Armada: A Novel by Ernest Cline

Posted July 23, 2015 by Paul (Audiobook Reviewer) in Reviews / 2 Comments

Armada: A Novel by Ernest Cline
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published by Random House Audio on 14 July 2015
Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
Genres: Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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The new novel from the best-selling author of Ready Player One

It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom - if he can make it that long without getting suspended again.

Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

At first Zack thinks he's going crazy.

A minute later he's sure of it. Because the UFO he's staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada - in which gamers just happen to be protecting the Earth from alien invaders.

But what Zack'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.

Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can't help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching and wonder: Doesn't something about this scenario seem a little too...familiar?

Armada is at once a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming-of-age adventure, and an alien-invasion tale like nothing you've ever heard before - one whose every minute is infused with author Ernest Cline's trademark pop-culture savvy.

©2015 Ernest Cline (P)2015 Random House Audio

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After falling head over heals madly in love with Ernest Cline after listening to Ready Player One, listening to Armada was a no brainer. I was really hoping that he keeps with the same elements that made me and many others love his previous work.

This is the story of Zack Lightman. He is a nerd be the very definition of the word. Does well at school, plays several massive multiplayer online games. Devotes so much time to gaming that he has ranked in the top 10 of Armada, and earth defense MMO. Zach’s father died in a tragic work accident before he was old enough to remember him. Zach desperately wants to connect with his long lost dad. One day he was day dreaming looking outside during class and see a real life spaceship, just like the thousands he has destroyed in the game. We come to find out that the game was created by the government to train pilots for the on coming alien invasion, that they have been preparing for for decades.

It is amazing to me that almost this entire story really takes place during one week or so. If you are not a nerd yourself or a child of the eighties or gamer or the like you might get lost in all of the techno-babble throughout this story. It even lost me at times, but I didn’t even care.

I really appreciated Cline’s hidden message, well maybe not so hidden to those that have read or listened already. What if war wasn’t the answer? What if humans don’t necessarily know best? Just like Transformers there is more than meets the eye, I mean ears.

Fast paced and full of all of the classic eighties references that I craved with Cline’s writing. Mix in a little heart ache, a whiny 18 year old high school kid, aliens and space battles. You have a highly entertaining story that I had to be pried from to take part in my reality.

I thought that I had it all figured out and right when it was going to be confirmed that I was right. I wasn’t. I love it when this happens.

This was hands down the best performance and production of Wil Wheaton I have ever heard. Somehow Penguin Random House was able to figure out a way to mask all of Wheaton’s signature mouth noises. There were nonexistent here. If that wasn’t enough for you. You could tell that he was giving this performance 110% effort in making this a all immersing listening experience. Witnessed most by the energy injected throughout, almost yelling, laughing and similar vocal expressions making everything come alive. Add that to all of the pacing changes for action versus seriousness, decent characterizations. Gives you one heck a fun time listening to this adventure.


About Ernest Cline

ERNEST CLINE has worked as a short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone. His primary occupation, however, has always been geeking out, and he eventually threw aside those other promising career paths to express his love of pop culture fulltime as a spoken word artist and screenwriter. His 2009 film Fanboys, much to his surprise, became a cult phenomenon. These days Ernie lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, their daughter, and a large collection of classic video games. READY PLAYER ONE is his first novel.

About Paul (Audiobook Reviewer)

Paul is a quiet man who shares his passion of books through reviews assisting others select books through honest and professional reviews. Having built a team of professional reviewers, Audiobookreviewer (ABR) is the result of his passion of reading/listening of books. His family consists of a wife, 2 cats, and 2 African Grey parrots ( More frequently than not, you will see Paul plugged into the audio of his technology listening to books while riding his bike 100+ miles, tending to a huge fruit and vegetable garden, growing bonsai trees and operating his own largest online bonsai magazine (

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