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Sunday, November 08, 2015
Armada by Ernest Cline
I adored Ready Player One. It wow-ed me in a way no other book had, I identified with nearly all the references and just loved everything about it. I wanted to be just as wow-ed by Armada. I pre-ordered the audio just as soon as I knew Wil Wheaton was narrating it, and I was excited to get into it. I did enjoy it. But I wasn't wow-ed. I was prepared for this, I had seen many reviews that weren't so high, and so I was ready to just enjoy it for what it was. Ready Player One was a tough act to follow. I don't want to call it a one trick pony, because I don't think that at all, and I'm still completely interested in whatever else Ernest Cline writes. I love the culture references in both books, and the video game incorporation, but by the time we get to Armada, that aspect wasn't new any more (although used differently than in RPO, it still isn't a new concept, a la Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card) and I think that's part of the problem. I think Armada is being judged by it's super student older sibling and that sibling's also amazing older friends and it wouldn't matter what it did, it couldn't measure up, if you know what I mean.
I felt like we didn't have as much character development here, although I did like the characters it seemed like some of the more interesting ones we didn't get to know very well. The ending message didn't pack quite as much of a punch as in RPO and it was just suspicious and abrupt. Armada is just a lighter book all the way around, but for all that, still enjoyable. I'm looking forward to seeing what Ernest has up his sleeve next!