When I read Ready Player One, I was hooked. I absolutely had to see what else Ernest Cline had written. Audible.com did list another book by the name of Armada, and I figured “Hey, why not? Ready Player One was pretty good.”
It’s kind of funny, really. I went into Ready Player One almost WANTING to hate it. It had everything that didn’t appeal to me: virtual world setting, 80s pop culture everywhere, a protagonist still in high school… All it needed was a mopy emo vampire chick, and it would’ve been perfect. And Art3mis came pretty close. I wanted to hate this book… But I ended up loving it. I couldn’t put it down! I wanted to know what happened next! I was even kind of bummed out when it was over with.
Then I picked up Armada, really wanting to like it. And… Really, it ended up being more of the same.
It ended up being one of those scenarios where you somehow had a completely different book that told the exact same story. Or at least one that was dangerously similar to it. Cline only has two books (that I know of), and they read exactly the same. Nothing wrong with familiarity, but when you’re having to depend on your own tropes this early (In Cline’s case, an obsessive dependence on old pop culture), it doesn’t inspire confidence on my part.
The ending also felt like an absolute cop out. Of course the aliens are just acting in self defense, and human beings are dicks who want to destroy everything. Again, this guy might not be writing for my demographic, but at the same time, been there, done that.
Also, I can’t help but smell me some sequel bate. If you really want to read the book, be my guest. Otherwise, just consider the ending of Rick and Morty season 2, minus the part where Rick goes to prison. Earth becomes part of the galactic federation, and life is made both easier and harder at the exact same time sort of situation.
I don’t know, maybe I made the mistake of setting the bar too high this time. Maybe I shouldn’t have read these two back to back like that. All I know is Armada was actually kind of a disappointment. especially towards the end.