If you appreciate arcade and computer games from before 2000, either from childhood or running it in an emulater, and you are looking for a fast paced trasure hunt taking place in real life and the virtul world, this book is a must read.
Set in the year 2044, the internet became a synonym for a virtual reality called OASIS. You go online using haptic gloves and VR goggles to escape the unpleasent reality. OASIS consist of thousands of worlds allowing individual users to interact and live their dreams.
As the owner of OASIS dies, the worldwide treasure hunt begins. Whoever solves the puzzles hidden in the virtual world will become the new owner. The stakes in this quest are high as Waden Watts learns the hard way. Being the first to find and solve one of three puzzles, After finding and solving the first gate, his competitors are willing to kill for the ownership of OASIS.
The book is packed with details on arcade / computer games, science fiction and fantasy literature. Thus sometimes you might feel like reading an encylopedia on pop culture. But never too much to get boring.
A detail I really like about the setting:
In contrast to cyberpunk and other setups, the real world characters interact with the virtual reality using hardware already available today. This allows for a believable blend of the two worlds without being irrational when applying magic or altering the laws of physics inside OASIS.
Ernest Cline succeeds to let you participate in a multiplayer online role-playing game. A game fascinating till the last page.