Search This Blog

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Armada by Ernest Cline

Final book group book for 2016.

Young Adult. I felt like I had read this one before, knowing full well I hadn't.

Similar to Ready Player One, this is a bit of a nostalgic walk through the 80's and 90's video game noir combined with a heavy dose of the young adult (or not so young adult) scifi books predominant in the same time frame.

Premise of the book is Zach is on the cusp of graduation from High School, a part time worker at a video game store, one of the top ranked players in the video game Armada, and wishing he could meet his long dead father. Zach's world revolves around nostalgic scifi movies, books, and classic video games. His room is a tribute to his father, killed in a sewer plant accident when he was 19 leaving young Zach and his Mom on their own. Then Zach sees an actual scout ship from Armada, and his entire world view changes.

While an interesting and fond stroll through some classic books and movies of my past, about half way through I thought the story bogged down in its own nostalgia. I really struggled to keep reading because it was too much like all those young adult scifi books - young special protagonist is the worlds only salvation because only they see what no one else can. The issue here was, I cared about Ender, I didn't care about Zack.

Alas, I wish I could have moved on. When Zach is finally recruited by the Earth Defense Alliance - who somehow built an uber secret base on the Moon and have been battling the Europans for the last 20 years - my ability to suspend my disbelief drifted off into vacuum.
  • Those thousands of amateur astronomers never saw anything?
  • A Moon-base that was built based upon 80's fictional movies (note the plural)?
  • How did they get pop to the moon?
  • Everything on the Moon is run remotely by drones via people on earth?

If this book's target audience had truly been young adult, and shelved accordingly, I could have approached this book differently (like leave it on the shelf). As it was, all these noir references spooled together in some kind of living video game ultimately fell flat for me as an adult.

Recommended for 10-16 year olds.

No comments:

Popular Posts