Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ready Player One  
by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One is a dystopian novel about a teenage boy trying to find a hidden treasure somewhere in the Oasis, a virtual reality where much of society now functions. The Oasis employs, educates, entertains and controls many people’s lives. Ever since the Oasis had come out, the physical society had been in ruins.
The narrator of the story is Wade Watts. He lives in a tall block of stacked mobile homes and escapes to an abandoned van to enter the Oasis. He goes to school inside of the Oasis and his only friends are virtual friends he has met in the Oasis, who he hangs out with when not at school.
James Halliday was the inventor of the Oasis, and when he died every user in the Oasis received a video message invitation to James Halliday’s last will and testament. Halliday had no family to leave his fortune to, so he left the money, or as Halliday called it “the Easter Egg,” hidden somewhere inside of the Oasis. A great many egg hunters, known as “gunters” for short, do nothing but try to find Halliday’s eggs. They spend all their free time dedicated to the search for Halliday's fortune. Wade Watts, along with a couple of other hardcore gamers, goes on a fierce and dangerous quest to find Halliday's fortune. 
 Ernest Cline captures and holds your attention the entire time with his amusing jokes about 1980’s culture and classic video games. Ready Player One is a great book and I recommend it to anyone looking for a new favorite book.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo

 Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo spans over six volumes and follows Kaneda Shotaro and Tetsuo Shima, members of a delinquent motorcycle gang who tear through the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo. During a violent chase with a rival motorcycle gang, Tetsuo is injured when a young boy with psychic abilities blocks his path causing him to crash. The accident awakens Tetsuo’s psychic abilities and he is then taken in by the government for testing. The graphic novel is reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow and Tekkon Kinkreet: Black and White by Taiyo Matsumoto.

Akira throws us into a world of industrial capitalism, represented through the neon-soaked streets, and mega-corporations scattered all over the city.  It is a manga that will resonate with you long after it’s shocking conclusion. It is a frenetic, horrific and at times grotesque look at a very vivid and brutal future. Akira is a gritty, gloomy, cyberpunk masterpiece.