Armada Hardcover – 16 Jul 2015
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|Hardcover, 16 Jul 2015||
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"A novel so fun, you'll want to reboot it and read it again…the best novel this gamer geek has read in a long, long time." (Hugh Howey, Sunday Times bestselling author of Wool)
"Those conspiracies you imagined when you were fourteen turn out to be true in this masterful tale of Earth's desperate struggle against a powerful alien foe." (Andy Weir, bestselling author of The Martian)
"Another geektastic celebration of the nerd and nerd culture…Really clever, really captivating." (Daily Mail)
"A thrilling coming-of-age story." (Entertainment Weekly)
"Built like a summer blockbuster…Cline recombines the DNA of Ender’s Game, Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, and old-school arcade games like Asteroids into something that’s both familiar and unpredictable. It’s a mutant homage to sci-fi tropes past." (Gawker)
THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF READY PLAYER ONESee all Product description
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Personally I would read this first and then go into Ready Player One as although this book is really good, it's an idea that just seems a little too thin.
When you begin this book though, BARE WITH IT. The first couple of chapters will have you wonder what is going on no matter how hard you try to pay attention. Then after about chapter 3/4 things will start to pick up and from the moment you reach Starbase Ace, things radically improve and escalate. The next 20 or so chapters after that then become an amazing thrill ride, similar to that of ready player one, to then conclude on an ending you probably should have seen coming, and maybe you did.
The premise: Zack Lightman is an 18 year old just months away from graduating. In class, he spots a ship outside much like the ones he fights in the video game Armada. After going what he thinks is crazy, it's not long before he realises the truth... A truth his father had learned about years ago before he died when he was a baby. What follows is a whirlwind of surprises and excitement that I don't want to spoil... Let's just say the game Armada (and it's subgame, Terra Firma) is more real than he thinks...
Honestly. Get this book. Like ready player one, I couldn't put it down, but it's not without flaws which is why it's a 4 and not a 5.
As soon as I finished RP1 I ordered Armada and devoured that in almost one sitting as well.
They say that many author's first novel is their greatest; pulling as it does on so many personal threads and bits of real exposure and exposition. RP1 is that book. The reason being that all of the geek references are mainly real and serve the story, itself being a quasi- Willy Wonka type affair (not a spoiler, I think everyone knows this by now). Whereas Armada draws upon the similar geek genre of RPG and console war and shoot em up games but with made-up references in the main and with a messed up confusing and frankly way-too obvious story as it pans out. The end-of-the-world scenario that serves as the centrepiece of the story is far too easily just accepted by everyone involved that you could be lead to believe that it happens twice a week.
The characterisation is much more 'cookie cutter' (geek meets girl, girl is a rebel, geek and girl fall in love inside 12 minutes) than RP1 and the big revealed twist doesn't shock or make you sit up and nod to yourself with a wry smile like it should. The 'happy ending' of passed-on alien tech that 'makes the world a better place' is just so much 15 year-old wish fulfilment and glosses over the fact that in excess of 30 million people were killed during the course of the story. I was fully expecting to read 'and then I woke up and it was all a dream' at one point - the threads were that all over the place.
I was so disappointed in this follow up and really hope that there is an RP2 in the pipeline rather than anything Armada related because this book just made me want to go and watch The Last Starfighter (not Enders Game - that's a poor young teen version of TLS) all over again, but in HD or on bluray this time.