Friday, 7 August 2015

Book Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

Hi all! I hope you're having a wonderful week. I had intended to update my blog after my weekend away but as usual, things got on top of me and I didn't have time. As a result, I've got a backlog of book reviews for you!

Last Friday I finished Armada by Ernest Cline, the author of Ready Player One. The book follows a teenage boy in the year 2018, (I think), as aliens threaten to invade the world and humanity is called upon to protect itself. I wish this review was more positive as I loved Ready Player One, but I felt that Armada really fell short.

The beginning of the novel showed promise; I liked where the plot seemed to be headed, and we were introduced to the action very quickly. After that however, things started to go downhill. Cline relies heavily on pop culture references in his writing, primarily 80s pop culture. In Ready Player One the references were at least relevant sometimes... but in this novel I found it genuinely irritating throughout. I feel that Cline tries so hard to relate to young people, or to maybe recreate his own youth in his writing, that it just feels so forced and uncomfortable. It doesn't work and it doesn't feel convincing. He also relies heavily on pop culture references to describe how characters are feeling. Not only is this kind of lazy, but it's very difficult for those of us who are unfamiliar with all these superheroes or sci-fi characters of decades gone by... how can we understand how his character is feeling, if he's using another obscure fictional character to describe it? *scratches head*

The book was veeeeeerrry slow in the middle, before suddenly galloping towards an ending that was honestly, the most disappointing conclusion I've ever read. Obviously I won't spoil you, you'll have to read it to understand my anger... I was honestly raging, I threw the book (onto the sofa, I didn't want to ruin it lol) and everything! I have never experienced such a lazy, unsatisfying close to a novel. It felt as though Cline was gearing up for a sequel so perhaps that's in the works, but honestly, the ending was ridiculous. My boyfriend is a HUGE fan of Cline and even he admitted that the ending was awful.

So yes. Despite my rage at the conclusion of the novel, I rated Armada 3 out of 5 stars. I did enjoy the first half.

Sorry for two negative reviews in a row, but I have three positive reviews coming up over the next few days, yay!