Ready Player One is a novel that has become an international bestseller. The popularity of the book speaks for itself. It’s not just because it’s well written, but because it combines elements of science fiction and gaming in one story, which means there are plenty of books with similar themes to Ready Player One.
The following list takes into account the major similarities between ReadyPlayerOne and other novels on this topic:
Warcross By Marie Lu:
Warcross is a YA Science Fiction novel. This novel follows Emika Chen, a bounty hunter, while she tries to find the person who has been hacking into the Warcross stadium and killed four of her best friends. The Warcross virtual reality game brings together the real and the digital world into one place. This novel has everything that a Ready Player One fan would love: Virtual Reality, complex and interesting characters, and tons of action and adventure.
Replay By Ken Grimwood:
Replay is a Sci-Fi novel. This novel follows Jeff Winston, an author who dies of a heart attack at 43 years old and wakes up in his 18 year old body on March 19, 1975. He does this over and over again where he gets to relive his life starting with the death of his parents when he was 5 years old. Replay is filled more nostalgia than references; however there are plenty of pop culture references throughout the book. If Ready Player One was your favorite book of 2017, Replay would be perfect for you! I read this book many years ago (when I was about 10) but recently reread it after finding out that it went under some folks’ radar.
Snow Crash By Neal Stephenson:
This novel follows Hiro Protagonist, a pizza delivery boy with a sword in his motorcycle and a girl in his bag named YT who helps him to try to stop the founder of an ancient Sumerian god from trying to bring about the end of civilization with his new computer virus that everyone can hear through their headphones. Neal Stephenson’s biggest inspiration for Snow Crash was most likely The Matrix which is also referenced throughout Snow Crash . This novel is full of many pop culture references, especially video game and anime references.
The Lost Boy By Greg Ruth:
The Lost Boy is Mr. Ruth’s first novel telling the tale of a brother and sister who take on mad scientists, evil lawyers and crooked cops to find their missing father deep in the everglades kiddie-land where imagination meets reality. Topher saves his lost little brother Sam from Goliath Prison & Center For Incurably Criminal Boys only to have Sam snatched away by Burnworth Corporation Industries (BCI) with the help of evil Ezekiel, who wants to make his own version of Goliath Prison & Center For Incurably Criminal Boys. Topher and Sam meet Swamp Dog, an ex-marine turned old man, who helps them on their epic quest to save Sam from BCI’s clutches by taking them on a frightening roller coaster ride through some very dangerous underground passages where imagination meets reality.
The Lost Boy is pure gold for any reader looking for stories not only filled with adventure but also demand courage, loyalty and even wit in order to survive the grueling ordeals that are featured throughout this book. Ruth’s characters are so deep you can hardly tell where one begins and another leaves off they play against one another flawlessly, and the dialogue is truly something to be marveled.
The Lost Boy will not only pull you in immediately, but it will also take you on a journey like no other: one filled with heart and courage and love and wit and sometimes even pain.
Cipher By Phoebe North:
Cipher follows the story of high school senior, Nick Andrews who sets out to find his missing mother alongside with the help of an unlikely ally. Sometimes she is referred to as Madame Dabney, other times Mrs. Windermere, but one thing’s for sure: Nick knows she lives in New York City…somewhere.
Nick has spent most of his life searching for his mother; since he was thirteen years old and she disappeared without any explanation after “family business” called her away from their home in rural Kansas leaving him with just a note that read “she will know what to do when the time comes.”
Only now does Nick think he might have found the answer in the form of an organization known only as SIGMA. And when he arrives on their doorstep, SIGMA’s enigmatic and powerful leader Maddox Beck takes him in and begins to hone Nick’s abilities and introduce him to a team of young operatives- including the lovely yet mysterious Ivy Huntington.
Cipher is a thrilling Sci-Fi novel that will capture any reader, totally immersing them into the world of Sigma while they follow Nick on his journey from Kansas to New York City and around the globe alongside an unlikely crew of teens (and one adorable housecat).
Phoebe North truly captures all that is good about Teen Lit: sassy dialogue, teenage drama, romance, action, espionage…all with a light sci-fi twist filled with brilliant references ranging from Dark Side Of Oz to Labyrinth to War Games, awesome gadgets and even a sweet computer called Ivy.
Armada By Ernest Cline:
In Armada , Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand spacefaring adventure.
Zack gets his chance when a massive alien spacecraft of unknown origin enters orbit around Earth and humanity braces for a second invasion. When the aliens make their intentions clear, Zack is forced to put his dreams on hold as he joins in mankind’s desperate battle to stop the invaders from destroying everything in their path.
Armada is a modern tribute to the science fiction adventure stories that captivated a generation of gamers, and a novel that brilliantly explores the intersection between reality and imagination.
Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness:
The Chaos Walking trilogy is a series of young adult dystopian science fiction novels by Patrick Ness.
These books follow the adventures of protagonist Todd Hewitt in a world where all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words and sounds called Noise. In addition to the noise, every animal and plant can send and receive signals across vast distances. It follows Todd, a boy on the cusp of manhood who makes a startling discovery that forces him to flee his town with only his dog in hand. He comes upon a strange new settlement called Haven where he meets a girl and makes a new friend.
Ness has created some fascinating characters in this series (especially Viola) and there’s plenty of action and plot twists to make it an exciting read for any fan of YA sci-fi/dystopian lit. The Knife Of Never Letting Go is my personal favorite, but all three titles do a great job of weaving together the past and present of this world while still managing to keep you on the edge of your seat wondering just how Todd will get out of his latest pickle!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy By Douglas Adams:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is the first book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy of humorous science fiction books written by Douglas Adams. This series tells of poor English space cadet Arthur Dent who, thanks to his friend Ford Prefect, gets caught up on the latest intergalactic news and ends up helping save both Earth and the Universe from destruction. With quotations like “Don’t Panic” over every page, this book may have you thinking about our own planet a little differently by story’s end!
Hitchhikers features many characters and races, most notably human Arthur Dent and the hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings, the mice.
This book is a classic because Douglas Adams uses great humor to explore philosophical ideas in a way that’s fun for kids and adults alike. The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve read it and will continue to be popular simply because of its hysterical approach to exploring our Universe!
Only Superhuman By Christopher L. Bennett:
Only Superhuman is a stand-alone sci-fi book by Christopher L. Bennett, set in the same time frame as his earlier book Ex Machina .
The novel follows superhero Captain Optimist (real name Nathaniel Briggs) and his efforts to make the world a better place with his team of superheroes. This adventure takes him all over the planet, where he faces challenges like supervillains, soul-eating demons and political intrigue involving failed presidential candidates!
This was an interesting read because it explores what our planet might be like if actual superheros existed, how they’d operate under different governments around the world and how this would affect current geopolitical structures. It’s full of that’ll keep you turning pages to see what happens next, but some of the characters are a little one-dimensional and the book itself is missing some deeper conflict to really draw you in. That said, it’s still an exciting read for young adult fans who want more than just action with their sci-fi!
Siren’s Fury By Tracy Banghart:
Siren’s Fury is the third book in Tracy Banghart’s Fury of the Phoenix series, which tells the story of a young woman named Nix Song who is thrust into life as an Empusa (a monster that feeds on human souls) after getting attacked by one when she was five years old.
This is another great read for fans of YA paranormal storytelling with plenty of action and drama to keep you hooked until the very end!
Nix spends her days hunting down escaped demons in between handling problems that crop up at her school like bullies and falling in love with fellow student Erik Ashendyne. This series has cool characters, exciting scenes and enough twists to make it an exciting choice for any fan of YA paranormal books.
Sleeping Giants By Sylvain Neuvel:
The other book I would recommend to fans of Ready Player One is Sleeping Giants , which takes place in the same post-apocalyptic world as these other titles.
Sleeping Giants introduces readers to a group of disparate characters who are separated by space and time but are all connected by something called “the loop”. This mysterious object appears embedded around the world, leading scientist Rose Franklin to discover that it’s actually part of an alien robot that has been buried across Earth for thousands of years. Now she must work with governments around the world to find out more about this incredible discovery while also fighting against rogue groups determined to weaponize her technology.
Six of Crows Duology By Leigh Bardugo:
The last book series I would also recommend for fans of Ready Player One is the Six Of Crows Duology, which tells the tale of six outcasts in a fantasy world filled with magic and danger.
This duology follows young criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker as he’s forced to work with five others in his family’s gang to complete an impossible heist: To break into the Ice Court (a military stronghold where sorcerers freeze entire cities) and steal three very valuable packages that could change this world forever!
This was an epic read because it explores themes like identity, friendship and redemption while giving readers non-stop action through every twist and turn. You’ll be on the edge of your seat from beginning to end!
This was an action-packed sci-fi read that’s full of heart. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the kinds of books you find on this list, but especially to anyone who loves Ready Player One!
If you like these recommendations, then check them out for yourself in our catalogue at your local library! This is a free service, so make sure to let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help inspire your reading choices. We hope you enjoy the titles in this article and that they’ll be helpful when you’re choosing future reads!