Armada by Ernest Cline (3.5/5 starts)
I was really looking forward to reading this, I requested it weeks ago at the library and I was lucky enough to pick up my copy right after the release! I devoured this book mostly because I had a really slow Saturday at work and I had nothing better to do. After reading Ready Player One I was hyped to read Earnest Cline’s newest novel!
The Good: I did enjoy myself while reading this book for the most part. There were cute quirky little moments and so many nerdy references that I really liked. The fact that this book had it’s own playlist was amazingly cool. I didn’t listen to it while reading it, but I liked that I had the option to. It’s even listed in the back of the book for reference. I sort of wish I had known that before I started reading it actually.
Ernest Cline just has this writing style that makes it seem like you’re playing a video game in your mind, but you’re actually reading a book. It’s a strange sort of experience to say the least. But it’s also exciting and unlike reading any other author’s work that I’ve come across.
The Bad: I actually have quite a few criticisms about this book. It may be because I was expecting that same invigorating feeling that I had while reading Ready Player One to be present, and it wasn’t. The first 90 pages did not hook me at all. If anything I felt like I was reading someone’s blog post about their favorite video game. I found the description of the game to be underwhelming and that it had an unnecessary amount of detail involved. When I put the book down for the first time I wasn’t sure I was going to pick it back up. I just didn’t give a shit about it.
After those 90 pages, the plot finally did seem to move along. But I felt like I had heard this same exact plot done over and over again. GAMERS! GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY! SCARY ALIENS! EARTH INVASION! Usually I’m okay with these themes, in fact, usually I quite enjoy them. But there was too much “we don’t know” about the aliens. If this is a sci-fi book, I want to know about them, I don’t want to know about the humans. I am a human. I know about humans. They continually said “we don’t know what they look like” and that pissed me off.
My main critique of this book was the ending. I saw it coming from about page 150. I knew what was going to happen. It was completely predictable. I read a main point in the book, or more specifically a conversation and knew instantly what the end was going to be like and ended up being right. I kind of hate it when that happens. I also hate that they left it open for a sequel. I love trilogies, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think there’s much story left to tell with this particular book. Sorry guys, I just wasn’t feeling this one. I had more critiques than good.
Please let me know if you’ve read it and what your thoughts are!