And the whole thing with Zack’s dad? Okay, cool, I can appreciate that he has spent his whole life trying to emulate his dead-too-soon father. But it felt SO cheap to reveal Surprise! He’s been alive, fighting aliens on the moon this whole time! But whoops, Not Surprise, of course he’s going to die after reuniting with his wife and child. Boring. It might have been interesting if he’d turned out to be a jerk and Zack had to process through that, but instead everything felt very formulaic.
And the plot “twist”! Awful. WHY IN THE WORLD would aliens go to all that trouble to test to see whether humans are capable of peaceful relations? And even IF I accept that, why does one person’s actions (against orders) make the aliens trust humanity at large? Just because Zack did the right thing does not negate the fact that 7 billion other people were trying to wipe out the alien drones. Dumb dumb dumb.
Clearly I was not a fan, which is a shame, because I really enjoyed Cline’s Ready Player One. I dunno, did I miss something? Have you read Armada and loved it? Please explain!
Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.
But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.
And then he sees the flying saucer.
Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.
No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.
It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?
At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.
Release Date: July 2015