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Readers Already Roasting Ready Player Two

With good reason

ready player one early reactions reviews

We knew it was coming, dreaded it even, but it still doesn’t quite feel real. Yet Ready Player Two, Ernest Cline’s highly anticipated (to someone I’m sure) sequel to Read Player One is here and it’s already getting savaged online. Reading the excerpts getting dragged … I can definitely see why.

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To be fully transparent here, I have not read Ready Player One. I did see the movie and found it to be absolutely exhausting and disheartening, mainly because it was so predictable and also because the pop culture virtual world it imagines is not too far removed from our current social media hellscape and that’s terrifying in its own right. But while it was tiring, the book and movie did tell a complete story … but the sequel seems to be returning to the same pop culture overload well and making their protagonist even more unlikeable, and it’s not looking good.

I’m just so tired.

Critic Laura Hudson, who has written extensively on Cline and the franchise, is live-tweeting the ordeal and it’s already been a journey, just 40 or so pages in.

So real life is … The Earl. As in pronouncing “IRL.” I just …

And now, I’m sorry but … what? WHAT???

It doesn’t stop! This tech where people get to just … relive other lives or be other people seems like it could be a cool idea with a better writer, but here it just sounds … horrifying!

At least the insufferable narrator got dumped.

Seriously. Only reading what’s above is absolutely bonkers! The amount of stuff covered in a few paragraphs is bonkers, and the stupid references throughout make it even worse!

This is all bad bad bad. But it turns out the sequel is also seriously offending trans readers for a very good reason.

Yikes, Ernest Cline, YIKES.

The problem here seems to be that after the success of Ready Player One, Cline seems to be one of the authors that can’t be edited. He was too successful and can’t be told his work is no good. Or maybe the first book was this flat and bad and relied too much on references and not real story or emotion too? The movie certainly came off that way.

In general, folks are dunking on all of the ways the franchise doesn’t get pop culture but also exemplified the absolute worst takes on it.

Just please … can we not make this one into a movie?

(image: Warner Brothers)

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Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.

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