The first reviews for ‘Ready Player Two’ are in: “An AI could write a better book”

"Cline can’t save the world through the power of nostalgia"

The first reviews for Ready Player Two are in.

The sequel book to 2011’s Ready Player One, the hugely popular book by Ernest Cline which spawned Steven Spielberg’s film of the same name, was released last week (November 24).

Cline had confirmed he had plans for a sequel in 2015, and began writing in late 2017. The new novel has a different storyline with the characters, but still explores pop culture like the first book did.


The author also said that he was prompted to write a sequel following the success of the 2018 film.

Reviewing Ready Player TwoThe Ringer said the sequel “loses the creativity and balance that made the fictional world worth mining.”

The general critical consensus is mostly negative – take a look at some of the first reviews here:

Wired: “Like its predecessor, it’s a tedious slog through arcane pop culture references sprinkled in so lazily that you could replace them with your own favourites, or swap them right out and be left with a much shorter, and probably better book.”

AVClub: “[Cline is] still living in the past, and unlike Wade, he can’t save the world through the power of nostalgia.”

IGN: “There are plenty of new worlds centered on fan-favorite movies, music, and literature for Wade and his friends to traverse, and the inside jokes and clear reverence toward the material keep Ready Player Two from feeling like a total misfire.”


USA Today: “If Ready Player Two were a video game, it would be a side-scroller pushing you forward in the timed action and never really allowing you to explore the map. That’s a shame. But like with movie sequels we didn’t expect, nostalgia may play into how satisfied or forgiving readers feel with the disappointments of this sequel.”

There is no word yet on a film adaptation for Ready Player Two – stay tuned as more updates come in.