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.
Review by Other
“A thrilling coming-of-age story.”
“Nerd-gasmic…another science fiction tale with a Comic-Con’s worth of pop-culture shout-outs.”
“An amazing novel [that] proves Cline has the ability to blend popular culture with exciting stories that appeal to everyone.”
“Mixes Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, Independence Day and a really gnarly round of Space Invaders into a tasty sci-fi stew.”
“A fantastic second novel…fans of Ready Player One, it is time to rejoice.”
“A joyous, rollicking read…will garner Cline an even larger group of fans than the formidable crew he’s already assembled.”
“A great romp…Cline (ever the fanboy) is both reverent of and referential to the books and movies and games of his childhood.”
“Video games come to life in this witty, extraterrestrial thriller.”
—New York Post
“Built like a summer blockbuster…Cline recombines the DNA of Ender’s Game, Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, and old-school arcade games like Asteroids into something that’s both familiar and unpredictable. It’s a mutant homage to sci-fi tropes past.”
“Hugely entertaining…a paean to the videogames of a bygone era, and like Ready Player One it is a tremendous amount of fun for anyone who remembers that time and played those games.”
–George R.R. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Game of Thrones
“A novel so fun, you’ll want to reboot it and read it again…the best novel this gamer geek has read in a long, long time.”
—Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool
“Those conspiracies you imagined when you were fourteen turn out to be true in this masterful tale of Earth’s desperate struggle against a powerful alien foe.”
—Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
“Armada proves Ernie Cline is the modern master of wish fulfillment literature – and of reminding us to be careful what we wish for.”
—John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling author of Old Man’s War
“With another winning teen protagonist in Zach, Cline mines the nostalgia and geek spheres just as successfully as he did in his acclaimed debut, Ready Player One. The works that obviously influenced the story line, such as Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and the filmsThe Last Starfighter and Star Wars, feel like homages rather than borrowings- a rap artist sampling the best beats our there to create an irresistible jam.”—Library Journal, starred review
“Cline once again brings crackling humor and fanboy knowledge to a zesty, crowd-pleasing, countdown-clock, save-the-planet tale featuring an unlikely hero, adrenaline-pumping action, gawky romance, and touching family moments.…Cline’s sly, mind-twisting premise and energetically depicted and electrifying high-tech battles make for smart, frenetic, and satisfying entertainment.”
—Booklist, starred review
Praise for Ready Player One:
“Enchanting…Willy Wonka meets the Matrix. Its geeky characters are geeky cool. And its action is imaginative, always cinematic.[Cline] even weaves a sweet romance into this hero-vs.-villain tale.”
“The grown-up’s ‘Harry Potter’…the mystery and fantasy in this novel weaves itself in the most delightful way, and the details that make up Mr. Cline’s world are simply astounding. Ready Player One has it all.”
“A rollicking, surprise-laden, potboiling, thrilling adventure story…the best science-fiction novel I’ve read in a decade.”
“Ridiculously fun and large-hearted… Cline is that rare writer who can translate his own dorky enthusiasms into prose that’s both hilarious and compassionate. You’ll wish you could make it go on and on.”
“A smart, funny thriller that both celebrates and critiques online culture… layered with inside jokes and sly references.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“An addictive read… part intergalactic scavenger hunt, part romance and all heart.”
“Incredibly entertaining…a geek fantasia, ‘80s culture memoir and commentary on the future of online behavior all at once.”