Armada, Ernest Cline's follow-up to Ready Player One, is instantly familiar. The reader is once again plunged into a sci-fi world that relies heavily on pop-culture references and influences. Our hero is Zack Lightman, a high school gamer who dreams of a day when something exciting will come along to shake him out of his humdrum existence while worshipping a father who died too young. Soon enough, just such an event does occur, and all of Zack's gaming prowess suddenly proves to be much more important than a simple video game. The book is saturated in pop-culture and draws heavily from sci-fi classics of film, literature, and video games. There is a lot of action, humor, and even a smattering of love! Rabid fans of Ready Player One looking for a second act that goes toe to toe with Cline's debut may be a little disappointed, but they shouldn't be. Armada is a fun read in the same geeky vein and anyone who ever played Space Invaders will love it.
Struggling to complete his final month of high school only to glimpse a UFO that exactly resembles an enemy ship from his favorite video game, Zack questions his sanity before becoming one of millions of gamers tasked with protecting the Earth during an alien invasion.