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Armada by Ernest Cline

Ernest Cline does it again! Armada is just as amazing and nerd-loving as Ready Player One. I could happily live in any of Cline's worlds. Ernest Cline is now on my list of most beloved authors and I will read everything he ever publishes over and over.

(Source: Kelsey Darling)
See You on the Other Side, Ray

Armada follows the story of Zack Lightman, who is a lover of all things video games and 80's. However, he is now worried that he may have the same mental disorder his father had since he swears he saw a UFO flying around outside of his school. To worry him even more, he swears that it the same exact space craft that is used in his favorite video game, Armada. But he knows that video games aren't real, no matter what the ramblings of his deceased father said, right?

(Source: Giphy)
As it turns out, there is a sense of truth behind the journals that Zack's father left behind. For the last four decades, the Earth Defense Alliance, a top secret global military coalition, has been monitoring the best video game players across the world so that when the Europans, an alien life force from planet Europa, come to destroy the world, they will have unlimited support and a chance at survival. Well, that time has come and Zack is one of the Top 10 players in the game Armada, making him one of the most useful people in the fight to defend planet Earth.

However, the Europans aren't Zack's only problem. Over the course of just a few days, Zack learns the truth about his father, travels to the moon, and has to figure out who the good guys and bad guys really are. 

(Source: Giphy)
Nice Working With You, Dr. Venkman

  • I always try to do the bullet points in order with the book, but this one part needs to be talked about right away because I have been holding it in. When Zack's dad comes home (because spoiler, he's alive) and he is reunited with his dog, I felt everything!!!! I was crying while driving through traffic because every single heart string was pulled, even more so than him being reunited with his wife.
"I heard barking, and a second later, Muffit burst out of his doggie door. The old beagle barked and bounded down the front steps and across the front lawn, moving faster than he had in years.
"Muffit!" my father cried, breaking off his embrace with my mother to greet the ancient dog, just a second before Muffit somehow summoned the strength to bound into my kneeling father's lap.
"Oh, it's so good to see you, boy!" he said as Muffit showered his face with kisses. "I missed you, boy! Did you miss me?
Muffit barked happily in reply, then continued to shower my dad with saliva. It had never once occurred to me to wonder whether our dog remembered my father-after all, Muffit had been just a puppy when he disappeared." (p. 303)

(Source: Giphy)
  • While there aren't as many 1980's references in Armada as there were in Ready Player One, they're still there, adding a lighter note to the stressful story of aliens are real and are going to come and destroy us. Bonus: Cline includes the Raid the Arcade Mix in the back on the book, so you too can listen to all of the classics while saving the (hopefully) fictional world of whatever game you're playing. 
  • The ending had me a little down. As it turns out, the entire war was just a text by a peaceful civilization know as the Sodality, and the Emissary is just a machine that  tests other civilizations to see if they make the right decision (choosing to communicate) or wrong decision (entering battle). And had it not been for the brilliant mind of Zack's father, and Zack believing in a man who he's never known, Earth would have been destroyed. Still, there were casualties, one of whom was Xavier Ulysses Lightman, Zack's father. And this time, he really was dead.
(Source: Giphy)
  • The geek gets the girl again!
"As promised, Lex took me out on our first date...
Lex moved to town with her grandmother,..." (p. 345)

(Source: Giphy)
It always bothers me when parents die in books, especially when it didn't have to be necessary. Yes, Xavier saved the world, but why couldn't he have pretend died again? Or been on the brink of death and brought back, because that's already happened to him as well. Zack only had a few days with his father, and they were spent in battle. Yes, he gained a little brother out of it (and no, I don't blame his parents for going at it; if it had been 17 years since I'd seen the love of my life, I'd act the same way), but that is now one more kid growing up without a father.

Still though, the book is wonderful, and I know that I will read it a million times over. And I will always cry when Xavier and Muffit are reunited, because I'm an animal lover.

Oh! And if anyone wants to get the audiobook version of Armada or Ready Player One, I strongly recommend them! They are read by Wil Wheaton and he does the most wonderful job!

(Source: Giphy)
Raid the Arcade Mix Side A:
  1. One Vision-Queen
  2. Crazy Train-Ozzy
  3. Chase the Ace-AC/DC
  4. Hair of the Dog-Nazareth
  5. Get it On (Bang a Gong)-The Power Station
  6. Old Enough to Rock and Roll-Rainey Haynes
  7. Danger Zone- Kenny Loggins
  8. Vital Signs-Rush
  9. Barracuda-Heart
  10. TNT-AC/DC
  11. You Really Got Me-Van Halen
  12. Another One Bites the Dust-Queen
  13. One of these Days-Pink Floyd
  14. Top Gun Anthem-Harold Faltermeyer
Side B:
  1. I Hate Myself for Loving You-Joan Jett
  2. It Takes Two-Rob Base
  3. Hammer to Fall-Queen
  4. Twilight Zone-Golden Earring
  5. We're Not Gonna Take It-Twisted Sister
  6. Rock You Like a Hurricane-Scorpions
  7. Black Betty-Ram Jam
  8. D.T.-AC/DC
  9. Delirious-ZZ Top
  10. Iron Eagle-King Kobra
  11. Run's House-Run-DMC
  12. We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions-Queen
Bonus Track: Snoopy vs. The Red Barron-The Royal Guardsmen

Rating: 9.5/10
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

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