Armada: A novel by the author of Ready Player One

Armada: A novel by the author of Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline

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From the author of Ready Player One, a rollicking alien invasion thriller that embraces and subverts science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could. 

Zack Lightman has never much cared for reality. He vastly prefers the countless science-fiction movies, books, and videogames he's spent his life consuming. And too often, he catches himself wishing that some fantastic, impossible, world-altering event could arrive to whisk him off on a grand spacefaring adventure.

So when he sees the flying saucer, he's sure his years of escapism have finally tipped over into madness.

Especially because the alien ship he's staring at is straight out of his favorite videogame, a flight simulator callled Armada--in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders.

As impossible as it seems, what Zack's seeing is all too real. And it's just the first in a blur of revlations that will force him to question everything he thought he knew about Earth's history, its future, even his own life--and to play the hero for real, with humanity's life in the balance.

But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can't help thinking: Doesn't something about this scenario feel a little bit like...well...fiction?

At once reinventing and paying homage to science-fiction classics as only Ernest Cline can, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a coming-of-age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804137263
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 07/14/2015
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 14,220
File size: 12 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

ERNEST CLINE is an internationally best-selling novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. He is the author of the novels Ready Player One and Armada and co-screenwriter of the film adaptation of Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg.  His books have been published in over fifty countries and have spent more than 100 weeks on The New York Times bestseller listHe lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.

Read an Excerpt


I was staring out the classroom window and daydreaming of adventure when I spotted the flying saucer.

I blinked and looked again--but it was still out there, a shiny chrome disc zigzagging around in the sky. My eyes struggled to track the object through a series of increasingly fast, impossibly sharp turns that would have juiced a human being, had there been any aboard. The disc streaked toward the distant horizon, then came to an instantaneous stop just above it. It hovered there motionless over the distant tree line for a few seconds, as if scanning the area beneath it with an invisible beam, before it abruptly launched itself skyward again, making another series of physics-defying changes to its course and speed.

I tried to keep my cool. I tried to remain skeptical. I reminded myself that I was a man of science, even if I did usually get a C in it.

I looked at it again. I still couldn’t tell what it was, but I knew what it wasn’t--it wasn’t a meteor. Or a weather balloon, or swamp gas, or ball lightning. No, the unidentified flying object I was staring at with my own two eyes was most definitely not of this earth.

My first thought was: Holy fucking shit.

Followed immediately by: I can’t believe it’s finally happening.

You see, ever since the first day of kindergarten, I had been hoping and waiting for some mind-blowingly fantastic, world-altering event to finally shatter the endless monotony of my public education. I had spent hundreds of hours gazing out at the calm, conquered suburban landscape surrounding my school, silently yearning for the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse, a freak accident that would give me super powers, or perhaps the sudden appearance of a band of time-traveling kleptomaniac dwarves.

I would estimate that approximately one-third of these dark daydreams of mine had involved the unexpected arrival of beings from another world.

Of course, I’d never believed it would really happen. Even if alien visitors did decide to drop by this utterly insignificant little blue-green planet, no self-respecting extraterrestrial would ever pick my hometown of Beaverton, Oregon--aka Yawnsville, USA--as their point of first contact. Not unless their plan was to destroy our civilization by wiping out our least interesting locales first. If there was a bright center to the universe, I was on the planet it was farthest from. Please pass the blue milk, Aunt Beru.

But now something miraculous was happening here--it was still happening, right now! There was a goddamn flying saucer out there. I was staring right at it.

And I was pretty sure it was getting closer.

I cast a furtive glance back over my shoulder at my two best friends, Cruz and Diehl, who were both seated behind me. But they were currently engaged in a whispered debate and neither of them was looking toward the windows. I considered trying to get their attention, but I was worried the object might vanish any second, and I didn’t want to miss my chance to see this for myself.

My gaze shot back outside, just in time to see another bright flash of silver as the craft streaked laterally across the landscape, then halted and hovered over an adjacent patch of terrain before zooming off again. Hover, move. Hover, move.

It was definitely getting closer. I could see its shape in more detail now. The saucer banked sideways for a few seconds, and I got my first clear glimpse of its top-down profile, and I saw that it wasn’t really a saucer at all. From this angle, I could see that its symmetrical hull resembled the blade of a two-headed battle-axe, and that a black, octagonal prism lay centered between its long, serrated wings, glinting in the morning sunlight like a dark jewel.

That was when I felt my brain begin to short-circuit, because there was no mistaking the craft’s distinctive design. After all, I’d seen it almost every night for the past few years, through a targeting reticle. I was looking at a Sobrukai Glaive, one of the fighter ships piloted by the alien bad guys in Armada, my favorite videogame.

Which was, of course, impossible. Like seeing a TIE Fighter or a Klingon Warbird cruising across the sky. The Sobrukai and their Glaive Fighters were fictional videogame creations. They didn’t exist in the real world--they couldn’t. In reality, videogames did not come to life and fictional spaceships did not buzz your hometown. Implausible shit like that only happened in cheesy ’80s movies, like TRON or WarGames or The Last Starfighter. The sorts of movies my late father had been nuts about.

The gleaming craft banked sideways again, and this time I got an even better look--there was no doubt about it. I was looking at a Glaive, right down to the distinctive claw-like grooves along its fuselage and the twin plasma cannons protruding from the front end like two fangs.

There was only one logical explanation for what I was seeing. I had to be hallucinating. And I knew what sort of people suffered from hallucinations in broad daylight without any help from drugs or alcohol. People who were cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, that’s who. Cats with a serious marble deficiency.

I’d long wondered if my father had been one such person, because of what I’d read in one of his old journals. The things I’d seen there had given me the impression that he’d become somewhat delusional near the end of his life. That he may have even lost the ability to differentiate between videogames and reality--the very same problem I now seemed to be experiencing myself. Maybe it was just as I had always secretly feared: The apple had fallen right next to the Crazy Tree.

Had I been drugged? No, impossible. All I’d eaten that morning was a raw strawberry Pop-Tart I’d wolfed down in my car on the way to school--and the only thing crazier than hallucinating a fictional videogame spaceship would be to blame it on a frosted breakfast pastry. Especially if I knew my own DNA was a far more likely culprit.

This was my own fault, I realized. I could’ve taken precautions. But instead, I’d done the opposite. Like my old man, I’d spent my entire life overdosing on uncut escapism, willingly allowing fantasy to become my reality. And now, like my father before me, I was paying the price for my lack of vision. I was going off the rails on a crazy train. You could practically hear Ozzy screaming “All aboard!”

Don’t do this, I pleaded with myself. Don’t crack up now, when we’ve only got two months to go until graduation! This is the home stretch, Lightman! Keep it together!

Outside the window, the Glaive Fighter streaked laterally again. As it zoomed over a cluster of tall trees, I saw their branches rustle in its wake. Then it zipped through another cloud bank, moving so fast it punched a perfect circular hole through its center, dragging several long wisps of cloud vapor along with it as it tore out the other side.

A second later, the craft froze in midair one last time before it streaked straight upward in a silver blur, vanishing from sight as quickly as it had appeared.

I just sat there for a moment, unable to do more than stare at the empty patch of sky where it had been a second earlier. Then I glanced around at the other students seated nearby. No one else was looking in the direction of the windows. If that Glaive Fighter had really been out there, no one else had seen it.

I turned back and scanned the empty sky once again, praying for the strange silver craft to reappear. But it was long gone, and now here I was, forced to deal with the aftermath.

Seeing that Glaive Fighter, or imagining I’d seen it, had triggered a small rock slide in my mind that was already growing into a crushing avalanche of conflicting emotions and fragmented memories--all of them linked to my father, and that old journal I’d found among his things.

Actually, I wasn’t even sure it had been a journal. I’d never finished reading it. I’d been too disturbed by its contents, and what they’d seemed to imply about the author’s mental state. So I’d put the old notebook back where I found it and tried to forget that it even existed--and until a few seconds ago, I had succeeded.

But now I couldn’t seem to think about anything else.

I felt a sudden compulsion to run out of the school, drive home, and find it. It wouldn’t take long. My house was only a few minutes away.

I glanced over at the exit, and the man guarding it, Mr. Sayles, our elderly Integrated Mathematics II teacher. He had a silver buzz cut, thick horn-rimmed glasses, and wore the same monochromatic outfit he always did: black loafers, black slacks, a white short-sleeve dress shirt, and a black clip-on necktie. He’d been teaching at this high school for over forty-five years now, and the old yearbook photos in the library were proof that he’d been rocking this same retro ensemble the entire time. Mr. S was finally retiring this year, which was a good thing, because he appeared to have run out of shits to give sometime in the previous century. Today, he’d spent the first five minutes going over our homework assignment, then given us the rest of the period to work on it, while he shut off his hearing aid and did his crosswords. But he would still spot me if I tried to sneak out.

My eyes moved to the ancient clock embedded in the lime green brick wall above the obsolete chalkboard. With its usual lack of pity, it informed me there were still thirty-two minutes remaining until the bell.

There was no way I could take thirty-two more minutes of this. After what I’d just seen, I’d be lucky if I managed to keep my shit together for another thirty-two seconds.

Off to my left, Douglas Knotcher was currently engaged in his daily humiliation of Casey Cox, the shy, acne-plagued kid unfortunate enough to be seated in front of him. Knotcher usually limited himself to lobbing verbal insults at the poor guy, but today he’d decided to go old-school and lob spitballs at him instead. Knotcher had a stack of moist projectiles piled on his desk like cannonballs, and he was currently firing them at the back of Casey’s head, one after another. The back of the poor kid’s hair was already damp with spit from Knotcher’s previous attacks. A couple of Knotcher’s pals were watching from the back of the room, and they snickered each time he nailed Casey with another projectile, egging him on.

It drove me nuts when Knotcher bullied Casey like this--which, I suspected, was one of the reasons Knotcher enjoyed doing it so much. He knew I couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

I glanced at Mr. Sayles, but he was still lost in his crossword, clueless as always--a fact that Knotcher took advantage of on a daily basis. And on a daily basis, I had to resist the urge to knock his teeth down his throat.

Doug Knotcher and I had managed to avoid each other, for the most part, ever since “the Incident” back in junior high. Until this year, when a cruel act of fate had landed us both in the same math class. Seated in adjacent rows, no less. It was almost as if the universe wanted my last semester of high school to be as hellish as possible.

That would have also explained why my ex-girlfriend, Ellen Adams, was in this class, too. Three rows to my right and two rows back, sitting just beyond the reach of my peripheral vision.

Ellen was my first love, and we’d lost our virginity to each other. It had been nearly two years since she’d dumped me for some wrestler from a neighboring school, but every time I saw those freckles across the bridge of her nose--or caught sight of her tossing that curly red hair out of her eyes--I felt my heart breaking all over again. I usually spent the entire class period trying to forget she was in the room.

Being forced to sit between my mortal enemy and my ex-girlfriend every afternoon made seventh-period math feel like my own private Kobayashi Maru, a brutal no-win scenario designed to test my emotional fortitude.

Thankfully fate had balanced out the nightmare equation slightly by placing my two best friends in this class, too. If Cruz and Diehl hadn’t been assigned here, I probably would’ve snapped and started hallucinating shit midway through my first week.

I glanced back at them again. Diehl, who was tall and thin, and Cruz, who was short and stocky, both shared the same first name, Michael. Ever since grade school I had been calling them by their last names to avoid confusion. The Mikes were still engaged in the same whispered conversation they’d been having earlier, before I’d zoned out and started seeing things--a debate over the “coolest melee weapon in the history of cinema.” I tried to focus in on their voices again now.

“Sting wasn’t even really a sword,” Diehl was saying. “It was more like a glow-in-the-dark Hobbit butter knife, used to spread jam on scones and lembas bread and shit.”

Cruz rolled his eyes. “ ‘Your love of the halflings’ leaf has clearly slowed your mind,’ ” he quoted. “Sting was an Elvish blade, forged in Gondolin in the First Age! It could cut through almost anything! And its blade only glowed when it detected the presence of orcs or goblins nearby. What does Mjolnir detect? Fake accents and frosted hair?”

I wanted to tell them what I’d just seen, but best friends or not, there was no way in hell they’d believe me. They’d think of it as another symptom of their pal Zack’s psychological instability.

And maybe it was, too.

“Thor doesn’t need to detect his enemies so he can run off and hide in his little Hobbit hole!” Diehl whispered. “Mjolnir is powerful enough to destroy mountains, and it can also emit energy blasts, create force fields, and summon lightning. The hammer also always returns to Thor’s hand after he throws it, even if it has to tear through an entire planet to get back to him! And only Thor can wield it!” He leaned back.

“Dude, Mjolnir is a bullshit magical Swiss Army knife!” Cruz said. “Even worse than Green Lantern’s ring! They give that hammer a new power every other week, just to get Thor out of whatever asinine fix they’ve written him into.” He smirked. “By the way, lots of other people have wielded Mjolnir, including Wonder Woman in a crossover issue! Google it! Your whole argument is invalid, Diehl!”

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Armada 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
J_Capricci More than 1 year ago
I will rate this book as "average" in all possible ways. This is because Ernest Cline has written only two books and I feel it would be unfair to rate it lower, as I am honestly inclined to do, due to how uncommonly excellent Ready Player One was. First, the entirety of the book up to the epilogue covers a single, continuous, 72 hour period which makes any and all character growth which the author tries to impose seem ludicrously contrived. Second, the characters themselves spend an absurd about of time pointing out the incongruities of the book's plot. Even if I am being charitable here and assuming that Cline is setting up a sequel it's simply bad writing. Third, the denoument and final battle are rushed in an absurd manner, no attention is paid to detail, it's simply 10 pages of dry, factual recitation with little drama or anything else that makes it worth reading despite how fraught with potential the events in question are. This is absolutely, hands down, one of the worst final conflicts that has ever been penned, made more offensive by the fact that Ready Player One showed the author capable of writing those "ultimate showdown" type of conclusions that are so satisfying. The descriptions of meaningless simulator battles undertaken by Zack Lightman when he believes Armada to be a mere computer game are superior to the description of the final conflict which simply states "X happened, then Y, followed by Z" with all the engagement you might expect to find in a morgue report. Add to that the particular nature of the story and the heavy handed foreshadowing that Armada is merely a prologue to a larger narrative and I am deeply disappointed in this book which I purchased expecting to find a worthy follow up to Ready Player One and instead found a piece of cheap pulp in its place that I wouldn't have picked up from the bargain bin if it had been written by another author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn’t stop reading. This book was very engaging. Being a geek myself, and finding Ready Player One and Armada was a true god send. I clicked with these books and the witty humor, awkward love stories, trying to find a place in the world. All the 80’s and 90’s references are great memories to throw in the mix of things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth it but not as good as ready player one and it is too similar to ready player one
Sparrowhawk24 More than 1 year ago
Armada, while technically a creative and somewhat enjoyable read, fell short of my expectations. I truly wanted to like this book in view of its thematic scope: all things video games, but I just was not able to connect with the narrative. In short, it was just okay for me ___________________________________________ WHAT I LIKED: + At face value, Ernest Cline’s Armada is a decent science fiction novel. The plot is action-packed and fast-paced. The character development is well-executed with each personality seeping through the pages seamlessly + Together with that, the writing is superb! The majority of the book is full of witty playful conversation typically heard amid the geeky-nerdy herd; I was able to bask in this aspect of the novel effortlessly and found myself chuckling at all the in-game chat references quite a bit to say the least + Being the conspiracy junkie that I am, I loved the scheme surrounding the video game lore. It was as if Cline gathered all my years worth of conspiracy thoughts ―which I have no remorse for―and compiled them into this one nifty book. In brief, Armada amused the conspiracy, geeky, gamer side of me and further reminded me that not everything is merely a theory ha! WHAT I DIDN’T LIKED: - I feel like I am at my wit’s end when it comes to books. Truth be told, it’s been such a long time since I have read an absorbing read where I lose touch with reality or become utterly consumed in the world and characters of said book. As a result, I’m afraid my heart’s become too incorrigible and irritable. Too, I feel that life is too short to spend it on books you cannot connect with; alas, I digress. What I mean to say is Armada rode on all-too-familiar coattails; this is your typical teenage-hero-saves-the-world sort of book which has nothing new to offer or add to the standard range of Young Adult tropes, and personally, I would rather read Ender’s Game or The 5th Wave – which I started this weekend by the way - While the banter and dialogue in Armada was most amusing, I ultimately found that once I began to peel back its many layers, I was less than thrilled. Not only that but more often than not, I found myself awfully bothered by the excessive use of profanities and the book’s crude presence. Ultimately, this combined with the all-too-familiar tropes, obliterated my interest in Armada and forced me to skim through the book altogether. And just for the record, not all “gamers” interact and behave as such, there are some well-composed easygoing gamers on the other side of the spectrum who love ranting and obsessing over superheroes, armor, weapons and graphics without the teeming use of foul language. Just thought I should mention this Full Review @
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a fan of Ready Player One, I was very excited about Cline taking on a new project. One problem with Armada, however, is it felt like he picked up a very early rough draft of RPO and ran with it. While this is not inherently a bad thing, as many good stories can spring from the same inspired idea, Armada bears all of the desperation to live out the 80s arcade gamer fantasy of the first book without the compelling narrative justification for such an obsession. Granted, the 80s culture references are less frequent, but most of the time they feel quite forced. Character depth was not a particularly strong feature of RPO, and the characters are even closer to one-dimensional here. All Brightman's two friends seem to do is debate nerd trivia (sound familiar?), and his tattooed hacker/gamer/geek love interest is plucked straight from the dreams of the nerd archetype Cline relies on so heavily (and without much variation, if any). Brightman himself simply seems to have two switches that dictate the personality surrounding his excessive crassness and smug self-satisfaction: (1) mad or not mad and (2) in the gaming zone or out of it. If you're worth anything in this book, you played D&D and one or both of two video games, and you rocked out to ZZ Top, Queen, and Twisted Sister -- or you're Brightman's mom. There seems to be only one form of nerd in Cline's world, and the only constituent of geek culture who can look up from the Cheetos and Diet Dew long enough to save the world. Fathers and fatherhood, utterly absent from RPO, take center stage in Cline's first book since becoming a father, and the treatment comes off as clunky and cloying at best. The story itself peaks out at "okay." As noted in other reviews, many of the narrative elements are borrowed from The Last Starfighter and a host of classic sci-fi alien movies, although, in terms of creativity, it feels more like the looming Adam Sandler abomination "Pixels" than any of the inspiring works. The book moves from one lifted plot point to the next with little effort at transition, the "twists" are not only hinted at early but outright declared by characters well before they happen, and, despite all of the seemingly shifting truths and claims of manipulation, the only credible manipulation seems to be on the reader. We were led to believe that this book would be another crafty celebration of the weak and bullied nerd class of the first world saving the whole planet. But that was a trick. Instead, we got a rather hackneyed regurgitation of very familiar stories lacking an original unifying foundation and developed characters. I did not want another RPO, but I also did not want a very rough derivative effort released in time to capitalize on the growing buzz of the first book and its developing movie adaptation. I'm not ready to give up on Cline, though, and not just because I loved RPO. Armada is still fun at times, and Cline's passion for a very specific segment of geek culture is infectious. I doubt I'll ever reread his sophomore effort, which is a shame in light of how many times I've gone through RPO, but I will look forward to his next book with both eager anticipation and tempered expectations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not much else to say. If you are an unpopular high schooler with a thing for 80's video games and pop culture this is your fantasy. Just because you name drop better books and movies doesn't improve your writing when you steal from them. I think the moment it was truly over for me was when the ragtag band of heroes let out their battle cries, and they were all just quotes from better entertainment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
See title of review. Lex and Zack's first meeting was the most cringy meet cute I've ever seen. Lex also has no personality of her own, serving only as Zack's dream girl. And while I could accept Zack being obsessed with the '80s because of his dad, I couldn't see every other character being obsessed with the '80s. At most I could see them being obsessed with Terra Firma and Armada, but the story didn't require or need an obsession with the '80s. If you're going to do wish fulfillment, show the downsides of the wish being fulfilled. My eyes glazed over at the videogame urban legends in chapter two. Videogame urban legends could be fascinating if it wasn't run into the ground.And I find it highly unrealistic how gamers were recruited. Gamers would lack the discipline, and they would be unprepared for the horrors of war (not that Cline ever bothers to make you care for them or depict the horrors of war.) Save your money and read Ender's Game or The Last Starfighter instead or the other things referenced. Cline adds nothing new by making his story a slew of references. I like references best when they are subtle and are not required to be understood in order to appreciate a novel. True, it may be a problem that people in other media never acknowledge the problem they are facing in other media, but making your novel nothing but references doesn't fix that. I think that's even worse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book . Thought it was well written and touched all the reminiscent points of my childhood .
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
I don't read a lot of science fiction, but I enjoyed Ready Player One, so I had to check out Cline's next book. I liked this book, although not as much as his first book. I listened to the audiobook, read by Wil Wheaton. He did such a great job portraying the 18-year old main character. His voice even cracked in the appropriate places. I read a few bad reviews before reading this book, so I was a little nervous. Those bloggers criticized the unoriginal story line, but I found that to be the point of the book. Zack has been playing video games and watching sci fi movies his whole life, and now aliens from his video game are invading Earth. I thought Cline did a great job of outlining what that would be like. The story is funny and poignant, But, for me, the book was about the character of Zack. Cline does the teenage boy so well! Zack is struggling with the absence of his father, who died when he was a baby. He worries that his dad was just some crazy guy who wrote down his conspiracy theories in his notebooks. It's a quest to understand his father. And then Zack finds out that his dad was actually right. Good feels. As in Ready Player One, this book is full of references - nerdy and non-nerdy, mostly 80s and 90s reference since Zack's dad was born in 1980 (the same year I was born). I enjoyed that a lot. I also found it amusing that Cline chose to set the book in 2018, so there could be a female president. I had a hard time following the battles in the audiobook, but that may have just been me. And I felt like the pacing was off a little bit. It jumps right in to the story at the beginning, which I liked a lot. But then it slowed down in the middle - too slow. And the ending felt rushed, although oddly, it seemed to set up for a sequel. Ultimately, I enjoyed this book. I don't think I'll read it again because it's not really my genre, but I did get emotionally invested in the characters, so I'll read the sequel if there is one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ernest Cline pulls lots of pop cukture and geek references into his second book and has a very likable protagonist in Zack Lightman. This was a fun read, although it didn't grab me right away the way that Ready Player One did - maybe because I was expecting all the geeky references (while Ready Player One's nerd references were a surprise). But Zack's story is believable and entertaining, and the story sets up a potential sequel quite nicely.
AudiobookReviewer More than 1 year ago
ABR's original Armada audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer. After falling head over heals madly in love with Ernest Cline after listening to Ready Player One, listening to Armada was a no brainer. I was really hoping that he keeps with the same elements that made me and many others love his previous work. This is the story of Zack Lightman. He is a nerd be the very definition of the word. Does well at school, plays several massive multiplayer online games. Devotes so much time to gaming that he has ranked in the top 10 of Armada, and earth defense MMO. Zach’s father died in a tragic work accident before he was old enough to remember him. Zach desperately wants to connect with his long lost dad. One day he was day dreaming looking outside during class and see a real life spaceship, just like the thousands he has destroyed in the game. We come to find out that the game was created by the government to train pilots for the on coming alien invasion, that they have been preparing for for decades. It is amazing to me that almost this entire story really takes place during one week or so. If you are not a nerd yourself or a child of the eighties or gamer or the like you might get lost in all of the techno-babble throughout this story. It even lost me at times, but I didn’t even care. I really appreciated Cline’s hidden message, well maybe not so hidden to those that have read or listened already. What if war wasn’t the answer? What if humans don’t necessarily know best? Just like Transformers there is more than meets the eye, I mean ears. Fast paced and full of all of the classic eighties references that I craved with Cline’s writing. Mix in a little heart ache, a whiny 18 year old high school kid, aliens and space battles. You have a highly entertaining story that I had to be pried from to take part in my reality. I thought that I had it all figured out and right when it was going to be confirmed that I was right. I wasn’t. I love it when this happens. This was hands down the best performance and production of Wil Wheaton I have ever heard. Somehow Penguin Random House was able to figure out a way to mask all of Wheaton’s signature mouth noises. There were nonexistent here. If that wasn’t enough for you. You could tell that he was giving this performance 110% effort in making this a all immersing listening experience. Witnessed most by the energy injected throughout, almost yelling, laughing and similar vocal expressions making everything come alive. Add that to all of the pacing changes for action versus seriousness, decent characterizations. Gives you one heck a fun time listening to this adventure. Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.
DownrightDystopian More than 1 year ago
**Thank you so much to Crown Publishing & Wunderkind PR for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!** A few years ago, I read this amazing book entitled Ready Player One; it instantly became a favorite of mine. Years later, I still recommend it to people when they ask what book they should read or grab from the library or bookstore. It was just that memorable and that amazing. The second I found out that Ernest Cline would be releasing yet another book, I knew that I had to read it. Armada follows a teenager named Zack, who's pretty much just like every other teenager. He goes to school and loves gaming. His particular favorite is Armada, in which he battles evil aliens with aircraft. He's actually incredibly good at it; he's placed sixth on the leader board worldwide. Zack also works at a local video game store with a guy named Ray, who he has become pretty good friends with. Zack only lives with his mother because his father died in an explosion at the age of nineteen, just mere months after Zack was born. Therefore he has never known what it is like to have a father. However, his mother kept everything that his father ever owned, so Zack spends a lot of time going through it all in the attic. He even found a super cool jacket covered in gaming patches, which he enjoys wearing, along with his father's playlist of music that he used to listen to, so Zack decides to listen to it all the time when he games. The best thing he found was tons of journals that hold his father's suspicions. Xavier Lightman, Zack's father, believed that the idea of aliens was expertly played out to humans through multimedia for a reason, and that gaming was used as a way to recruit people to help fight the real-live aliens. Turns out that he was right, because one day while at school, Zack is recruited to join the EDA and help fight the aliens because they're going to be attacking the world in a day. Will the world be safe? OKAY, I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO START WITH THIS REVIEW. First of all, Ernest Cline is hands-down one of my favorite authors. Anything he writes, I will automatically buy because he's just that awesome. He always throws in references to geeky things, and as a geek myself, I love it so much. He references old videogames and Star Wars and different bands and it just makes me so incredibly happy inside. He did the same in Ready Player One. I just love his writing style and way of explaining things as well. I also loved this story. I absolutely adored Zack and his story and how he was this amazing video gamer. I thought it was so awesome when he was recruited by the EDA. He was so surprised but went along with it anyway! I also loved how the characters were really complex. Also, there were so many twists and turns. I didn't find it to be predictable at all, which was a huge plus! The whole idea behind this story was absolutely mind-blowing, because it could absolutely be true. I mean, so many teenagers and adults play video games around the world (including me), so what if we are being tracked on our progress in the game in case of an invasion or even for the military? I just think it's a cool idea. I haven't read a science fiction story in the longest time, but I think I'm going to have to go binge-read some sci-fi novels now. If you've not read anything by Ernest Cline yet, definitely check out Armada. You won't regret it, I promise you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
plappen More than 1 year ago
Zack Lightman is an average teen-age resident of Oregon. His passion is video games, especially an Alien invasion game called Armada, at which he is one of the top players in the world. Zack's father, Xavier, died when he was a baby (or did he?), but left behind some unique theories. He strongly believed that pop culture, from the Twilight Zone TV show to the Star Wars films all the way to present-day video games has a specific purpose. It is to indoctrinate mankind to the possibility of alien existence, because Contact has already happened. At school one day, everyone rushes outside when a shuttle from the Earth Defense Alliance, exactly like the video game, lands on the athletic field. The people inside are looking for Zack. The invasion is real and imminent. Taken to a secret underground base, Zack and the other new recruits, all top players of the game, learn that swarms of drones are coming from Jupiter's moon, Europa. The intention is to wipe out humanity. All of Earth prepares for war. While engaging the invaders, questions arise about their tactics. If they really want to destroy mankind, why are they using an inefficient method like a drone invasion? Pointing an asteroid at Earth, or releasing a worldwide plague would be much easier. Anyone with any video game passion will love this novel. It is very easy to read, and understand, and would make a great movie. This is very much worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was picturing something like Last Starfighter but instead it came up as if it was written by some guy who spends his day playing games in his mom’s basement gaming and gets high on weed and decides to write a book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read, but it felt rushed. Definitely gonna look at more books from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed ready player one, you will probably be able to look past the cheesiest parts of this work and enjoy it. If you have a passing knowledge of the game scene and want a quick read its worth it. But wait for it to go on sale!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good book but would have been a lot better if he hadn't wedged all the eighties nostalgia in. It work in his first book but seemed forced in this one. Couldn't really believe everyone enjoyed the music and films from the eighties. How many modern high school kids are going to know the Brady Bunch theme? Hopefully he won't feel the need to keep doing this in future books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keep in mind that this is NOT RP1! Other than that, its a good story and worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Given the subject matter, I felt that Armada was not as nearly as strong a novel as Cline's first. It lacked the tension, desperation and timing. Instead of being on an exploratory rollercoaster of adventure, it was more of a predictable slog to a conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book with a story. It's got a beginning, a middle, and an end
Lord_Rahlus More than 1 year ago
Cline Ernest reached into his vault of intellect and proficiency and crafted a story that builds upon his first book, “Ready Player One” as well as the science fiction theme of Humans versus Aliens and explained it through the first person view of Zachary Lightman, the protagonist and video game prodigy living in a reality of alien invasion and the secret organization of the EDA. This achieves a standing that is fitting with other backgrounds applicable to a seemingly unworthy hero of meager standings that is relatable in most ways, hinting towards a style that follows the plot of many Greek Tragedies and Epics. Ernest achieves a rugged story with twists and turns on every page, building a tone of suspense and fear as battle inevitably creeps closer and keeps the reader interested by adding vague dialogue and surprises.
ReadingOverTheShoulder More than 1 year ago
More pop culture references, but I think it's better written than Ready Player One. The plot and characters more detailed and well rounded. Full review at
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Try reading ready player one, it's a lot better than this book. Needs a better character development and better plot could have been a 150 page novel instead of a 329 page novel. Maybe mr. Cline third book will be as good as ready player one.