Print Story Book Review: Armada by Ernest Cline
By Gedvondur (Wed May 10, 2017 at 05:42:25 PM EST) sci-fi, reviews, books (all tags)
My review (also posted on Goodreads) of Ernest Cline's follow-up to Ready Player One, Armada.


In my lexicon 1 star is a terrible book to be avoided and in this case others should be warned against.

If I read this book when I was 16, I would have orgasmed in my pants.
However, I'm not sixteen and while all the late 70s and 80s references are my childhood and teen years, this book was not a nostalgic trip. It was more like getting waterboarded with nostalgia and self-indulgence.

Cline's previous effort "Ready Player One" was a healthy dose of nostalgia, but it was tempered by the main character's urchin nature and the pop culture references were plentiful, but restrained enough that you didn't get used to them. It was like a good, strong Scotch. A bit of burn and then a smooth finish. Armada, on the other hand, was like like drinking soda syrup mixed with pop-rocks and high-school anxiety about not being "cool."

Cline doesn't merely litter the book with pop-culture references, its like he started with pop culture references with no story as a first draft. The main character is treated to a series of "all your dreams come true" revelations. The supposed tragedies he suffers are tempered by seeming instantaneous recovery and, of course, proper and noble send-offs. This book could be titled "Everything's Coming Up Zack!!!!" with two thumbs up followed by enthusiastic finger guns and "pew pew" noises.

I think that Cline is a good writer. I'm going to assume that the system massively failed here. Either Cline's publisher forced him to "Do Ready Player One Again!" in order to get a third book or his publisher failed to realize that this book was over the top and not in a good way. I'll read Cline again, I've not lost faith in him yet. It seems appropriate to count Armada as Cline's equivalent to Highlander 2, and pretend it doesn't exist while quietly making sure nobody you like reads it.
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Book Review: Armada by Ernest Cline | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
Poll by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri May 12, 2017 at 04:52:51 AM EST
How can people vote on a story they have probably not read? 

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
Here is a book to cleanse the palate. by me0w (4.00 / 3) #3 Fri May 12, 2017 at 08:58:01 AM EST
Tender Wings

SEVEN! by ana (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri May 12, 2017 at 09:38:33 AM EST

Or get rabies. Also don't do that. --scrymarch

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ON IT by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri May 12, 2017 at 10:23:15 AM EST

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Ready Player One by Scrymarch (4.00 / 2) #6 Sat May 13, 2017 at 07:33:10 AM EST
TE's review remains the perfect description to me, to be point where I am tempted to use it anytime I see Gen-X pandering nostalgia.

Iambic Web Certified

Heh, l can't argue that by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon May 15, 2017 at 10:09:02 AM EST
I do think it is a book for Gen-X.  But it does strive to be beyond that.  Unlike Armada, which is *just* a shit-show.

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I haven't read Ready Player One by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #7 Sat May 13, 2017 at 09:26:48 AM EST
It's popular and I have a natural tendency to avoid popular things. 

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Ya..... by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #9 Mon May 15, 2017 at 10:15:47 AM EST
I've been trying to repress the tendency in myself. It kept me from reading Harry Potter for years, and honestly, those books were fantastic.

At one point I had to ask myself why I was avoiding popular things.  I realized I was trying to make myself more of a unique snowflake by having preferences for media "outside the beaten path."  The truth was that I wasn't really consuming anything really unique or different, and that I was just kidding myself.  Not saying its that way with you, but it was a not entirely pleasant moment of self revelation.

On the plus side, I no longer miss good things because I have my head up my ass.  :-)

[ Parent ]
Actually... by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu May 18, 2017 at 03:41:18 PM EST
It's probably  pretty close read.   

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Book Review: Armada by Ernest Cline | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)