I didn't know whether I would enjoy this, whether it would rely too heavily on the reader deriving all their pleasure from spotting references to their favourite classic arcade games, books, films, tv and music. But there is actually quite a good story in here too and very entertaining at that.
I found it a bit of a stretch to believe that this teenager could have devoted the necessary time in five years to have completely memorised the scenes of so many films, the lyrics of so many songs, read so many books and mastered so many games. Even if he did have 12 hours a day to devote to such a task. However, I didn't let this scepticism get in the way of my enjoyment of the book.
One factor that might affect how much you like this story is how much you buy into it. Could so many of us be living in a shared virtual world, voluntarily, because it seems so much better than the real world in only a couple of decades from now? The prospect of a looming energy crisis and soaring land costs in an ever more overcrowded world seems all too believable. If the conditions for most people's lives deteriorated so much and the technology to make the online virtual experience so much more immersive were available wouldn't most people spend every waking moment hooked up? Seems plausible to me.
And in such a world, can we have real, genuine friends? Can we really know someone until we have actually met them in real life? Or does knowing people only by their avatar help eliminate discrimination and prejudice?
A classic story of one man's struggle against ruthless corporate greed.