Oh boy, it’s time we talk about Ready Player Two, the sequel book that nobody asked for.
I really enjoyed Ready Player One, the movie was meh, but the book was really good. It felt unique, was interesting, and had a lot of nostalgia. Plus, it played an hommage to geek culture with the inclusion of things like D&D. I am a big sucker for 80’s nostalgia, despite growing up in the early 2000s. However, where Ready Player One felt new and exciting, Ready Player Two felt preachy and non-unique. The root of this issue is that the first book was pure world-building and nostalgia. Where the second book skipped the world-building and skipped right towards being a Debbie-downer and preached about real-world events. Not saying that commenting on current events is a bad thing for a book to do, but making it your main plot is a big turn-off for fiction readers.
The main protagonist was cast as an unempathetic villain– the equivalent of the Mark Zuckerberg of their universe. Although the book tried redemption for Wade, it came across as flat. To top that off absolutely none of the problems the book got preachy about was ever solved during the book. Instead, we are left with an ending that just introduces a new technology that apparently makes everyone forget about the handbasket of problems the book started off with. Making social commentary about social media/technology addiction is a good thing– there are amazing books that do that. But, Ready Player Two simply drums it up as a big deal to then completely forget it during the end of the book. Nobody can argue that the conclusion that “Technology Will Solve All Our Problems” is satisfying.