This was one of the most original books that I've read in quite some time. Its strange that it was so unique considering that it is basically a homage to the everything 1980s, fantasy/sci-fi and video games and people who are total geeks for that kind of stuff. Because of these elements as I first started reading I was unsure that it was the book for me. I like fantasy and sci-fi generally, but I'm certainly not a nerd for it. Also, I really have never played video games, at all. Despite all of that, the book grew on me more and more until, but about halfway I just COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. I really wanted to know. Cline has created the most original world, through a distinctly un-original means. He "borrows" in the sense that there are elements from every video game and science fiction/fantasy movie and show from the 1970s to the 1980s, but the way that he plays these elements is to create something entirely new. Cline respects the genius of these other works, and treats them with a sort of reverence in his book. The book is full of jargon and new slang words for the world that he creates, and it is very heavy on the description of a lot of technological advancement that quite frankly most went over my head. Initially all of that sort of put be off, but as I said, after a bit I felt like I was right there with the characters. My own avatar running beside theirs in the OASIS. Mixed in with all of this retro pop culture romanticizing are great characters and an excellently paced plot. Who doesn't love a book with a definite quest- a puzzle that the characters absolutely must solve while battling the evil forces that be? Mix in a little romance on the side and you've got one hell of a book!