Ernest Cline’s sophomore novel, <Armada: A Novel, introduces us to geeky senior Zack Lightman. Despite having lost his father before his first birthday Zack is your average 18-year-old kid about to graduation from high school; he plays video games, has dedicated friends and is hopelessly lost when it comes to girls. It isn’t long before everything changes, when he identifies an enemy alien ship from his video game obsession, Armada – a flight simulator and spin off of first person shooter Terra Firma. Dumbstruck, he tells no one what he’s seen afraid that he’s going crazy much like his father before him – believing that there was an undercover conspiracy to introduce alien existence through popular culture.
To his surprise, the following day he is picked up from school from the Earth Defense Alliance (EDA) to do the very thing he merely imagine he was doing; protecting the Earth from an incoming alien invasion. An alien race is on its way to destroy our planet and they need Zack’s help to stop them. After all, he’s ranked #6 in the world. Not only was his father right, but his father iss alive and soon to be his commanding officer. What’s a kid to do?
Ernest Cline’s Armada is following in the success of Ready Player One: A Novel But does it match it? As I haven’t read it, I couldn’t say. Based on the praise from authors and fans alike I feel like Armada falls short of the viral affection of it’s predecessor. Cline tosses out pop culture references like they’re t-shirts at a concert to tap into your nostalgia, and models his novel around it. It’s a decent story that kept me connected and entertained, but left me as soon as I was finished. There isn’t anything to truly criticize as it’s a good book – it’s just not a great novel. Armada feels familiar, like something I’ve seen or hear of before, but nothing specific or exact. It’s a little bit like what has been done before, but is just original enough to be it’s own story.
You can tell that Cline is passionate about what he loves – it shows in each page he writes and each thoughtful reference he lovingly places in his pages. Despite some technical jargon in regards to flight, it’s easy to read and approachable to any reader. But I don’t want you to take my “like it, don’t live it” to heart.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review and appreciate the opportunity to review it. I look forward to reading Cline’s debut novel Ready Player One.
Armada is available now on Amazon
Remember: September 15, 2015 the FangirlNation Book Club will be discussing Cline’s first book, Ready Player One. More details here: http://www.fangirlnation.com/2015/08/11/fangirlnation-online-book-club-announcement/