A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2015
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It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom--if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer. At first, Zack thinks he's going crazy. A minute later, he's sure of it. Because the UFO 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. But what Zack'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. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can't help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little too...familiar?
Publisher: [New York] : Random House Audio, 2015.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780804149129
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file) : digital

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Dec 18, 2020

This book definitely goes in the category of "guilty pleasure" for me. I am an avid fan of Ready Player One and its derivatives, but I can readily acknowledge that Ernest Cline is forcing it much more here than with RPO. This is, in my opinion, because RPO is heavily dependent upon worldbuilding from scratch—which lets Cline give his constant nostalgic references a reason to exist in context—whereas this book takes place mostly in an established environment, only adding a few novel concepts on top here and there. This throws Cline's narrative style into sharper relief, and gives it more opportunities to drag into tedium. On balance, I find the book enjoyable and the plot intriguing, but it is certainly far from unimpeachable and not something I would recommend to everyone.

Taking the quality of the audiobook aside from the quality of the source text, Wil Wheaton is as good here as on the RPO reading, and he reproduces Cline's writing faithfully and engagingly.

Apr 01, 2020

Ernest Cline is one of my favorite SciFi authors - an I'm an avid fan of the genre. He pulls inspiration from pop-culture; but does so in a way that makes you feel nostalgic (even if you didn't live through it yourself) and honors the source material. He knows his books are of a type, and he doesn't shy away from it. I was worried for much of the book that it was going to draw too heavily from Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game," but no, this book stands strongly on its own.

Aug 03, 2019

The filthy language was too much for me, so I returned after only a few minutes of the story.

Jun 20, 2019

The book was good and entertaining, reminded me of a movie called "The Last Starfighter", just my opinion.

Jun 09, 2019

Ernest Cline is turning into one of my favorite authors. Reading his books, in this case listening, are just pure fun. I liked this one as much as Ready Player One. I hope that this book also gets made into a movie. If done right, it could be epic.

Will Wheaton does a really good job as the narrator. I was a little skeptical when I saw his name on the cover...but well done.

May 29, 2019

As other reviewers have said, this book wasn't as outstanding as Ready Player One. In my case, I'd say this was mostly because I preferred RP1's varied action to the outer-space battles that Armada focuses on.

That said, the more limited scope of this novel seems to have given Cline room to write better characters. In particular, I found Zack Lightman to be a much more believable protagonist. (Nothing against our friend Wade, Zack just has a much more realistic set of flaws and strengths.)

Overall, an excellent, enjoyable book, especially with Wil Wheaton's fantastic narration.

Jan 03, 2019

I really enjoyed reading ready player one so I was excited to check out some of Cline's other work. While this novel did have some standout characters and fun '80's references, I found myself skipping over pages because of their predictability. It was a quick read with a small twist at the end. Enjoyable, but not nearly as fun as RP1.

Apr 24, 2018

Really enjoyed this more than Ready Player One. If you enjoy VR, Gaming, Gov. Conspiracy/Conspiracies, and science/space. Read this book. I had Will Wheaton read me this book via downloadable audio. Really hope it becomes a movie! Keep the 80s references!

Sep 20, 2017

After reading ready player one, I was excited to read the author's next book, Armada. However while reading Armanda, it felt way too similar to Ender's game. If you read Ender's game, then you don't need to read this book.

Jan 18, 2017

Armada is a good book. Not a great book nor a terrible book. The problem is that it follows the dynamic story of READY PLAYER ONE. All of the subversive character assumptions and tropes that were challenged in RPO were nonexistent in Armada. This book, while moderately entertaining, was predictable throughout the entire story.

I don't ordinarily recommend audiobooks over traditional print, but Wil Wheaton is an extraordinary narrator for this novel, not the least of which is because he gives an extra boost of credibility to the story given his own nerd superstardom.

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Nov 23, 2015

CL70 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Apr 01, 2020

Before he died, Zack’s father had an insane theory that the video game and sci-fi film industry must have been government funded projects aimed at training citizens to fight an alien enemy. Now a senior in high school, Zack is one of the top 10 highest ranked virtual-reality pilots worldwide: and he’s about to find out that maybe his father wasn’t crazy after all.


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