Armada A novel

Ernest Cline

Book - 2015

"THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF READY PLAYER ONE It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom--if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer. At first, Zack thinks he's going crazy. A minute later, he's sure of it. Because the UFO he's staring a...t is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada--in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders. But what Zack's seeing is all too real. And his skills--as well as those of millions of gamers across the world--are going to be needed to save the earth from what's about to befall it. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can't help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little too... familiar? Armada is at once a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien-invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before--one whose every page is infused with author Ernest Cline's trademark pop-culture savvy"--

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1st Floor SCIENCE FICTION/Cline, Ernest Due May 21, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Science fiction
Published
New York : Crown Publishers [2015]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
355 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780804137270
9780804137256
0804137250
Main Author
Ernest Cline (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Cline's first novel, the irresistible gamer quest, Ready Player One (2011), became a big best-seller now slated for a movie adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg. In his second geek-coming-of-age tale, Cline presents Zack Lightman, a teen with anger issues obsessed with his late father, who left behind some rocking mixed tapes and notebooks delineating a wild conspiracy theory about the truth embedded in popular science fiction novels, movies, and videogames. When Zack looks out a school window and sees an alien spacecraft just like those he shoots down so decisively while playing the online alien-invaders videogame, Armada (he's ranked sixth best player in the world), he fears he's losing his mind. Readers, however, will feel confident that they're in for another hard-charging adventure that blasts open the barrier between the actual and the virtual. And indeed, Cline once again brings crackling humor and fanboy knowledge to a zesty, crowd-pleasing, countdown-clock, save-the-planet tale featuring an unlikely hero, adrenaline-pumping action, gawky romance, and touching family moments. If the interactions among characters tend to be as predictable as fast food, Cline's sly, mind-twisting premise and energetically depicted and electrifying high-tech battles make for smart, frenetic, and satisfying entertainment. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Living in the shadow of the father he never knew, Zachary Lightman is devoted to all things sf, especially video games such as Armada, in which he can pilot drones and fight an alien enemy attacking Earth. One afternoon as he sits in class during the final days of his senior year of high school, Zach sees a flying saucer outside the window. And not just any flying saucer: a Glaive Fighter, just like the enemy ships from the game. Zach fears that he's going crazy, but he soon discovers that the skills he has been honing on video games might be the key to saving the world. VERDICT With another winning teen protagonist in Zach, Cline mines the nostalgia and geek spheres just as successfully as he did in his acclaimed debut, Ready Player One. The works that obviously influenced the story line, such as Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and the films The Last Starfighter and Star Wars, feel like homages rather than borrowings—a rap artist sampling the best beats out there to create an irresistible jam. [See Prepub Alert, 3/9/15.]—MM [Page 62]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

High schooler and gamer Zack's world is rocked when the aliens from his favorite video game actually invade Earth. Wondering at the eerie similarity of this attack to the books and movies he loved as a kid, Zack, along with other game aficionados, gears up to defend the planet. VER-DICT Expect huge demand for this coming-of-age gamer kid adventure after the author's big splash with Ready Player One, but with pop culture references, action, and a relatable main character the appeal for all ages was already there. (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

High schooler and gamer Zack's world is rocked when the aliens from his favorite video game actually invade Earth. Wondering at the eerie similarity of this attack to the books and movies he loved as a kid, Zack, along with other game aficionados, gears up to defend the planet. VERDICT Expect huge demand for this coming-of-age gamer kid adventure after the author's big splash with Ready Player One, but with pop culture references, action, and a relatable main character the appeal for all ages was already there. [Page 76]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

What if the X-Files were a "fictional alien cover-up created to conceal real one"? Cline (Ready Player One) makes this kind of paranoia intriguing in an SF novel whose strong opening compensates for a less gripping ending. After Zack Lightman's father died in an accident, the teen distracted himself with gaming, achieving one of the world's top scores in a human vs. alien invaders game called Armada. To Zack's astonishment, one morning he looks out of his classroom window in Beaverton, Wash., and sees a Sobrukai Glaive, one of the enemy ships from that game. Skeptical of his own senses, Zack flees school to take a more careful look at his father's writings, only to find an unsettling level of conspiracy thinking. Zack soon finds the connection between his vision and his father's theories, at which point the story becomes more conventional and less imaginative. The plot holes get harder to ignore as the conclusion approaches, but the book's beginning offers glimpses of Cline's significant potential. (July) [Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

High schooler Zack Lightman is staring out of the window during class one day and sees what appears to be a Glaive fighter, an alien ship from his favorite video game, Armada. Zack isn't imagining things. The aliens are real, they are on the attack, and it's up to the gamers of the world to save humanity. While some plot elements are unsurprising, Cline has created a fast-paced story with so much excitement and drama that readers will be happy to go along for the ride. Readers learn that some popular conspiracy theories are true: video games really have been used to train people to defend the Earth against aliens, with the leaderboards used to find the best fighters; science fiction movies and television shows have been funded by the government with the intention of getting the general population used to the idea that aliens do exist; and the world's most famous scientists, including Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Carl Sagan, have all had a hand in it. This compelling story is made even richer through different perspectives brought by the diverse group of elite gamers tasked with leading the fight. Fans of the author's Ready Player One (Crown, 2011) will not be disappointed. VERDICT Although this is a great book for teen gamers, Cline's sophomore effort with young protagonists and questions about alien civilizations and government secrets will also appeal to fans of science fiction and conspiracy theories.—Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, CA [Page 126]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF READY PLAYER ONE It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom--if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer. At first, Zack thinks he's going crazy. A minute later, he's sure of it. Because the UFO he's staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada--in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders. But what Zack's seeing is all too real. And his skills--as well as those of millions of gamers across the world--are going to be needed to save the earth from what's about to befall it. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can't help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little too... familiar? Armada is at once a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien-invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before--one whose every page is infused with author Ernest Cline's trademark pop-culture savvy"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A rollicking alien invasion thriller that embraces and subverts science-fiction conventions, from the author of the worldwide phenomenon Ready Player One “Exciting . . . mixes Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, Independence Day, and a really gnarly round of Space Invaders.”—USA Today • “A thrilling coming of age story.”—Entertainment WeeklyZack Lightman has never much cared for reality. He vastly prefers the countless science-fiction movies, books, and videogames he's spent his life consuming. And too often, he catches himself wishing that some fantastic, impossible, world-altering event could arrive to whisk him off on a grand spacefaring adventure. So when he sees the flying saucer, he's sure his years of escapism have finally tipped over into madness. Especially because the alien ship he's staring at is straight out of his favorite videogame, a flight simulator callled Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders. As impossible as it seems, what Zack's seeing is all too real. And it's just the first in a blur of revlations that will force him to question everything he thought he knew about Earth's history, its future, even his own life--and to play the hero for real, with humanity's life in the balance. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can't help thinking: Doesn't something about this scenario feel a little bit like . . .  well . . . fiction? At once reinventing and paying homage to science-fiction classics, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a coming-of-age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before.