#Armada by Ernest Cline mini spoiler-free book review
I was really excited for Armada by Ernest Cline after reading 'Ready Player One' as I absolutely loved that story; it appealed to my inner geek with constant references to old video games and 80s movies. Armada does similar for geeky fan service, intertwined with a tale of MMO video games being used as a training tool by the government for preparing the human population for intergalactic war.
Okay, so the premise isn't completely original, and the whole point of the story is it's predictability, yet somehow the writing just didn't grab me as much as Ready Player One. The characters are relatable, and the descriptions of scenes, settings and ships are well told, yet the plot just felt TOO predictable at times. I think this is kind of the point, as about 2 thirds of the way through it starts becoming a bit "No, surely not, that's far too obvious to be right..." fully convincing you that a tsunami of a story twist is headed your way - and this kind of arrives, but it's not nearly in as shocking a way as I expected, and the tale reverts back to it's predictable almost checklist style story, marking off the segments that Cline thinks needs to be included to make a good novel one by one: the geek, the love interest, the reunion, the teenage angst etc...
That being said, I wasn't going into this expecting a modern classic - Ready Player One appeals to me because of the nostalgia and chic-geek references, though the story there just felt less predictable and more imaginative, so I was never going to dislike Armada for the same reasons. Perhaps someone more into MMOs would find it an better read, but I did still enjoy the tale of the Independence Day style end of the world scenario after some perseverance.
I am extremely excited to see that Cline has Spielberg on board for the direction of the potential movie, as I really think this is one that will make an absolutely amazing film, where I would like Ready Player One to not be tarnished by a half arsed movie attempt.
I would still recommend Armada for fans of geek, games and guns like me, perhaps as a suitable holiday read.