Armada is a fast-paced, nerdy thriller that will no doubt entertain gamers and geeks with its endless sci-fi references. Employing themes from numerous sci-fi films, Armada questions not only if those films might be based on real life but also why such films have cemented themselves in American pop culture at all. If you liked the tech from Ready Player One, the playfulness of John Scalzi's Redshirts, or pretty much any flight simulator, you will probably devour this book.
— Aubrey Restifo
“Wow, I can’t believe this guy wrote a book just for me!”
As a child of the 1980s, I spent a lot of time in video arcades before their eventual decline in the late 90s. I also grew up a major Star Wars nerd, so science fiction, epic space battles, and futuristic technologies have always been favorite escapes of mine. Armada, the newest novel from nerd hero Ernest Cline, hits on all these pop culture touchstones, and many more.
Armada begins with Zack Lightman, a typical highschooler and gamer, working part-time at the local videogame store. It’s not long before his whole world comes crashing down, and everything he ever thought he knew about his life is thrown into disarray. His long-dead father might not be all that dead, and the videogame Zack spends all of his free time playing might not be just a game.
What if all those scifi videogames, movies, books, and tv shows were part of a government plan, a conditioning of sorts, in order to ease the public into the idea of extraterrestrial contact? What if, maybe, aliens ARE real, and political leaders have known this for quite some time?
The Earth is preparing for invasion from hostile aliens, and Zack has suddenly been recruited into the Earth Defence Alliance. But wait, the EDA is just a fictional group from the Armada videogame, and besides, aliens aren’t real. And his new Commanding Officer: Xavier Lightman...no way, it can’t be. Can it?
— Chris Linendoll
August 2015 Indie Next List
“This new work from Cline definitely will not disappoint the myriad fans of Ready Player One. On the contrary, it is another magical, nerdy romp through science fiction and fantasy pop culture where the thing that happens to the hero is exactly the thing every sci-fi lover secretly -- or not so secretly -- dreams will happen to them! A successful screenwriter, Cline fills this tale with super-cool action, relatable characters, and inventive plots. I loved it!”
— Heather Duncan (M), Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A rollicking alien invasion thriller that embraces and subverts science-fiction conventions, from the author of the worldwide phenomenon Ready Player One “Exciting . . . mixes Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, Independence Day, and a really gnarly round of Space Invaders.”—USA Today • “A thrilling coming of age story.”—Entertainment Weekly
Zack Lightman has never much cared for reality. He vastly prefers the countless science-fiction movies, books, and videogames he's spent his life consuming. And too often, he catches himself wishing that some fantastic, impossible, world-altering event could arrive to whisk him off on a grand spacefaring adventure.
So when he sees the flying saucer, he's sure his years of escapism have finally tipped over into madness.
Especially because the alien ship he's staring at is straight out of his favorite videogame, a flight simulator callled Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders.
As impossible as it seems, what Zack's seeing is all too real. And it's just the first in a blur of revlations that will force him to question everything he thought he knew about Earth's history, its future, even his own life--and to play the hero for real, with humanity's life in the balance.
But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can't help thinking: Doesn't something about this scenario feel a little bit like . . . well . . . fiction?
At once reinventing and paying homage to science-fiction classics, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a coming-of-age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before.
About the Author
Ernest Cline is a #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. He is the author of the novels Ready Player One and Armada and co-screenwriter of the film adaptation of Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg. His books have been published in over fifty countries and have spent more than 100 weeks onThe New York Times bestsellers list. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.
“Nerd-gasmic . . . another science fiction tale with a Comic-Con's worth of pop-culture shout-outs.”—Rolling Stone
“An amazing novel [that] proves Cline has the ability to blend popular culture with exciting stories that appeal to everyone.”—Associated Press
“A fantastic second novel . . . fans of Ready Player One, it is time to rejoice.”—HuffPost
“A joyous, rollicking read . . . will garner Cline an even larger group of fans than the formidable crew he’s already assembled.”—Boing Boing
“A great romp . . . Cline (ever the fanboy) is both reverent of and referential to the books and movies and games of his childhood.”—Mother Jones
“Video games come to life in this witty, extraterrestrial thriller.”—New York Post
“Built like a summer blockbuster . . . Cline recombines the DNA of Ender’s Game, Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, and old-school arcade games like Asteroids into something that’s both familiar and unpredictable. It’s a mutant homage to sci-fi tropes past.”—Gawker
“Hugely entertaining…a paean to the videogames of a bygone era, and like Ready Player One it is a tremendous amount of fun for anyone who remembers that time and played those games.”—George R.R. Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Game of Thrones
“A novel so fun, you’ll want to reboot it and read it again . . . the best novel this gamer geek has read in a long, long time.”—Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool
“Those conspiracies you imagined when you were fourteen turn out to be true in this masterful tale of Earth’s desperate struggle against a powerful alien foe.”—Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
“Armada proves Ernie Cline is the modern master of wish fulfillment literature—and of reminding us to be careful what we wish for.”—John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling author of Old Man’s War
“With another winningteen protagonist in Zach, Cline mines the nostalgia and geek spheres just as successfully as he did in his acclaimed debut, Ready Player One. The works that obviously influenced the story line, such as Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and the films The Last Starfighter and Star Wars, feel like homages rather than borrowings- a rap artist sampling the best beats our there to create an irresistible jam.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Cline once again brings crackling humor and fanboy knowledge to a zesty, crowd-pleasing, countdown-clock, save-the-planet tale featuring an unlikely hero, adrenaline-pumping action, gawky romance, and touching family moments. . . . Cline’s sly, mind-twisting premise and energetically depicted and electrifying high-tech battles make for smart, frenetic, and satisfying entertainment.”—Booklist (starred review)