"Armada" (Crown), by Ernest Cline
"Armada," Ernest Cline's follow-up to "Ready Player One," proves he has the ability to blend popular culture with exciting stories that appeal to everyone, especially readers who grew up in the 1980s.
Zack is a high school senior, and he's counting the days until he graduates. He works at a video game store that specializes in classic games. Zack and his friends are expert in playing a new online game called "Armada," where players are in a flight simulator fighting to save the Earth from an alien invasion.
One morning at school, he looks out the window and sees a UFO. The craft looks like the alien vehicles used in the video game. Not sure if what he saw is real, Zack begins a journey that uncovers the shocking truth behind the video game and film industry. It also puts him in the middle of his own game, where his expertise may not be enough for him to make it to the next level.
Cline's voice for Zack makes the reader believe a high school senior with a love of video games and sci-fi television and films is narrating the story. And love of popular culture isn't necessary to enjoy this amazing novel.