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Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

Ready Player Two

by Ernest Cline

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Quick take

The long-awaited sequel to Ready Player One is here.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy


  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Quest


  • Illustrated icon, Icons_2ndSeries

    Second in series


Days after Oasis founder James Halliday's contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday's vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis a thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. A last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade's life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Ready Player Two.
Ready Player Two


After I won Halliday’s contest, I remained offline for nine straight days—a new personal record.

When I finally logged back in to my OASIS account, I was sitting in my new corner office on the top floor of the GSS skyscraper in downtown Columbus, Ohio, preparing to start my gig as one of the company’s new owners. The other three were still scattered across the globe: Shoto had flown back home to Japan to take over operations at GSS’s Hokkaido division. Aech was enjoying an extended vacation in Senegal, a country she’d dreamed of visiting her whole life, because her ancestors had come from there. And Samantha had flown back to Vancouver to pack up her belongings and say goodbye to her grandmother, Evelyn. She wasn’t due to arrive here in Columbus for another four days, which seemed like an eternity. I needed to distract myself until our reunion, so I decided to log back in to the OASIS and try out a few more of the superuser abilities my avatar now possessed.

I climbed into my brand-new top-of-the-line OASIS immersion rig, a Habashaw OIR-9400, then put on my visor and haptic gloves and initiated the login sequence. My avatar reappeared where I’d last logged out, on the planet Chthonia, standing outside the gates of Castle Anorak. As I’d anticipated, there were thousands of other avatars already gathered there, all waiting patiently for me to make an appearance. According to the newsfeed headlines, some of them had been camped out there all week—ever since I’d resurrected them in the aftermath of our epic battle against the Sixers.

In my first official act as one of GSS’s new owners, just a few hours after the fight ended, I’d authorized our admins to restore all the items, credits, and power levels those heroic users had lost, along with their avatars. I thought it was the least we could do to repay them for their help, and Samantha, Aech, and Shoto had agreed. It was the first decision we’d voted on as the company’s new co-owners.

As soon as the avatars in my vicinity spotted me, they began to run in my direction, closing in on me from all sides at once. To avoid getting mobbed, I teleported inside the castle, into Anorak’s study—a room in the highest tower that I alone could enter, thanks to the Robes of Anorak I now wore. The obsidian-black garment endowed my avatar with the godlike powers Halliday’s own avatar had once possessed.

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Why I love it

I've always felt pretty secure in my nerdy identity, but even I would not want to face off against Ernest Cline in pop culture trivia. But despite my limited knowledge of obscure video games and John Hughes movies, I found myself tearing through Ready Player Two at warp speed, gleefully geeking out on the immersive worlds of iconic 20th-century classics.

After becoming the heir to game maker James Halliday’s vast estate, Wade Watts finds that fame and wealth have, shockingly, not solved all his problems. As his personal relationships begin to crumble, Wade discovers a revolutionary new technology that Halliday left behind, a device that makes the alluring escapism of the digital world more potent—and more dangerous—than ever.

As with its predecessor, Ready Player Two is filled with heart and action and ‘80s references galore. Best of all, you don’t need to be a Tolkien or D&D fanatic to enjoy the novel’s faceted characters, thrilling quest narrative, or focus on human resilience. You don’t need to be a nerd to fall in love with the world Ernest Cline has built—but it certainly helps.

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Member ratings (4,743)

  • Rachael B.

    Somerset, KY

    LOVED THIS BOOK!! So much fun to read! Unlike any other sci-fi book I’ve read. I didn’t think it was possible, but this may be even better than the first book, Ready Player One! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Jenni F.

    Cincinnati, OH

    Dont be put off by the low review scores... Same great pace, enjoyment and wonder as the first. Thought provoking, especially in this time of 'virtual-covid', the next great human adventure ????‍???? love

  • Amy S.

    Belfair, WA

    Would’ve rated this three of five stars halfway through, but then it turned deep and set itself apart from the outstanding “Player One” in a new and extraordinary way! Made me think and appreciate!

  • Jamie W.

    Canton, MI

    I don’t agree with the negative reviews for this book. It’s just as good as the first one; full of action and plot. I love this author’s creativity and writing style and can’t wait to read more!

  • ashley s.

    Pittsburgh, PA

    The first 75 pages were a bit slow—once they received a mission that sets them into action, it picks up! Worthy sequel to Ready Player 1! I am hoping for a ‘Quest for the Dorkslayer’ book next????

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