Monthly Archives: August 2015

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Book Review

readyplayeroneReady Player One is a semi-dystopian sci-fi novel by Ernest Cline.

My interest in the book came from a list online of books as I researched some new novels to check out. It looked interesting, but my interest grew as I learned Spielberg is making the movie.

Wade is a young man living in a future where poverty has increased, as has people’s connection to a virtual world, called OASIS. The creator of this virtual, internet world died and placed a contest within OASIS, and whoever finds the keys and the eggs within the world that he hid, they would win ownership of the multi-billion dollar virtual world.

As you can imagine, Wade becomes central in finding the keys and eggs and the great reward.

The creator of OASIS was deep into the 80’s pop culture – movies, games, TV shows, music, etc, so the hints are connected to things from the 80’s.

The book is well written, has great pacing, and an engaging story. The characters are full and realized. As it says on the novel’s cover, it is derivative of Willy Wonka and the Matrix, and takes the best from both.

A huge amount of the novel’s charm is the 80’s references, both popular and obscure. As a child of the 80’s myself, I could tell Cline either did amazing research or is an 80’s pop culture geek himself … or both. I’m not sure how people not raised in the 80’s would appreciate, but that era was so iconic, it is a big selling point.

While the book won an award for Young Adult, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone younger than high school for some of the language and themes. But overall, this is one of the best books I’ve read in a while, and I highly recommend it.


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Book Review – Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

pathfinderAs I’ve said before, Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite authors, mainly for the books associated with the Ender’s Game novel, the sequels and other series in that “world.”

I have read several of Card’s other novels, since I enjoy his writing style – his novels are “clean” of language and sex, and yet they are intelligent, logic driven stories. However, I have yet to find another series of his that is on par with the Ender stories.

But I keep looking, and in that search, the Pathfinder series was recommended to me.

Pathfinder is the story of Rigg. Rigg is a young man raised in obscurity, and when his “father” dies, Rigg receives his inheritance and a quest. The rest of the book is an exploration of the world, the journey, and the gathering of friends around Rigg.

Overall, Pathfinder was interesting. It was somewhat predictable, but not enough that it made the story boring. I enjoyed the characters. The setup of the world (a little sci-fi and fantasy mix) was cool and had a lot of potential. A good portion of the book is how the main characters discover their “powers” and how they can use them individually and together, experimenting and using those powers to overcome obstacles. While this style of writing is far more common in sci-fi/fantasy today, Card has always done a good job describing the limits, the rules, of things in his writing and then showing how his characters manipulate those rules in an intelligent way to overcome obstacles. It is done well here, but it is also a large portion of the book.

As a novel, it was interesting and I enjoyed it, but I don’t know if I enjoyed it enough to continue in the series. It was an average story and a tad long-winded. Elements (the world, the setup, and the discovery of powers) were well done and engaging, but the story within could have been a little better, I feel. Entertaining and enjoyable. Recommended if you like Card’s style and that combination of sci-fi and power discovery and manipulation.


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Movies for Authors 9 – Say Anything

This week, I’m reviewing one of my favorite movies for my author friends. Say Anything. It might be my favorite movie of all time, and in Lloyd Dobler tradition, this video has more rambling in it and will be longer. Enjoy.

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Everybody Leaves

Been reminded once again of this song I wrote years ago. Decided to share this week. Back to regularly scheduled programming soon. Blessings and Peace.

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Movies for Authors 8 – Interstellar

What can we learn from the Christopher Nolan movie, Interstellar? I can only focus on one thing 🙂 Enjoy.

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Movies for Authors 7 – Real Steel

Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots meets Rocky meets Over the Top? What can we seriously learn from a movie like this?


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