Excerpt: Armada

Ernest Cline rushed on to the sci-fi scene with his first hit, Ready Player One, which was an instant hit. Ready Player One is currently in the process of casting for the movie adaptation. I really enjoyed Ready Player One with all of it’s geeky goodness. So, it’s with high expectations that I look forward to reading his newest novel, Armada. I was lucky enough to get an excerpt to share with you all today.

Armada (excerpted with permission):

Armada CoverI didn’t remember unzipping my backpack, or taking out the tire iron, but I must have, because now I had the cold steel rod clenched in my hand, and I was raising it to strike.

All three of my opponents stood frozen for a moment, their eyes wide. The Lennys threw up their hands and started backing away. Knotcher’s eyes flicked over to them, and I saw him registering that his simian pals had bowed out of the fight. He started moving backward too.

I looked at the curb a few feet behind him, had a nasty thought, and followed through on it by lunging at Knotcher with the tire iron. He lurched backward and—just as I’d hoped—caught a heel on the concrete rise and landed flat on his back.

And then I was standing over him, looking down at the tire iron clutched in my hands.

Off to my left, someone screamed. My head snapped around and I saw that an audience had gathered— a handful of students on their way in to first period. Among them one girl, too young and deer-in-the-headlights to be anything but a freshman, slapped a hand over her mouth and flinched backward as I looked her way. As if she was terrified that I—Zack the school psycho—would choose her as my next target.

I glanced back at the Lennys, who were now standing among the students who had gathered to watch the fight. All of the onlookers seemed to be wearing the same expression of horrified anticipation, as if they believed they might be seconds away from witnessing their first homicide.

A wave of cold shame washed over me as the intensity of my rage faded away. I looked down at the tire iron clutched in my hands and let it clatter to the pavement. I heard a chorus of nervous laughter behind me, along with more than one relieved sigh.

I stepped away from Knotcher. He slowly got to his feet. We stared at each other for a moment, and he looked as if he was about to say something when his gaze shot upward, focused on something in the sky behind me.

When I turned around, I saw a strange-looking aircraft approaching from the east, moving at an incredible speed. The closer it got, the more familiar it looked. My brain still refused to accept what my eyes were seeing—until a few seconds later, when the craft braked to a dead stop and hovered directly over us, close enough for me to make out the Earth Defense Alliance crest stenciled on the side of its armored hull.

“No way,” I heard someone whisper. A second later, I realized it was me.

It was an ATS-31 Aerospace Troop Shuttle, one of the ships used by the Earth Defense Alliance in both Armada and Terra Firma. And it was about to land in front of my high school.

I definitely wasn’t hallucinating this time: Dozens of other people were staring up at the shuttle in amazement, too. And I could hear the rumble of the shuttle’s fusion engines and feel the heat from their exhaust buffeting my face. It was really up there.

As the shuttle began to descend, everyone in my vicinity scattered like roaches, heading for the safety of the school.

I just stood there like a statue, unable to look away. The ship was identical to the troop shuttles I’d piloted while playing Armada, right down to the EDA crest and identification bar code stamped on the underside of its hull.

The Earth Defense Alliance can’t be real, Zack, I assured myself. And neither can that shuttle you think you’re looking at right now. You are hallucinating again, only it’s much worse this time. This time, you’re having a full-on psychotic break.

 

 

Reprinted from Armada Copyright © 2015 by Dark All Day, Inc. Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.

Looks good so far.  Can’t wait to read it.

Armada is available on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One

By Ernest Cline

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for review. As is my standing policy, if I don’t like a book that I get for review, I just don’t write a review.  That being said, I still try to keep my reviews honest, so I attempt to keep the fact that the book was sent to me for free out of the review as much as possible.

I was pretty sure, just from reading the cover blurb on this book, that it was one that I would enjoy.  I wasn’t wrong.  This is an immensely fun book to read.  The geek in me was constantly finding some new thing to like about it.  The concept is pretty cool.  A billionaire gaming software maker builds an immersive virtual reality world that everyone gets addicted to.  He dies, leaving the company and control of the the VR world to whomever finds the “easter egg” that he’s left in the game.   This, of course, spawns a whole subculture of people who dedicate their lives to finding this prize.  The story is told from the first person view of one such “gunter” as he chases down the clues and tries to find the egg.  The story is littered with 80’s pop culture references.  It’s fun to read if only because of all the things that Cline finds to throw in there.

This is one of those books that, despite it’s length (374 pages), reads really quick.  I read it in about a week, which is a heck of a lot quicker than some that I read of the same length.

If you’re into 80’s geek pop culture, you’ll want to pick this up.  It’s a little bit of all the fun stuff I remember from that era thrown together to make a super fun read.