(PDF) [Armada by Ernest Cline] Î Ernest Cline
I tried to keep my cool I tried to remain skeptical I reminded myself that I was a man of science even if I did usually get a C in itI looked at it again I still couldn t tell what it was but I knew what it wasn t it wasn t a meteor Or a weather balloon or swamp gas or ball lightning No the unidentified flying object I was staring at with my own two eyes was most definitely NOT OF THIS EARTHMy first thought was Holy fucking shitHow much jerking off to 80s nostalgia can one man do Ernest Cline is testing my limits as he s written not one but TWO full length novels crammed to the gills with 80s referencesListen I read Ready Player One and liked it A lot of Yolanda's Genius people did Unfortunately Cline has interpreted us liking that book as a green light to write books that center around the worship of everything 80sSeems as if Cline is a one trickonyStop me if you ve heard this one Zack Lightman is good at basically nothing except Fettan playing video games Specifically one video game that deals with fighting off an alien invasion One day Men in Black come to his school and recruit him to fight aliens for real the video game was actually a recruiting tool for the upcoming war against aliens from Europa Sound familiarYeahANYWAY I would be absolutely fine with this tired asslot if Cline bothered to add anything new or interesting to it But he doesn tWorse than that Zack and all the other characters in this book do not emote Instead of having feelings they simply compare themselves to fictional 80s characters For instance when Zack sees a space shuttle land near his school one that is ripped right from the video game he Die Kunst Des Zeichnens: Die grosse Zeichenschule: Praxisorientiert und gut erklärt plays incessantly he doesn t talk about how he feels Instead he Okay then you might be trapped inside a lucid dream like Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky Or maybe your reality is really just an incredibly convincing computer simulation like in The Matrix Or maybe you just died in a car accident and this is all just an elaborate fantasylaying out in your brain during the last few seconds of your life like in that one old Twilight Zone episodeThe characters do not have feelings that belong to themselves only to other op culture fictional charactersWhat about when he sees the advanced army base full of anti alien craft How does he feel In that moment I felt like Luke Skywalker surveying a hangar full of A Y and X Wing Fighters just before the Battle of Yavin Or Captain Apollo climbing into the cockpit of his Viper on the Galactica s flight deck Ender Wiggin arriving at Battle School Or Alex Rogan clutching his Star League uniform staring wide eyed at a hangar full of GunstarsBut this wasn t a fantasy I wasn t Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon or Ender Wiggin or anyone else This was real life My lifeAnd Cline never uts just ONE 80s reference into an explanation when he can fit in three It s highly annoying Also he is going to spoil innumerable movies and tv shows for you You have been warned Read at your own riskLet s look at a scene where a school bully has scratched Zack s car One of the few The Villain: The Life of Don Whillans perks of driving an ancient rusted out shit wagon was that it took real effort to make it look any less aestheticallyleasing than it already wasThis realization allowed me to calm myself enough to heed the whispered advice of Master Yoda now on repeat in my head Let go of your angerI often tried to calm myself with Yoda s voice which sounded nothing like Fozzie Bear damn you during moments of distress Obi Wan or ui Gon or Mace Windu sometimes had calming movie uote wisdom to share toThat was only on good days of course On the bad ones I found myself drawing on eually compelling advice from Lords Vader or PalpatinePlease brace yourself for about 5 to 20 op culture 80s references on each and every ageWho really cares enough about the 1980s to read and beat off to Ready Player One AND then is immediately hungry for non stop 1980s ornReally honestly I am asking Who is the audience for this bookI know the 80s I like the 80s I m not a real gamer so most of Cline s video game worship goes right over my head
But I Get 95% I get 95% his movie references in here and most of his musical ones tooBut what exactly is the oint There s no real lot and what little lot there is is SO cliched and SO Times of Bede predictable that it s almost not worth reading I knoweople like nostalgia but WHO is reading thisDo teenagers nowadays love worship and know 1980s culture NO At most they have a bit of The Catechism of the Council of Trent passing interest in itMost adults I know even if they were in their kid or teen years during the 80s have a limited tolerance for 80s reminiscing if they even care to reminisce at allI m highly worried about Cline Is he stuck in the 80s I would agree that the 1980s was a heyday for good movie making However and I know this might be a huge shock to Cline but good movies and tv shows are being made TODAY gasp Yes I know it s true Perhaps he should venture out to an actual theater or turn on his tv to HBO or Showtime instead of re watching Back to the Future for the fiftieth time The authoricture of him is him City for Sale: Ed Koch and the Betrayal of New York posing with his DeLorean Now sweet I love DeLoreans Obviously I loved the BTTF trilogy SO MUCH I havearts of it memorized However I do NOT wish the 80s would come back nor do I live in the The Runaway Prophet Jonah Study Guide 1998 past I enjoy consuming modernop culture and do not believe everything created after 1989 is trash I m always weirded out by Književna groupie 2: Strovaljivanje people who are obsessed with theast and determined to live in it I d rather have a new movie with new ideas than a remake of TOTALL RECALL or TRON or yet another TERMINATOR movie I do not know if Cline has kids but erhaps if he does they can introduce their dad to some new and cool stuff He can show them Die Hard and Predator and they can show him something that was made after 2005 It will blow his mindWe also have some HIGHLY annoying lot oints in the book which I will cover now1 Absolute dream girl Zack on the first day no first HOUR of training meets a black clad tattooed older he s 18 she s 22 woman who thinks he s cute and actually lets him sit by her instead of telling him to fuck off She instantly gets all of his 80s jokes and references and ALSO is
"apparently obsessed with the 80s so they should get married immediately or something I m not even "obsessed with the 80s so they should get married immediately or something I m not even insta love I m saying mythical dream girl that automatically likes you and appears immediately on your first day You will have to do nothing to impress her everything that comes out of your mouth is gold This annoyed me to no end She has no ersonality muc. Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming Dreaming that the real world could be a little like the countless science fiction books movies and videogames he’s spent his life consuming Dreaming that one day some fantastic world altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space faring adventure But hey there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism right After all Zack tells himself he knows the difference between fantasy and reality He knows that here in the real world aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t. H like Zack and just exists to be his badass erfect girlfriend a relationship that happens instantly with none of that Dangerously Placed pesky getting to know you dating can I trust you falling in love stuff that one normally has to go through in order to have a relationship2 There s one gay couple in the novel and they view spoilerdie hide spoiler I expected something original ZACK S GAME I was really excited to read Armada since I read some months ago Ready Player One and I enjoyed A LOT that other book So reading the next novel by Ernest Cline was a obvious decisionI was aware of the basicremise and I really hoped to read something fresh and original with the same sense of witty and humor found on Ready Player One but while I can t deny that Armada contains witty and humor I didn t find it fresh or originalAny big reason some book that you may heard about not matter if you have read it or not Ender s GameCline didn t do any attempt that it could be Just Destiny pointless and illogical to hide the connection to the mentioned novel in fact in the reality of the book Ender s Game exists as the same known sci fi novel than in our reality But one thing is aknowledge the novel and other is trying to make a readers friendly version of that 80215 Okay let s get this out of the way If you re looking to recreate the singular reading experience you had with Ready Player One to recapture that same magical feel Teenager Zack Lightman is the 6th best Armadalayer in the world a sci fi shoot em up where you Paradise Run pilot a ship blasting away alien invaders And then he discovers the game was really designed to find the bestilots in the world and he s been drafted in a real life war against aliens Computer games used to find skilled layers kids usually to fight aliens in an intergalactic war Yeah it s been done already in The Last Starfighter and Ender s Game In fact the derivative nature of Ernest Cline s Armada is emblematic of the novel as a whole which isn t so much a story as it is a collection of uotes and references from other actually original works of op culture sprinkled liberally atop an adolescent wish fulfilment fantasyThe story is told in Zack s first Help Me, Jacques Cousteau person By far the most irritating aspect of the novel is the way Cline writes Zack s internal monologue note that Zack is a mega fan ofop culture Every simile and I mean Every Single One is a reference to something A movie book game whatever For example I d felt like a young Clark Kent Dignity Rising 1: Gefesselte Seelen preparing to finally learn the truth about his origins from the holographic ghost of his own long dead father and What if they re using videogames to train us to fight without us even knowing it Like Mr Miyagi in The Karate Kid when he made Daniel sanaint his house sand his deck and wax all of his cars he was training him and he didn t even realize it Wax on wax off but on a global scale This isn t just lazy sloppy writing but it s detrimental to how the book will read to some The Book of Mordred people Not only do we not know what Zack is supposed to be feeling because he s not telling us he s describing how another character in a similar situation would feel but only describing the situation But if you re unfamiliar with the reference you won t know what Zackthe reader is supposed to be feeling Or you ll have to jump on Google to find out yourself which isn t exactly what anyone sitting down with a book is hoping to end up doingThe simile references aren t just every now and then they re on nearly everyage which becomes enormously tiresome Zack cannot describe anything or have a single conversation without name dropping at
least one op culture reference And while I got most of the references I didn t enjoy one op culture reference And while I got most of the references I didn t enjoy so much as I grew to hate Cline s shockingly inept storytelling styleThe story itself isn t much better Yes it s ripping off The Last Starfighter and Ender s Game but beyond that there isn t much else to the book The gamers save the world storyline is extremely self indulgent and tedious while the Wie war das noch? Schulwissen, neu aufpoliert pervasive worship of nostalgia is simply boring But at least Zack has a semblance of character as opposed to no one else in the book His glaringly obvious love interest Lex isn t so much a character as an extension of Cline s fantasy She s drop dead gorgeous and as steeped inop culture as Zack so the two get to make repeated obnoxious references to one another in the least funny most annoying meet cute ever Not only that but she is hot hot hot for nerds especially gamers who re super good at Armada Lex might be Cline s most itiful moment in the whole novel Zack s friends Nerdle dee and Nerdle dum I don t recall their names but that ll do are just
funnels for every fanboy message board arguing about what superhero could beat some other superhero or what for every fanboy message board arguing about what superhero could beat some other superhero or what s better than another Describing these characters as one dimensional is generousWhen he s not making references Cline s describing the supposedly exciting battle scenes in space between Earth s forces and the aliens Except describing a space battle is not nearly as exciting as seeing one in a film TV show or game and there are dozens of ages devoted solely to this My eyes glazed over every time Cline was describing some super awesome dogfight Zack was inBut it isn t just Cline s inability to bring any real drama to the roceedings just how exciting is it to see two drones fight one another Because for most of the fights the eople operating the machines are safely tucked far away from the action while two unmanned drones shoot at one another Two lifeless robots shooting lasers at one another is as exciting to read as it soundsThings happen too uickly one minute Zack s a high school student making Lord of the Rings references with his Say Anything obsessed mother in their living room the next he s in space Gods Callgirl preparing to fight a war that ll save humanity There s no real build up to the war against the aliens no real sense of fear that this is mankind s final hour Everything s too rushed to have any impact on the readerAs unconvincing as the characters are once these teens get drafted and are given titles like Captain and Lieutenant it took all I could muster not to say oh fuck YOU every time we saw some dweeb suddenly being saluted by self appointed Generals and Admirals It s like watching little kidslay dress up or seeing a Scientology ceremony except you know they re just idiots while Cline is asking us to take these teenage Captains seriously like everyone else in his story is for some stupid reason It s too much. Get chosen to save the universe And then he sees the flying saucer Even stranger the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he Forever I'm Yours plays every night a hugelyopular online flight simulator called Armada in which gamers just happen to be rotecting the earth from alien invaders No Zack hasn’t lost his mind As impossible as it seems what he’s seeing is all too real And his skills as well as those of millions of gamers across the world are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it It’s Zack’s chance at last to lay.
Ernest Cline ´ 9 charactersI could suspend my disbelief for an alien invasion but not for some dickhead gamers being called actual military ranks and treated like actual ranking officers There s not enough vomit in the world to express how I felt during those scenesAnd really we re meant to believe that teenage gamers was the best strategy the brilliant minds of the world could come up with to fight the aliens Socially dysfunctional emotionally damaged undisciplined crybabies who ve never know responsibility beyond a art time job or an essay deadline are suddenly entrusted with billions of dollars worth of euipment to SAVE THE WORLD But then again we re dealing with Ernest Cline s fantasy specific to gamers so it makes nonsenseArmada is ure fan service to gamers It Renoir pats them on the head confirming their ridiculous beliefs that they are the most amazingeople in the world and that nobody understands the true importance of gaming The book is also for Nebular Sammelband 5 - Galaxis in Panik people who like seeing things they re familiar with who ll go oh I remember that therefore this is great ie mindless fanboys who only react to brands rather than substance and who enjoy feelingart of an asinine club because they get certain references others don t The real failing of Armada is that for all Cline s knowledge of Nightwing: On the Razor's Edge pop culture he s unable to contribute anything original to it with his book That s theoint isn t it to create something new and start a whole new set of references rather than simply uote endlessly from others ad nauseam But Cline opts for the latter and Bakunin: The Creative Passion produces a book of completely insubstantial drivelArmada is tedious sci fluff that renders itself near unreadable due to an over reliance on cultural reference shorthand to communicate key moments of its feeble story and the savvy ness of the reader toick up on them When The Donegal Woman picking what to read shoot for something higher something original challenging ambitious and fresh in other words anything but Armada The Last Starfighter Ender s Game Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny the last Battlestar Galactica leads a ragtag fugitive fleet on a lonely uest for a shininglanet known as Earth Proton Martha's Chickens and the Pirates packs Twiki from Buck Rogers I d buy that for a dollar Ms Pac Man Mix tapes Help me Obi Wan Kenobi You re my only hope Pitfall Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime Dr Sam Beckett stepped into the uantum Leap accelerator and vanished Tron Where we re going we don t need roads Defender Warp core breaches Snakes Why did it have to be snakes Voight Kampff test Streets of Fire Yippie ki yay motherf Why did you stop me What s that you say You can t just string a bunch of nerdy 80sop culture references together and call it a coherent The Necromancer, or The Tale of the Black Forest piece of writing Maybe not but Ernest Cline is getting rich doing it so I thought I d give it a try Ah but seriously folksZach Lightman is a high school kid whose only real talent islaying video games His father was killed in an accident right after he was born and thanks to an attic full of the old man s stuff Zach is well versed in 80s movies TV and music There s also a notebook in which his dad theorized that all the Amstel Girl: Playing With Destiny pop culture since the 70s was done asart of a lan to repare the world for a coming alien invasion and video games were introduced to train the ublic on how they d fight them Zach learns that his father s theory was right when he gets scooped up by the Earth Defense Alliance because his skills are needed to help fight off the space invaders Cline has lifted elements from stories like The Last Starfighter and Ender s Game and then used the notion that the EDA has been influencing Earth s culture for decades to create a loop in which he can continually roll out nerdy references to
The Point Where You Llpoint where you ll to unch the next Hiam person who says anything about Star Wars within your hearing Oh and Futurama also did thislot in a much better and funnier way about 7 years earlier Borrowing story from other works isn t the worst thing about this though The We Give a Squid a Wedgie (An Accidental Adventure, part Cline lifted is used fairly often in entertainment as general wish fulfillment that any kid might be exceptional somehow So this doesn t come across as uite the act oflagiarism it sounds like from the Barbarossa Through Soviet Eyes premise of the book That s far from the biggestroblem with ArmadaThe important thing here is that Ernest Cline is a goddamn hackI thought his first book Ready Player One was lightweight mildly entertaining sci fi that mainly coasted by due to its appeal as Gen X nostalgia Kropotkin: 'The Conquest of Bread' and Other Writings porn but Cline is like that guy at work who made one decent joke that got a short giggle out of you once in the break room and after that repeats a variation of it every time you bump into him in the hall With this second book he s shown that he has no other moves thanlaying the Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading pop culture card because Armada is nothing but the same gag repeated ad nauseam My irritation starts with Zach Lightman because just as in RP1 we once again have a teenage hero who is obsessed with the 80s despite not living in them Yeah Cline makes up some reasons as to why a kid in the future or in theresent would get into this but in reality this is just an excuse for a middle aged man to ut his own youth culture into the mouths of younger characters in an attempt to convince us all #that the 80s were totally awesome and completely relevant today dudeIt also gives him the opportunity #the 80s were totally awesome and completely relevant today dudeIt also gives him the opportunity unleash his never ending stream of nerdy references in lieu of actually writing a book The main character can t describe anything anyone or any emotional state without using op culture as shorthand Almost everything that happens to him has to be expressed by comparing it to a movie TV show or video game He literally can t describe his own mother without evoking Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley to give you an idea of her toughness even though she s a nurse not a robot fighting survivalist or alien exterminatorview spoiler Yes I know she does fight aliens at the end but even if you want to believe that s foreshadowing it s once again using famous sci fi characters to tell us what to expect out of Cline s creation rather than trying to do it himself If he had bothered to build up the mom as tough so that we bought into the idea that she s shooting lasers at aliens and then compare her to Sarah Connor in a
joke or comment then that might actually ay off in the moment if done well But then he wouldor comment then that might actually ay off in the moment if done well But then he would had to come up with a way to describe her early on without using the crutch of references and that just wasn t gonna happen hide spoiler. The hero But even through the terror and exhilaration he can’t help thinking back to all those science fiction stories he grew up with and wondering Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a littlefamiliar At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could Armada is a rollicking surprising thriller a classic coming of age adventure and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before one whose every age is infused with the op culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a henomenon.