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Summary

Zack Lightman is a dreamer. He fills his days with wishful thoughts of life on other planets and spends hours playing videogames, neither of which have helped him make friends or find a girlfriend. His refuge from the daily disappointments of life is Armada - an online space-fighter simulator based on defending Earth from an alien invasion. It’s when he’s playing that he feels closest to his father, a champion gamer who died when Zack was a baby.

He rises up the ranks until there’s only one other player who can challenge his worldwide supremacy. As he closes in on his ultimate enemy, the game suspiciously shuts down, leading Zack to investigate the many urban legends and myths that surround Armada. What he finds will take him beyond his wildest dreams.

The game was just the beginning....

©2015 Random House Audiobooks (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great book by Ernest Cline

A great second book, like Ready Player One, full of pop culture references. Moves along at a good pace and does not let up!!!

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This is no 'Ready Player One'

If you could sum up Armada in three words, what would they be?

Armada? Sadly underwhelming.

Would you recommend Armada to your friends? Why or why not?

Hmm, probably not. Like...its fine? And I recommended Ready Player One left, right and center...but this? No. Probably not.

What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

Everything. Wil is my favorite reader - he has the perfect reading voice.

Any additional comments?

Armada never quite achieves what it sets out to and instead of paying homage to sci fi classics (such as Ender's Game, as noted elsewhere) it borrows far too much from them. Additionally I never found myself investing in these characters in the same way I did with Ready Player One. It was fine. You might like it. You might not.

26 of 34 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Cline's boner for pop culture references ruins it

Cline' s geekyness comes through again in this Last Starfighter/Ender's Game mashup, full of gamer, 80s music and 80s sci-fi references all vying for their turn to trigger your member berries (South Park reference).
It gets nauseating when you start predicting what he's going to say next. My thought patterns went something like this, 'oh, there's a bead of sweat running down the characters head, I remember a similar moment in Total Recall as this is visual sign of treachery and fear. I wonder if Cline will make mention to that? Oh god he is. He really is'. This happened a lot.
The thing is, if you get the pop culture reference then you get the pop culture reference. If you don't, then telling me where the pop culture reference has come from won't mean anything to me.
The story doesn't hold a candle to Ready Player One - a much better story. I just hope that when the film eventually makes Landfall (oh my god, I've never written the word 'landfall' in my entire life. I only remembered to use it because Cline uses it at least 5 times in the space of a few chapters. And while we're at it the word 'contorted' ,to describe his father's face, must have appeared nearly 10 times. Honestly man, use a thesaurus) that the movie, game and music references don't have to be spelled out for the obviously young audience that only this movie will appeal to. Expect an Armada at the box office...an armada of the uninitiated.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Another Hit!

This is another fantastic book by Ernest Cline! If you loved Ready Player One, you'll most definitely enjoy this. A good combination of pop culture with science fiction. Any lover of video games especially games like Space Invaders will have a great time reading this.
Keep up the amazing work!
P.S Will Wheaton does great Impressions, especially 'British'.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Really Poor

What would have made Armada better?

Massive editing, a smidge or originality

What was most disappointing about Ernest Cline’s story?

So derivative, hackneyed, predictible and DULL. The pop culture references are jarrring (and what's the point of referencing things and then explaining them straight after?).

Clearly conceived as an homage to classic sci-fi films etc but all it manages is to remind the listener/reader what made them great and the book doesn't stand up to the comparison.

Can't get over how cliched everything was, and how sloooooowwwly the whole enterprise was drawn out, It was four hours in before the "OMG THE GAME IS REAL" reveal that is clearly what the book is about. Eight hours in I gave up wishing there was going to actually be a second reveal. Nope. The end is supposedly a "twist" but you know it's coming for hours. Not one single thing is original or surprising. Not one. It's really, really poor.

And the dialogue.....oh dear.

Even though I bought this as a Daily Deal for only £1,99 I still returned it.

What three words best describe Wil Wheaton’s voice?

Laconic
Inoffensive
Nice

I am a fan of Wheaton in general but even he couldn't make this excting.

What character would you cut from Armada?

Considering there wasn't one actual "character" in it just a series of tropes and cardboard outlines I can't pick one.

Any additional comments?

Seek out the source material not this bland "best of space" behemoth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • Downham Market, United Kingdom
  • 21-11-16

Enjoyable, geeky, a little bit silly but good fun!

Armada is of course a great fun story. Is it hardcore, without plot holes, as good as Ready Player One? Nope. But is it an easy read (err..listen), have tonnes of great geeky references, an enjoyable story and comes with a rocking playlist then yes it is. I think if you go into this book with these expectations you will have a good time. The characters are fine, but would have liked to see more of Lex in the story as I really wanted to hear more about her. As for the story it's fine, albeit predictable with many leaps of faith required in terms of the technology but this is kind of the point of the story. I think there were just 2 or 3 references I missed so I guess I must be the target audience for the book :) Wesley (sorry Wil, but you'll always be Wesley to me) did a fine job as always with the narration with enough voice acting for it to really help the story but not enough to spoil as can happen. His voicing of one of the characters near the end was amusing though but I think he had a good time with it. Good fun read - recommended if you are after something a little lighter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Really poor

Just a brief review.

Wafer thin plot. Un-engaging story which feels like a jigsaw of cliche moments from every teen scifi tvshow ever made.

Such an enormous letdown after Ready Player One. Feels like a different author entirely. Has this been written by a 13 year old and submitted by Ernest Cline as a test?

Don't waste your credits :(

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very disappointing

Like many other people I came to this book after reading Ready Player One. Without comparing, this is a very lacklustre book, with a convoluted and underwhelming plot, an unlikable main character and propped up heavily by cultural references. Honestly I struggled to get to the payoff, and the payoff itself was extremely "meh". Sorry, not for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great listen, with interesting current topics

Great narrating by Wheaton. The story is a little out there towards the end in what previously follows a interesting current topic of vr and battle simulators. As always a great book by a great author!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Millenium Falcon Has Problems With Hyperdrive

Unlike many readers and listeners, I wasn’t exactly won over by ”Ready Player One”, and I admit that only a third into ”Armada” I was ready to give up. The premise was too thin for my liking, and while I could appreciate fantastical things taking place out of the blue, unlikely turns and even, as it happens, the likeliest and most obvious ”twists”, I felt completely detached from what was going on to the point where I asked myself why I should bother reading further.

I did, however, until the very end, but I’m not quite sure if it did me any good. As has been pointed out, Cline’s referential style revolves around him writing his versions of his favourite stories, amply referencing them and toying with them along the way, but his hybrid just doesn’t seem worth the trouble to me. Perhaps I’ve never been into the whole fan fiction thing to appreciate what’s going on, but then again, this isn’t really supposed to be fan fiction as far as I’m concerned.

Yet then again, this is a light read, and to some extent fulfills its function. In some way I think the strength in Cline’s writing is that he trusts the reader to know what’s coming next so that he can offer his variation on it. And to be honest, isn’t this what storytelling has been about since forever? Not that there weren’t awkward moments, or that the deus ex machina he used so much in ”Ready Player One” didn’t pop up conveniently here as well. It’s just that when it read well, it read incredibly well. I suppose that’s part of the irritation, really: I’m boarding Millenium Falcon and just as we’re about to hit hyperspace, it doesn’t work, fiddlesticks! See, I was trying to be the geeky me.

As for narration, I wasn’t too fond of Wheaton before, but he’s really growing on me. There are moments where he’s the one making it all click with his enthusiasm and obvious freewheeling fun he’s exuding. Definitely carries the narrative.

15 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Hamish
  • 23-07-15

A Sci-Fi Great

Loved it! Ernest Cline writes another engrossing book I can't stop read/listening to. Obviously hard to follow up after Ready Player One and many themes are similar here, but still delightful though at times it did sound a little too similar to Enders Game.

The narration is the the best! Will Wheaton is frickin amazing as the narrator. Different voices and characters come alive and just add and pump up this book to new heights.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Batman
  • 31-08-16

Great Book!

Pretty good, hey. A sea of pop culture references again. Story line was a little derivative, but credit was definitely given where it was due. A very pleasant read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-05-18

In awe

Great story and social commentary delivered entertainingly by Will Wheaton. Loved it from beginning to end.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jacob Miller
  • 07-03-18

Fun, not deep but fun

It's like a Harry Potter of a book - you won't get anything out of it and it's fairly predictable, but it's a fun and easy read all the way through.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • IcyShadow85
  • 04-03-18

An Pop Culture Overload

This book is amazing and a must listen for an geek fanboy and popculture nerd

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • B. Daniel
  • 08-11-17

Wants to be Ready Player One, but falls short

Has similar themes to the excellent Ready Player One (80s culture, video games, global scale competing), but I just didn’t find the story that interesting. Look forward to the author doing something different in their next book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Vinodhan
  • 07-10-16

A must-listen for fans of the genre

Yes. It's no Ready Player One" (how could it be?) but (proud) geekdom will still find this a highly satisfying and heartening offering from the same author. And, really, what can be better than Wil Wheaton once again taking us on the joyride?
It's not life altering (probably) and is just a tad heavy handed somehow in dishing out some of its pop culture pearls (the very beauty of Cline's work I know and agree) but you will enjoy the storytelling way too much to let that detract.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Torben
  • 26-04-16

Fun, quirky, way too many pop culture references

Fun listen with Will doing an excellent, as usual. Does feel like a ride on the nostalgia train, using pop culture references like nails to embed you in the story, as if referencing The Thing or Star Trek will somehow make it feel more based in reality and more intriguing, despite being pretty average. Do read, it's still fun.

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  • Adam
  • 19-10-15

Nom nom nom

What did you like best about Armada? What did you like least?

After Ready Player One, I was expecting another epic three course banquet. In comparison, Armada is more like a happy meal. But hey, there's NOTHING wrong with the occasional happy meal... just know that this book is a completely different meal from RPO and you'll be okay.