Armada – Ernest Cline (2015, Penguin Random House LLC, Audiobook)
Oh boy. First off, I haven’t read Cline’s much-acclaimed Ready Player One yet (I know, I know, what kind of a SF fan am I, really?), so I think my expectations of Armada weren’t as high as those of others who went gaga over Cline’s debut novel. Good thing, too, because Armada was not what I expected. At all.
I had hoped for something clever and fun – I mean, this is a book about gaming and alien invasions! – but instead got a hastily-written, overly lengthy plot filled with holes, a steaming pile of clichés, and a ton of repetitive phrasing that a proofreader or two should have fixed prior to the book’s publication. Still, if you can get past being banged over the head with 80’s pop culture references, and you don’t mind wasting time on a bloated conspiracy theory theme, you’ll find a pretty decent exploration of love and the importance of family and friends. And the gaming/fighting descriptions were excellently done, as well – really, the best part of the book. Perhaps a reworked version of Armada would have been better suited to a younger audience than it is marketed for.
And I promise I’m still going to read Ready Player One.