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12 Insanely-Good Books Like Ready Player One

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was one of my favorite audiobooks of all time. As someone who fell head over heels for the mix of 80’s nostalgia in a dystopian society – I knew I needed to find books similar to Ready Player One immediately.

So, if you’re like me wondering what books to read that are like Ready Player One – here are some of my favorites!

*Affiliate Disclaimer – There are links in this book that lead to Amazon in which I get a commission for every purchase made, this does not cost you anything extra – just one of the many ways I’m able to make some money off of this amazing blog! *

Books For Those Who Like Ready Player One

Last Reality Series by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

The series that is known to be just like Ready Player One according to Buzzfeed. This trilogy is action-packed. In it, we follow a character named Simon who is drawn into this alternate reality video game like no other called – Otherworld. 

Unfortunately, the new game is not all sunshine and rainbows when Simon, similar to Wade Watts, discovers what’s really going on in what is said to be a “better world”. 

If the part of Ready Player One that drew your attention was the alternate reality video game – then this series definitely shares similarities!

You can find this book here on Amazon!

Warcross by Marie Lu

Marie Lu has always been a tried and true author for me. Especially when it comes to thinking about books similar to Ready Player One. Warcross was one of the first that I had thought of.

This duology takes place in Japan in a world similar to the Oasis where players all over the world gather to become a different version of themselves on Warcross.

We follow a girl named Emika who works as a bounty hunter tracking players who illegally bet through the game. Unfortunately, needing to make some extra cash – Emika hacks her way into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Fearful she is going to get arrested, Emika is approached by the game’s creator to act as a spy within the game as it has been dealing with security issues for sometime.

Emika is quick to take this opportunity, only to realize the creator and plot of the game itself is much more sinister than she could ever imagine. 

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

Enders Game, as my English professors would say, is a “cult classic”. This is the book you’re expected to read during an English class thinking you won’t like it –  but surprisingly you love it, no? Perhaps it was just me. 

Enders Game is a book like Ready Player One in a number of ways especially in terms of genre. 

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer-simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate.

As the result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life.

Teaming up with his sibling, Peter, Ender, and his brother work together to shape the destiny of Earth-an an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails.

You can find this book here on Amazon!

Young Adult Dystopian Novels

Insignia SJ Kincaid

I just love books set into the future, especially ones with a bit of history behind it. This is such a great young adult dystopian book that shares similarities with Ready Player One.

“The planet’s natural resources are almost gone, and war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning.

The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn’t seem like a hero. He’s a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones.

As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom’s life completely changes. Suddenly, he’s someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there’s a price to pay. . . .” (Goodreads)

Ugh, doesn’t this book just seem amazing?!

You can find this book here on Amazon!

 Red Rising by Pierce Brown

The Red Rising series follows our main protagonist, Darrow, who similar to Wade Watts is in the lower class. Darrow works long hours hoping they are making Mars a liveable place for their future children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. 

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… (Goodreads)

You can find this book here on Amazon!

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

Though, I have not read Autonomous myself – seeing it featured on basically every list of books similar to Ready Player One meant it was something I absolutely had to include.

Published in 2017, we follow a pharmaceutical pirate named Jack who is seen as the “robin hood” of their world. She fights to give cheap drugs to the poor. Unfortunately, the latest drug is leaving a lethal track of overdoses across North American.

Desperate to find the cause, Jack joins an emotionally shut-down military agent and his partner, Paladin, a young military robot, who fall in love against all expectations. All three are on a mission to find out what the cause of this overdosing is and the culprit behind it. 

You can find this book here on Amazon!

Audiobooks Like Ready Player One

Let’s be honest, the audiobook of Ready Player One was incredible. If you haven’t heard it yet, please do. Here are books with audiobooks like Ready Player One to dive into.

The Maze Runner by  James Dashner

Dylan O’brien is mesmerizing – but did you know The Maze Runner is also a phenomenal book. 

If you haven’t heard this incredible audiobook yet, we follow a character named Thomas who is chucked into the Glade with no memory of who he is besides his name and surrounded by strange boys. 

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

But Thomas is desperate to escape, along with the other boys trapped in this Glade. This audiobook is incredibly well-narrated with a plot like no other. 

You can find this physical book here on Amazon and on Audible too.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Universe is a well-known top-rated audiobook to listen to. The entire plot takes place in space, which is great for sci-fi lovers like myself. 

We follow Arthur and Ford, who are exploring the galaxy moments after Earth is demolished. The two begin a journey through space along aided by a few other know-all space individuals like Zaphod Beeblebrox -the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and Trillian. Where will there adventures take them? If you loved the humor and sci-fi aspect of Ready Player one – this book is a must read. 

You can find this physical book here on Amazon and on Audible too.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

On a different genre note, Dark Matter is an incredibly well-written thriller – sci-fi-ish book to read. 

Jason Dessen is our main character who is kidnapped and wakes up to a life where his wife is not his wife and his child was never born. And instead of his job as a professor, Jason is celebrated as a genius who has achieved something remarkable. Is this world real or just a dream gone wrong? 

Follow along with this well-narrated audiobook as Jason pieces together a way to get back to his old life – or if he chooses to stay, is this the world he was meant to live instead? 

You can find this physical book here on Amazon and on Audible too.

By the way, if you’re looking for more thrillers! I have an amazing post here on some books NOT to read at night *wink*

More Books Like Ready Player One

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

I was this close to buying this book at The Strand earlier this month. The synopsis immediately drew my attention, and I knew I had to include it in books that are like Ready Player One.

Snow Crash follows Hiro Protagonist (Lol – love the name) who in the real world is just a pizza delivery guy, but in the Metaverse he’s a prince warrior. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about an infocalypse.

You can find this book here on Amazon

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

For this book, I’m going to leave you with this unusual spoiler-free synopsis and let you decide whether it’s a book worth picking up.

“A dazzling debut novel—at once a charming romance and a moving coming-of-age story—about what happens when a fourteen-year old boy pretends to seduce a girl to steal a copy of Playboy but then discovers she is his computer-loving soulmate.” – Goodreads

Curious about this book? Same…

You can find this book here on Amazon! 

The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu

“When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it. He wasn’t. 

He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. 

Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. 

Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes.

 Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…” – Goodreads

You can find this book here on Amazon!

As someone who is a huge fan of Ready Player One, I was beyond excited to find some books like Ready Player One. Ernest Cline is one of my favorite authors, and these books give me nostalgia similar to Ready Player One.

Let me know which book is your favorite on this list. I personally loved Warcross the most.

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