[Spoiler alerts ahead....tread lightly]
I just finished reading the newest book written by Ernest Cline who graciously delivered to us the epic Ready Player One and its called Armada. I have to say I went into this with hesitation because I did not want to disappoint myself by how this book would not live up to the hype of his first book. Surprisingly I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Similar to the reading Ready Player One, I finished this book relatively quick (about 1.5 weeks) because the plot grips your attention right off the back and moves at a quick pace. I mean the first line of the book is...
"I was staring out the classroom window and daydreaming of adventure when I spotted the flying saucer."
As you probably imagine the book is a whirlwind of fun after that. The book's protagonist is a high school senior boy named Zach Lightman who lives with his widowed mother in Portland Oregon. His father passed away when he was a young boy and struggled with that growing up. After spotting the flying saucer he is thrown into a deep adventure where it is revealed that his character has a unique opportunity to help save the world from an impending alien invasion that will take him from being a nerdy gamer in high school, to a hero who saves the world.
The plot is great and Cline seemed to have picked up some writing tricks along the way that has improved how he writes romance, comedy, and sci-fi. Not to say those qualities were not good for Ready Player One but you can tell he stepped up his game. He also did his homework since most of the book is written about dogfights in spaceships, mechanical drones, and interstellar travel. Which helps make this book more fun and less like something that I feel I have to poke hole in while I read.
The only criticism that I would say about the book is that it ended too quickly. I'll equate it to someone pulling the stopper on an inflatable castle with everyone inside. The book hypes you up all the way to the very end, for when the stopper is pulled, the story line comes to a rapid close. At this point of reading I am hoping the end is drawn out so that I can savor what remains but I couldn't since it ended very abruptly. Although, there is definitely a set up for a sequel which is wonderful.
For Ernest Cline, he has done a great job with these two book revitalizing a subset of culture that lived through the 80's where all those shows, games, and references were pillars during that time. I hope he continues to explore down this avenue because it surely enjoyable to read all his work.