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  • Armada

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (1,388 ratings)

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Armada cover art

Armada

By: Ernest Cline
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
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Publisher's Summary

Zack Lightman is a dreamer. He fills his days with wishful thoughts of life on other planets and spends hours playing videogames, neither of which have helped him make friends or find a girlfriend. His refuge from the daily disappointments of life is Armada - an online space-fighter simulator based on defending Earth from an alien invasion. It’s when he’s playing that he feels closest to his father, a champion gamer who died when Zack was a baby.

He rises up the ranks until there’s only one other player who can challenge his worldwide supremacy. As he closes in on his ultimate enemy, the game suspiciously shuts down, leading Zack to investigate the many urban legends and myths that surround Armada. What he finds will take him beyond his wildest dreams.

The game was just the beginning....

©2015 Random House Audiobooks (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Armada

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A fun ride, if a little derivative

This one gets 3.5 stars from me. Comparisons will unavoidably be made with Clines' first novel, Ready Player One. This story wasn't as good as that one, but it's still a fun ride. The story is predictable and draws heavily from other well-known sci-fi classics. But at least Cline is unapologetically open about it.

The book is full of pop culture references for nerds and cinephiles, though not as heavily as in RPO. The story moves along at a good pace, but ends quite suddenly after the climax. Wheaton's narration is great. He's enthusiastic and gets right into the story, which excites you as a listener.

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14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ernest and Wheaton - what a pairing!

I had just finished listening to Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, and jumped straight into Armada. The story is just as good and tears along at a steady pace. After reading some reviews stating it seems to wrap up quickly, I feel the total opposite and like the way Cline finished the story.

I felt a lot more for the characters in Armada than I did in RPO, Cline really has a way of drawing you into them.

Which brings me to Wheaton's performance. Better than on RPO for sure. More 'acting' used, throwing his voice and using accents to really create the world Cline had created.

If you liked Ready Player One by all means this will really be up your alley.

I always feel sombre when I finish a book with Wil Wheaton narrating! 5 Stars!!!

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I got the steak - I wanted the roast!

I personally found this book very enjoyable with a mix of modern and vintage sci-fi elements. However I sincerely wish most of the story was further explored in more detail. Many sections of the story felt glossed over and were finished before they felt like they had begun. Whilst not as gripping as 'Ready Player One' it shared a very similar vibe and is worth a read if you are a fan of his earlier work. Wheaton still unstoppable - great performance.

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7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this book.

I did enjoy this book and the story.

Ready Player One is my favorite book. This was good but not in the same league.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dreadful

Would you try another book written by Ernest Cline or narrated by Wil Wheaton?

Ready Player One was an enjoyable book but not great. This one is a step too far.

What aspect of Wil Wheaton’s performance might you have changed?

Wil Wheaton is at his best when he doesn't try to do different accents. Some of them here were just embarrassing. But I've enjoyed his work on other books.

Any additional comments?

The storyline was almost childish. Many won't care and will just enjoy it as a fun ride. But I found it too grating to ignore. And the gaming/nerd culture kitsch was just annoying this time around. I was born in the sixties and most of those films, tv shows, music mentioned was just bad the first time around.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 06-05-2017

I had been meaning to get to this

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It is a good story if you like the sci fi genre and you are of a certain age or nerdiness which allows you to "get" the references.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved the main character. Think great guy, sceptic and geek rolled into one.

Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes I listened to Ready Player One which put this book on my wish list and I finally got around to it. I think Wil Wheaton's voice is well suited to audio and I do not think of Star Trek at all.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes but I am not telling as it will give the plot away.

Any additional comments?

Not quite as good as Ready Player One but I thought that book was outstanding. A good listen.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fun adventure.

Not Clines best work. Ready player one is better.

The book follows a young mans journey, with a long lead up to the main events, followed by an extremely short climax. I was a bit disappointed but it's still fantastic.

Wil Wheaton is amazing in his performance. I love his voice, the slight accents he does, his inflections, brilliant.

All in all, worth getting. It's a good adventure and great for someone new to the genre.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pop Culture Nerdgasm

Not in the same league as "Ready Player One". Unlike RP1, the over-the-top pop culture references didn't really serve the story line past a certain point, and just felt like indulgence on the authors part. I did like how the story acknowledges how heavily it borrows on the body of sci-fi out there, leans into it and uses that as fodder for the narrative, but really starts to overdo it. Anticlimactic ending. Will Wheaton as narrator struggled (loved his performance of RP1, despite myself), there were too many accents and characters.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but last 1/3 of book feels rushed

Loved ready player one and so I bought this book. I liked the majority of the book. Good humour, story and cultural references. But I can't help feeling that the The last 1/3 of the book was written under the looming deadline. The story final story brushed over and told in a rapid, slapdash manor which is a real shame.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It’s a boys own adventure

I really enjoyed RPO, and had high hopes for this…but I think Armada would fit more comfortably into the “young adult fiction” section of the library. I think my 13 year old grandsons would definitely have enjoyed it. A simple story, it wasn’t bad, and the narration was good but I’m glad I didn’t pay for it.

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  • Hamish
  • 23-07-2015

A Sci-Fi Great

Loved it! Ernest Cline writes another engrossing book I can't stop read/listening to. Obviously hard to follow up after Ready Player One and many themes are similar here, but still delightful though at times it did sound a little too similar to Enders Game.

The narration is the the best! Will Wheaton is frickin amazing as the narrator. Different voices and characters come alive and just add and pump up this book to new heights.

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  • Batman
  • 31-08-2016

Great Book!

Pretty good, hey. A sea of pop culture references again. Story line was a little derivative, but credit was definitely given where it was due. A very pleasant read.

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  • Louis Fitzgerald
  • 27-09-2022

Have listened over 40 times

This is probably the most re-read/ listenable book ever. I have probably listened to this book over 40 times and I have never gotten bored. The characters are amazing (though I do think that Lex could have been more fleshed out) the narrator was pleasing, and the plot was thrilling all the way through. Just an amazing book like all of Ernest Clines other books

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom Dawkins
  • 20-08-2022

Really disappointing

I'm a fan of Ready Player One but this was disappointing. Too sweary to be good for kids but too dumb to be good for adults, or this one at least. Despite the nearly constant action I found myself bored. It was all too obvious and derivative, so there was nothing to wonder or care about.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-11-2020

Wil Wheaton at it again

I love me some Wil Wheaton, and like many of the other books I've listen to him, he absolutely kills it.
The actual story was pretty good as well, thoroughly enjoyed it and have listened to it a couple of times. My one piece of feedback for the author is that it could have been a little longer. There were certain elements that seemed rushed and I felt that Lex was pretty underdeveloped into the story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Manoj Mahalingam
  • 03-05-2019

Better than Ready Player One..

Enjoyable read and a different premise involving aliens and video games. Liked it better than Ready Player One.

The book does suffer from author taking liberties around hacking, just like Ready Player One did.

Wil Wheaton was perfect fit as the narrator for the book, again, much like Ready Player One.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-02-2019

predictable but fun

great narration. loved the story even if it was very predictable. not as good as ready player one, but still fun.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jadric Cummings
  • 14-02-2019

enjoyed all aspects of this.

narration was engaging and allowed your imagination to easily conjure up vivid images of the story.
well written again.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cosima
  • 13-08-2018

Wil Wheaton is fantastic!!!

Unfortunately the story was a bit too fst paced and short and tge characters cpuld have been explored more, as I think I would have really liked them... but then the whole story happens in less then a day, so it makes a little sense too. ...would love a sequel to this..

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-05-2018

In awe

Great story and social commentary delivered entertainingly by Will Wheaton. Loved it from beginning to end.

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  • Hannah
  • 06-08-2015

This is no 'Ready Player One'

If you could sum up Armada in three words, what would they be?

Armada? Sadly underwhelming.

Would you recommend Armada to your friends? Why or why not?

Hmm, probably not. Like...its fine? And I recommended Ready Player One left, right and center...but this? No. Probably not.

What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

Everything. Wil is my favorite reader - he has the perfect reading voice.

Any additional comments?

Armada never quite achieves what it sets out to and instead of paying homage to sci fi classics (such as Ender's Game, as noted elsewhere) it borrows far too much from them. Additionally I never found myself investing in these characters in the same way I did with Ready Player One. It was fine. You might like it. You might not.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe
  • 04-08-2015

Garbage

As a HUGE fan of Ready Player One I was so excited for this one, OMG it was such a let down.

The story is appalling, not only is it a blatant rehash of Enders game/Last Star Fighter but it has the audacity to frequently reference both and constantly draw parallels. It is not new, unique or exciting in any way. All the "Easter eggs" that made RPO so cool just feel lazy and forced in Armada.

Ok, this book is fun and fast paced but It felt like the book was rushed and absolutely no thought was put into it (a borrowed story line, one dimentional characters and a run time of less than 12hours) Honestly, if it wasn't for Will Weaton i probably wouldn't have even finished this. So disappointed!

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  • Evil RobotNixon
  • 18-09-2015

Another great book by Ernest Cline

A great second book, like Ready Player One, full of pop culture references. Moves along at a good pace and does not let up!!!

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  • Stephen
  • 21-11-2016

Enjoyable, geeky, a little bit silly but good fun!

Armada is of course a great fun story. Is it hardcore, without plot holes, as good as Ready Player One? Nope. But is it an easy read (err..listen), have tonnes of great geeky references, an enjoyable story and comes with a rocking playlist then yes it is. I think if you go into this book with these expectations you will have a good time. The characters are fine, but would have liked to see more of Lex in the story as I really wanted to hear more about her. As for the story it's fine, albeit predictable with many leaps of faith required in terms of the technology but this is kind of the point of the story. I think there were just 2 or 3 references I missed so I guess I must be the target audience for the book :) Wesley (sorry Wil, but you'll always be Wesley to me) did a fine job as always with the narration with enough voice acting for it to really help the story but not enough to spoil as can happen. His voicing of one of the characters near the end was amusing though but I think he had a good time with it. Good fun read - recommended if you are after something a little lighter.

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  • Antti
  • 09-05-2016

Millenium Falcon Has Problems With Hyperdrive

Unlike many readers and listeners, I wasn’t exactly won over by ”Ready Player One”, and I admit that only a third into ”Armada” I was ready to give up. The premise was too thin for my liking, and while I could appreciate fantastical things taking place out of the blue, unlikely turns and even, as it happens, the likeliest and most obvious ”twists”, I felt completely detached from what was going on to the point where I asked myself why I should bother reading further.

I did, however, until the very end, but I’m not quite sure if it did me any good. As has been pointed out, Cline’s referential style revolves around him writing his versions of his favourite stories, amply referencing them and toying with them along the way, but his hybrid just doesn’t seem worth the trouble to me. Perhaps I’ve never been into the whole fan fiction thing to appreciate what’s going on, but then again, this isn’t really supposed to be fan fiction as far as I’m concerned.

Yet then again, this is a light read, and to some extent fulfills its function. In some way I think the strength in Cline’s writing is that he trusts the reader to know what’s coming next so that he can offer his variation on it. And to be honest, isn’t this what storytelling has been about since forever? Not that there weren’t awkward moments, or that the deus ex machina he used so much in ”Ready Player One” didn’t pop up conveniently here as well. It’s just that when it read well, it read incredibly well. I suppose that’s part of the irritation, really: I’m boarding Millenium Falcon and just as we’re about to hit hyperspace, it doesn’t work, fiddlesticks! See, I was trying to be the geeky me.

As for narration, I wasn’t too fond of Wheaton before, but he’s really growing on me. There are moments where he’s the one making it all click with his enthusiasm and obvious freewheeling fun he’s exuding. Definitely carries the narrative.

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  • groMMit1981
  • 08-08-2015

Skip, listen to Ready Player One instead

Full of vomit inducing sob sob amateur dramatics. A cheesy cheap soap opera designed to take advantage, constantly shouting and screaming popular sci and gaming references.
A turd that not even Will Wheaton's superb performance can polish.

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  • Rob
  • 08-08-2015

Another Hit!

This is another fantastic book by Ernest Cline! If you loved Ready Player One, you'll most definitely enjoy this. A good combination of pop culture with science fiction. Any lover of video games especially games like Space Invaders will have a great time reading this.
Keep up the amazing work!
P.S Will Wheaton does great Impressions, especially 'British'.

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  • Yasskween
  • 13-09-2015

Bluergh

After the absolutely wonderful READY PLAYER ONE I was looking forward to getting stuck in to another book by the same author and read by the same narrator.
Unfortunately in my opinion this story does not have a patch on the last book.
It's incredibly schmaltzy, Cline must not have got all the film references (that worked so well in RP1) out of his system so half heartedly carries them on throughout this one. I just kept groaning because it felt like he'd plagiarised himself.
Will Wheaton does a fairly good job up until he attempts what is described in the book as "a thick British accent" he's clearly done it with none or at best very little research or practice, and as a British person it grates terribly. We have many very thick accents in Britain, none of which sound like the love child of a South African and an Australian.
Very disappointed.

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  • James
  • 11-05-2016

A great listen, with interesting current topics

Great narrating by Wheaton. The story is a little out there towards the end in what previously follows a interesting current topic of vr and battle simulators. As always a great book by a great author!

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  • james
  • 21-09-2015

as amazing as ready player one, wish it didn't end

Audible said I had to put twenty words so I'm writing this to fill up them twenty. in one word though this book is superb

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