Review of Armada

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.

I had super high expectations for Armada. I loved Ready Player One so much and geek out every time I talk about it. I practically forced my husband to read RPO and even sent it to my OTSP Secret Sister because I felt EVERYONE needed to read it. I will be a the theater at midnight if the movie gets produced! So, seeing how much I loved RPO, you can see how high I set the bar for Armada.

  • I had to listen to the audiobook, because once again, the amazing Wil Wheaton narrated! I am such a huge nerd and hearing Wil narrate just makes me quiver with excitement (LOL)
  • I love how Earnest Cline works all of his pop culture loves into his books. This one talked about old video games and sci-fi entertainment, like Ender's Game.
  • Zack was a fun main character, he was smart and witty, but a little broken after the death of his father. He uses his skills playing video games and that ends up propelling him into a situation he never would have imagined.
  • There is a little romance in the book and I have to say that was one of my favorite parts. I loved the flirting, nerd flirting is really the best!
  • There seemed like so much build up and then the ending just came tumbling together. I kept looking at my percentage thinking that there was no way for the story to wrap up in so little time.
  • The story was pretty blah for quite some time. I was not as immediately involved in the story like I was with RPO. It just felt like it was missing something.

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  1. Great review. I loved Ready Player One, so I feel like I have to read Armada.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. RPO is in production with Spielberg at the helm. Christmas 2017 release date
    Yup. Armada was a huge let down. It was really tedious and a really lack luster story. When I was reading it I would enjoy it. But as soon as I put it down I'd have no desire to pick it back up. Took me two weeks to read. :/
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  3. I'm sorry this one didn't meet your expectations :( it's always a disappointment when that happens. I have RPO sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, have heard many good things about it - but I think I'll give this particular one a miss.

    - Wattle @ Whimsical Nature

  4. That is one of a hella book cover! Sad that this book turned out to be the opposite on you. I hope your next read would be better!

    Yani @

  5. Great review, to be honest I loved it I actually read it before I read Ready Player One. Ernest has such a great imagination and I love all those old school references!

  6. Yes I agree with this review! The ending was sooo rushed and it was the most interesting part of the story for me. It was still fun, but not as grabbing as RPO.


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.