Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

16278318 Armada by Ernest Cline
Published: July 14, 2015

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.


First of all I’d like to say that this book was really good. I feel like I connected with Zack the most especially when he’s playing videogames and the way he geeks out about them. But I felt like almost all the characters went by unnoticed.

I love how the setting made me feel like I was right there with Zack and the crew. But at the same time I feel like the connection and the setting didn’t really make up for the whole predictability of the book. I felt like I could tell what would happen about 3 Chapters ahead and, without a doubt I was correct.

This book was super entertaining and interesting it just got a bit repetitive and a bit bothersome that I knew what was to happen. Also, it didn’t feel as though it was written any differently than Ready Player One. I WAS hoping that Cline would write something interesting and different than his previous book but the way it was written Zack reminded me quite a bit of Wade.

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