How far would you go to achieve a goal that you had? Would you lie, cheat, or even kill. Well in the two books I read, the characters in the two books all had different approaches.The first book I read over the summer was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and the second book I read was Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Both of these books have eighteen year old protagonists They both have different goals. The protagonist of Steelheart, David, is on a revenge path to avenge his father’s death, while the protagonist of Ready Player One, Wade, is trying to win a contest in virtual world to win 240 billion dollars. They are both very different but, there are some common recurring themes.
Wade Watts is an 18 year old boy who is finishing up high school in the Oasis, a virtual reality world, where everything is lifelike and looks like it is real. Five years before this book starts out, the creator of the Oasis has died and he has left a hidden egg in the Oasis and whoever finds it will take control over the company that controls the Oasis.The creator of the Oasis grew up in the 1980s, and many of the challenges are related to that specific decade. In order to find the egg there are three keys that open up three gate and behind the third gate is the eeg.There are many obstacles to finding the egg including IOI a company that wants to put a monthly fee to access the Oasis which currently only has a flat fee of 25 cents. It has been five years, since the contest started and nobody has found a key or anything until Wade finds the first key. This book is very fast paced and keeps you flipping each page wanting yourself to know what happens next. Ready Player One also has many different twists at very different times that will keep you constantly engaged throughout the story. If you grew up in the 80’s or you’re a fan of the decade or you just like books in a Dystopian world (takes place 2044) I would recommend you to read this book.
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A theme that’s explored by the author throughout this book is ambition. All the characters in the book want to find the egg and are willing to go the distance to achieve their goal. The IOI is even willing to go to the extent of killing people in the real world, so that they can’t participate in a game in a virtual world. All these people spend at least half of their day in the Oasis and the time they do spend in the outside world is mostly spent doing basic human functions such as eating, sleeping and going to the bathroom. So most of the time these people are awake they are trying to find the egg. An example of this happening in this book is when the IOI bombs Wade's home and kills everybody there and in the surrounding areas, and Wade is forced to move away somewhere that the IOI wouldn’t be able to find him. The author, through the characters of the book, is telling us that if we really want to achieve something, then we will go to whatever lengths it will take to achieve our goal. This made me think about what I would do to achieve something that felt very important to me.
Another book that also made me think the same thing was Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. The main character of the book, David, saw his father killed by Steelheart and he wants revenge. The man that killed David’s father, Steelheart, is an Epic. Epics were a group of people that were granted ‘super’ powers and are much more powerful than regular humans. Steelheart is the strongest epic in his area and he rules over Newcago(Post-Epic Chicago). David can not kill Steelheart by himself, so he joins the Reckoners, a group of regular people who kill minor epics as a way of life. He approaches them with the opportunity to take down Steelheart. This book is slow during most of it but, the last hundred pages of this book are what make this book really good. I thought the book did a good job of keeping you interested subtly throughout the book, but it doesn’t turn into a page-turner till the ending. You can also stay connected to the characters throughout the book because they all have good reasons for what they are doing and they stay grounded for the most part. Even though I liked the book for the most part, I wish there would have been more action toward the beginning of the book. If you like comic books, graphic novels or YA Fiction, I would recommend that you give this book a try.
Along with the theme of ambition in this book, another theme that is recurring throughout this book is the conflict between the Reckoners and Epics. The Reckoners just kill minor epics, while the epics controlled all of Newcago. I thought of this relationship as two countries who were rivals and one of them was much more powerful than the other country. The powerful would have thirty nukes and the Weak would have none. Then suddenly, one day the weak country starts launching nukes at the stronger country and there would be rumor all over how they did this. The difference between this scenario and the book is that nobody knows who were attacking epics in the city in the book. The reckoners disguised themselves as a powerful epic. I think the author was trying to show that no matter how weak you were to begin as, you could gain power strength and power to stand up by yourself and stand against your rivals. I thought about this in a sports Perspective that if you can’t beat somebody, you can work to get as good as your opposition.
Even though both of these books are similar, they both also have big differences. Both of these books are good in their own unique which is why I would recommend you to read both of these books.