TTP Review of READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline

I have been writing and publishing Turn the Page book reviews for a few years now. I have nearly 150 to my credit and a good ninety percent of them fit into one of two categories: mysteries or thrillers. Those are the sorts of books I write so my reading is mostly limited to those genres. That’s not to say I won’t venture beyond that. I will, on occasion, read historical fiction, non-fiction, horror, fantasy, and with some coaxing, even science fiction. So, when it was suggested I give Ready Player One by Ernest Cline a try, I didn’t even hesitate. Okay, fine. I did hesitate a little bit. I downloaded the book and it sat on my cyber shelf for a good six months before I finally cracked the virtual cover. And now I wonder why I waited so long.

The year is 2045 and the world has seen better times. There are shortages of fuel, food, water, suitable living space, and only the wealthy have much more than the most basic necessities of life. A growing number of people choose to take refuge in OASIS, a revolutionary virtual world that, in many regards, is far better than the real thing. The eccentric OASIS creator has died, leaving his vast fortune to the first person who can find the Easter egg he’s left behind. Clues are few; and as the hunt continues, one powerful group proves they not only have their eyes on the prize but will stop at nothing in order to get it.



ernest-clineAuthor Ernest Cline has called Ready Player One the geekiest book ever written. It’s full of video games, avatars, role playing, and a whole lot of 80’s pop culture. If you still have fond memories of Atari, Colecovision, the Commodore 64, Family Ties, Square Pegs, The Breakfast Club, War Games, MTv, Billy Idol and the B-52’s, this is the book for you. In fact, if I didn’t know ahead of time that the book would deliver such a heavy dose of nostalgia, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with it. I already told you I’m not real into sci-fi, and the real futuristic stuff really isn’t my thing. That said I enjoyed the book thoroughly. Is the storyline believable? Not even a little bit. It is, however, creative, engaging, intriguing, suspenseful, witty and just plain fun. Drop a quarter in the slot and give it a try.       


If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to my blogs. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter @Micsova. Drop me a line at And please pick up a copy of A Shot at Redemption or my latest novel, Parlor City Paradise.

TTP Review of THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

     If you’ve read many of my Turn the Page book reviews, you probably have a pretty good idea of my preferences when it comes to literary genres.   I read a lot of thrillers, mysteries, suspense, some non-fiction, historical fiction, and very occasionally, horror.  I don’t do fantasy, the Harry Potter series notwithstanding; and with the exception of Douglas Adams’ immortal The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I’m not a big fan of science fiction either.  It’s just not my thing.  Forty-five years on our little blue planet and I’ve never seen an entire episode of Star Trek.  I tried–a few times actually.  I thought it was silly.  My sincerest apologies to the vast Trekie population.  Please do not take me to your leader.  All that said, I was uncharacteristically intrigued when something called The Martian was featured on the Writing Excuses podcast as their Book of the Week.  

      Written by Andy Weir, The Martian is about an astronaut, separated from his crew, believed dead and abandoned on Mars.  It’s not all bad.  He has shelter, food, oxygen, water and all the other essentials.  He can easily stay alive for weeks.  Unfortunately, the next Mars mission isn’t due to arrive for another four years.  Rescue is out of the question because no one even realizes he’s there.  He is utterly on his own in the absolutely truest sense of the words.  He has a couple choices.  He can learn how to survive on a planet unfit for human habitation… or he can die trying.

      The Martian is Andy Weir’s first novel.  The vast majority of first novels go largely unnoticed.  I should know.  I’ve written one.  It’s called A Shot at Redemptionfor anyone who might be interested..  Where I’m still struggling daily to try to entice new readers, Weir has already received major accolades and thousands of five star reviews.  You can add mine to the growing collection.  I thought the book was amazing, galactic if you will, and unlike anything else I’ve ever read. 

      Initially, The Martian is a collection of log entries as our hero details his situation and the steps he can take to at least extend his virtually hopeless situation.  I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to ruin what I found to be a fascinating reading experience.  What I will say is that the plot, writing style and characters (yes, there are more than one) are all excellent.  Weir does an incredible job taking what is on the surface a traditional man vs. nature survival story and giving it an  unpredictable sci-fi spin.  It’s suspenseful, often surprisingly funny and incredibly compelling from the first page to the last.  I will say again that I am not a fan of the science fiction genre but I give The Martian five stars and I would recommend it to anyone.  One final note on this book.  The audio version is fantastic.  It’s narrated by R. C. Bray and he really does a great job with voices, accents, and really bringing the story to life.  Visit to listen to an excerpt from the book.  And when you’re done, download the whole thing.             


     If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Wishful Thinking blog, in which I share samples of my work, publish some original short fiction, discuss the trials and tribulations of trying to make  it as a new novelist, and from September to February, talk lots and lots of football.  Visit, or find me on Facebook, and on Twitter @MicsovaAlso, please pick up a copy of A SHOT AT REDEMPTION, my debut mystery novel.  

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