Saturday, May 28, 2016

*Review* Armada by Ernest Cline

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi
Published: July 14, 2015
Pages: 384


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 videogames 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 videogame 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 through 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? 
At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.


If I were to imagine a precursor to Ender's Game, Armada would be it. This is the beginning of video game battle simulation training being used for real battle. The beginning of teenage gamers being used to beat an enemy.

This story had me hooked from the beginning. The main character, Zack, has a Captain America personality. He's very much against injustice and bullies, and that is made clear from the get go. So he's basically the perfect type of guy to be enlisted to fight an alien invasion. Thank goodness he's also super obsessed with one single video game (which seems a bit odd to me. I don't think I know any gamers that only play one game, or even just one game franchise). 

Like the alien invaders actions, I felt like this book was fairly predictable. Everything honestly happened very easily it seemed, but I was still anxious to make sure it did. I would have liked to have seen a few more risks on Cline's part though. 

Overall I give Armada 4 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

*Copy received through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

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About the Author

ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His first novel, Ready Player One, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, appeared on numerous “best of the year” lists, and is set to be adapted into a motion picture by Warner Bros. and director Steven Spielberg. His second novel, ARMADA, debuted at #4 on the NYT Bestseller list and is being made into a film by Universal Pictures. Ernie lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.

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