • 08-08-15

Another Hit!

This is another fantastic book by Ernest Cline! If you loved Ready Player One, you'll most definitely enjoy this. A good combination of pop culture with science fiction. Any lover of video games especially games like Space Invaders will have a great time reading this.
Keep up the amazing work!
P.S Will Wheaton does great Impressions, especially 'British'.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • joe
  • 08-04-15

Garbage

As a HUGE fan of Ready Player One I was so excited for this one, OMG it was such a let down.

The story is appalling, not only is it a blatant rehash of Enders game/Last Star Fighter but it has the audacity to frequently reference both and constantly draw parallels. It is not new, unique or exciting in any way. All the "Easter eggs" that made RPO so cool just feel lazy and forced in Armada.

Ok, this book is fun and fast paced but It felt like the book was rushed and absolutely no thought was put into it (a borrowed story line, one dimentional characters and a run time of less than 12hours) Honestly, if it wasn't for Will Weaton i probably wouldn't have even finished this. So disappointed!

26 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Hannah
  • 08-06-15

This is no 'Ready Player One'

If you could sum up Armada in three words, what would they be?

Armada? Sadly underwhelming.

Would you recommend Armada to your friends? Why or why not?

Hmm, probably not. Like...its fine? And I recommended Ready Player One left, right and center...but this? No. Probably not.

What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

Everything. Wil is my favorite reader - he has the perfect reading voice.

Any additional comments?

Armada never quite achieves what it sets out to and instead of paying homage to sci fi classics (such as Ender's Game, as noted elsewhere) it borrows far too much from them. Additionally I never found myself investing in these characters in the same way I did with Ready Player One. It was fine. You might like it. You might not.

19 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Redmond
  • 09-17-17

Cline's boner for pop culture references ruins it

Cline' s geekyness comes through again in this Last Starfighter/Ender's Game mashup, full of gamer, 80s music and 80s sci-fi references all vying for their turn to trigger your member berries (South Park reference).
It gets nauseating when you start predicting what he's going to say next. My thought patterns went something like this, 'oh, there's a bead of sweat running down the characters head, I remember a similar moment in Total Recall as this is visual sign of treachery and fear. I wonder if Cline will make mention to that? Oh god he is. He really is'. This happened a loy.
The thing is, if you get the pop culture reference then you get the pop culture reference. If you don't, then telling me where the pop culture reference has come from won't mean anything to me.
The story doesn't hold a candle to Ready Player One - a much better story. I just hope that when the film eventually makes Landfall (oh my god, I've never written the word 'landfall' in my entire life. I only remembered to use it because Cline uses it at least 5 times in the space of a few chapters. And while we're at it the word 'contorted' ,to describe his father's face, must have appeared nearly 10 times. Honestly man, use a thesaurus) that the movie, game and music references don't have to be spelled out for the obviously young audience that only this movie will appeal to. Expect an Armada at the box office...an armada of the uninitiated.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 02-24-17

12 year old limit

Anyone older will cringe at the tired rehash of 80s sci-fi themes that are referenced, in the text, to the films and books that they are ripped from. The strangest thing here is the lack of irony, no knowing self depreciation, no acknowledgment of the plot transparent predictably, nothing 'modern' in its approach at all. If I was 12 i might enjoy the simple to follow plot, assuming that I understood the 80s references (which I wouldn't) but Ender is leagues above this in depth and resonance, so I hope I would be able see it as the throwaway story it is... As I'm well past twelve I'm actually embarrassed to have read this to the end (did it on 1.25 speed)... And what a rubbish ending it is. I assume that the author wrote this for his younger self, or more likely, wrote it twenty years ago ago dragged it out of a bottom drawer when the next paycheck was needed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke
  • 02-18-17

So much quotation that it is close to plagiarism.

This book started badly, deteriorated towards the middle and only got worse from there.
The author seems to have watched a lot of sci-fi films and decided that they would be better if they were jumbled together and badly written.
Every line is either a quotation or full of sci-fi name dropping, to the point that whole paragraphs are just lists of sci-fi films.
The plot reads like a Dan Brown book conspiracy, where the subtle plot consists of jamming dates and memorable names together and then saying "These happened within the same decade! They must be linked by a conspiracy of world ending proportions!"
The main character felt whiny and self-involved, which wasn't aided by the poor choice of using the first-person to narrate the story.
Overall, it was just highly disappointing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • cherryredpinup
  • 01-11-17

Really Poor

What would have made Armada better?

Massive editing, a smidge or originality

What was most disappointing about Ernest Cline’s story?

So derivative, hackneyed, predictible and DULL. The pop culture references are jarrring (and what's the point of referencing things and then explaining them straight after?).

Clearly conceived as an homage to classic sci-fi films etc but all it manages is to remind the listener/reader what made them great and the book doesn't stand up to the comparison.

Can't get over how cliched everything was, and how sloooooowwwly the whole enterprise was drawn out, It was four hours in before the "OMG THE GAME IS REAL" reveal that is clearly what the book is about. Eight hours in I gave up wishing there was going to actually be a second reveal. Nope. The end is supposedly a "twist" but you know it's coming for hours. Not one single thing is original or surprising. Not one. It's really, really poor.

And the dialogue.....oh dear.

Even though I bought this as a Daily Deal for only £1,99 I still returned it.

What three words best describe Wil Wheaton’s voice?

Laconic
Inoffensive
Nice

I am a fan of Wheaton in general but even he couldn't make this excting.

What character would you cut from Armada?

Considering there wasn't one actual "character" in it just a series of tropes and cardboard outlines I can't pick one.

Any additional comments?

Seek out the source material not this bland "best of space" behemoth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 11-21-16

Enjoyable, geeky, a little bit silly but good fun!

Armada is of course a great fun story. Is it hardcore, without plot holes, as good as Ready Player One? Nope. But is it an easy read (err..listen), have tonnes of great geeky references, an enjoyable story and comes with a rocking playlist then yes it is. I think if you go into this book with these expectations you will have a good time. The characters are fine, but would have liked to see more of Lex in the story as I really wanted to hear more about her. As for the story it's fine, albeit predictable with many leaps of faith required in terms of the technology but this is kind of the point of the story. I think there were just 2 or 3 references I missed so I guess I must be the target audience for the book :) Wesley (sorry Wil, but you'll always be Wesley to me) did a fine job as always with the narration with enough voice acting for it to really help the story but not enough to spoil as can happen. His voicing of one of the characters near the end was amusing though but I think he had a good time with it. Good fun read - recommended if you are after something a little lighter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Todd
  • 07-28-15

A fun ride, if a little derivative

This one gets 3.5 stars from me. Comparisons will unavoidably be made with Clines' first novel, Ready Player One. This story wasn't as good as that one, but it's still a fun ride. The story is predictable and draws heavily from other well-known sci-fi classics. But at least Cline is unapologetically open about it.

The book is full of pop culture references for nerds and cinephiles, though not as heavily as in RPO. The story moves along at a good pace, but ends quite suddenly after the climax. Wheaton's narration is great. He's enthusiastic and gets right into the story, which excites you as a listener.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 12-14-15

I got the steak - I wanted the roast!

I personally found this book very enjoyable with a mix of modern and vintage sci-fi elements. However I sincerely wish most of the story was further explored in more detail. Many sections of the story felt glossed over and were finished before they felt like they had begun. Whilst not as gripping as 'Ready Player One' it shared a very similar vibe and is worth a read if you are a fan of his earlier work. Wheaton still unstoppable - great performance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 11-23-15

Really enjoyed this book.

I did enjoy this book and the story.

Ready Player One is my favorite book. This was good but not in the same league.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • J
  • 05-06-17

I had been meaning to get to this

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It is a good story if you like the sci fi genre and you are of a certain age or nerdiness which allows you to "get" the references.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved the main character. Think great guy, sceptic and geek rolled into one.

Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes I listened to Ready Player One which put this book on my wish list and I finally got around to it. I think Wil Wheaton's voice is well suited to audio and I do not think of Star Trek at all.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes but I am not telling as it will give the plot away.

Any additional comments?

Not quite as good as Ready Player One but I thought that book was outstanding. A good listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kyal
  • 07-19-16

A fun adventure.

Not Clines best work. Ready player one is better.

The book follows a young mans journey, with a long lead up to the main events, followed by an extremely short climax. I was a bit disappointed but it's still fantastic.

Wil Wheaton is amazing in his performance. I love his voice, the slight accents he does, his inflections, brilliant.

All in all, worth getting. It's a good adventure and great for someone new to the genre.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dale
  • 07-13-16

Ernest and Wheaton - what a pairing!

I had just finished listening to Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, and jumped straight into Armada. The story is just as good and tears along at a steady pace. After reading some reviews stating it seems to wrap up quickly, I feel the total opposite and like the way Cline finished the story.

I felt a lot more for the characters in Armada than I did in RPO, Cline really has a way of drawing you into them.

Which brings me to Wheaton's performance. Better than on RPO for sure. More 'acting' used, throwing his voice and using accents to really create the world Cline had created.

If you liked Ready Player One by all means this will really be up your alley.

I always feel sombre when I finish a book with Wil Wheaton narrating! 5 Stars!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 01-10-16

Good but last 1/3 of book feels rushed

Loved ready player one and so I bought this book. I liked the majority of the book. Good humour, story and cultural references. But I can't help feeling that the The last 1/3 of the book was written under the looming deadline. The story final story brushed over and told in a rapid, slapdash manor which is a real shame.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-15-18

nerd dreams

What every teenage nerd dreams of. justification for many wasted hours in front of a game machine.

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  • Dirk Oberste-Berghaus
  • 01-11-18

Narrorator great, story is good but not new

If you have like Enders Game this is the one for you. The story is well developed but the idea far from new. Overall a bit stretched out in the beginning and to short and rushed at the end.

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  • The Osbornes
  • 01-04-18

Very entertaining and easy to binge listen too

Would you consider the audio edition of Armada to be better than the print version?

Haven't read print edition

What other book might you compare Armada to, and why?

Obviously ready player one. It also has an Enders game theme.

Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favourite?

The main character is great but the guy that owns the video game store is cool too.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Is it really just a game?

Any additional comments?

Something about the combo of a story written by Cline and delivered by Wheaton is very addictive. I found I couldn't stop listening to this book and finished it very quickly. I had been listening to the Expanse which is great but I can take and leave that as needed but Armada had me listening any chance I could get.