Top positive review
Intensely imaginative -- a fantastic fairy tale for the online-gamer / VR age
Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2018
Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings as a 'myth for the machine age.' I think RP1 is an imaginative fairy tale for the online-gamer / virtual reality age. And the picture isn't pretty. I'm not talking about the cliche'd 'environmental apocalypse' of the outside world that the gamers actually live in, but the way that VR *is* their reality, and, to the characters, and in a very truthful way, the only reality that matters.
That disturbing aspect of Cline's novel is imaginatively and entertainingly written. The first third of the novel is a marvel. I'd give it ten stars. The second two-thirds, like The Martian in many ways, is a bit repetitive and predictable in a TV-series sort of way.
The novel is worthy and well-written, and the fairy tale aspect is touching. You end up rooting for the heroes and heroine, and even get a small glimpse into the motivations and heart of the villain (though I think he could have been much better presented, a la J. K. Rowling's villains).
All in all, a highly enjoyable book. The best take I've read on VR and online gaming. Plus it's lots of fun!