Book Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

I know that the future is scary at times. But there’s just no escaping it

Armada is a pretty disappointing read after Ready Player One. It has a lot of the allure of the latter book, but not the execution.

Book Review: Armada by Ernest Cline


Title & Author: Armada by Ernest Cline
Genre: Science-Fiction, Adventure
Release date: July 14 2015
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Crown Publishing


Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and video games he’s spent his life-consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the video game he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders. 

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even though the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

I give Armada by Ernest Cline three out of five hearts because it was disappointing and it took forever for the actual story to start.

Armada has a pretty simple story. A gamer imagining the game he is playing is actually a training course for a real invasion on earth. It is a pretty cool idea. But Zach is not a very likable character and the time it takes for the book to get Zack to be taken to the training center for the invasion happens after already one-third of the novel is done. It was a fast read, but the first part is very slow because of that.

The book is filled with many references to current and older games, music, and books. It was fun to find them all, but a book can’t be carried by these things. The latter half is also full of suicide after kill and when you already don’t have a big cast, they end up with even less in the end.

The end though, can I just say NO. It was very anti-climatic and a waste of all the deaths that have occurred by that point. There were multiple points like this, but the end was just horrible and I really lost interest after this. I wanted to just throw it away. It completely throws away most of the book and for all I care, it could just have been Zack playing a game and then visiting an alien entity. Would have taken way less time to read and would be less annoying.

Overall I think Armada wasn’t the greatest. It had potential but it didn’t use it. You better read Ready Player One, it was much better.

Let me know what you thought of this book!
If you have any requests for which book I should talk about next, please let me know in the comments down below.

For now, let books enrich your life!


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