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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."
- ISBN-13: 9780804137256
- ISBN-10: 0804137250
- Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
- Publish Date: July 2015
- Page Count: 368
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-06-22
- Reviewer: Staff
What if the X-Files were a “fictional alien cover-up created to conceal real one”? Cline (Ready Player One) makes this kind of paranoia intriguing in an SF novel whose strong opening compensates for a less gripping ending. After Zack Lightman’s father died in an accident, the teen distracted himself with gaming, achieving one of the world’s top scores in a human vs. alien invaders game called Armada. To Zack’s astonishment, one morning he looks out of his classroom window in Beaverton, Wash., and sees a Sobrukai Glaive, one of the enemy ships from that game. Skeptical of his own senses, Zack flees school to take a more careful look at his father’s writings, only to find an unsettling level of conspiracy thinking. Zack soon finds the connection between his vision and his father’s theories, at which point the story becomes more conventional and less imaginative. The plot holes get harder to ignore as the conclusion approaches, but the book’s beginning offers glimpses of Cline’s significant potential. (July)