A lot of people are calling this the new Ender’s Game, which I get and understand why they would say that. But I also really hate doing that to books because I feel like it just sets people up to read it solely for comparison with whatever that similar other book may be.
So, I call this book a fun, fast-paced, space adventure peppered with lots of nerdy references and knowledge. For a brief summary, our hero, Zack Lightman, finds out one day that the video game he’s been playing for years is actually a training simulator to help prepare civilians for an impending alien invasion cuz we done fucked up again and pissed some people off. Classic humans. Subsequent mind-blowing space adventures occur and it is a race to save all of humanity.
But! There is a twist at the end. Cline hints throughout the book that something feels off about the whole situation, which I liked because it kept me wondering the whole time what the heck was really going on. The reveal was steady, but not so drawn out that by the end of it you were just pissed off and frustrated and just wanted to know what the fuck was going on. So kudos to Cline for good plot twist execution!
The book contained a large array of varied and interesting characters. A book is only as good as its supporting characters, I say…okay I don’t really say that but it certainly does help to flesh out the book and having good supporting characters can help your main characters to look that much better.
Finally, the feels. Ah, them feels. So hard to escape. I love them and hate them. I won’t say exactly what it is that caused the most feels for me because it will give something kind of big away, but…the book takes place over the course of two days and in those two days Zack gains and loses so much. It is a classic ‘roller coaster’ situation going on and I did not appreciate it one bit, Mr. Cline! Anyway, be warned. There are feels.
There were maybe one or two times when the technology seemed a little too convenient and all powerful but only in the most minor of ways. It never made any sort of significant task to be done too easy for the characters and wasn’t just used as a device to move the plot forward. Let’s just call that my one nit-picky serious review thing.
I really enjoyed this book. I only gave it 3.5 stars because I feel like, if Ernie Cline had decided to go about writing it differently, it could’ve flesh out the world and the new tech and all the characters much more and that would’ve been pretty sweet since they were all pretty cool.
Overall, I certainly think Armada holds its own and that sic-fi fans and nerds everywhere will enjoy reading it.