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Armada

Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (1,238 ratings)

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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

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    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.

14 people found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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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!!!

5 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Not bad, but could have been better

Interesting unique concept leveraging classic sci-fi stereotypes. Strange pace, and I found myself unable to immerse myself in the story as it seemed too implausible, but still enjoyed it.

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  • J
  • 18-09-2020

Fantastic Story - Well Delivered

This is a great store recommend for anyone who loves a light sci-fi and good action with an intriguing story. Wil Wheaton delivers it well and never lets you dow. He keeps you right these the whole time. Worth a go for anyone who wants a good fun action sci-fi that loves 80’s pop culture references.

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Jacob Miller
  • 07-03-2018

Fun, not deep but fun

It's like a Harry Potter of a book - you won't get anything out of it and it's fairly predictable, but it's a fun and easy read all the way through.

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  • IcyShadow85
  • 04-03-2018

An Pop Culture Overload

This book is amazing and a must listen for an geek fanboy and popculture nerd

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  • B. Daniel
  • 08-11-2017

Wants to be Ready Player One, but falls short

Has similar themes to the excellent Ready Player One (80s culture, video games, global scale competing), but I just didn’t find the story that interesting. Look forward to the author doing something different in their next book.

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  • Vinodhan
  • 07-10-2016

A must-listen for fans of the genre

Yes. It's no Ready Player One" (how could it be?) but (proud) geekdom will still find this a highly satisfying and heartening offering from the same author. And, really, what can be better than Wil Wheaton once again taking us on the joyride?
It's not life altering (probably) and is just a tad heavy handed somehow in dishing out some of its pop culture pearls (the very beauty of Cline's work I know and agree) but you will enjoy the storytelling way too much to let that detract.

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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.

9 people found this helpful

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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!!!

21 people found this helpful

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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.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 24-11-2016

Rubbish - best avoided

After the excellent 'Ready Player One' I was expecting another great story. Instead I listened with growing disappointment to a simplistic story with poor characterisation, internally inconsistent plot and lazy dialogue. Also, contrary to another reviewer's opinion, Will Wheaton (who otherwise does a good job of narrating) cannot produce an English accent. He just sounds like Mike Myers in 'Austin Powers'.

1 person found this helpful

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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!

5 people found this helpful

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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.

15 people found this helpful

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  • paul crowe
  • 21-12-2015

Young young adult fiction

Having read Ernest Clines first novel and quite liked it, retro, quirky and a bit different, I wanted to get this and thought I'd enjoy it. Wrong, this is pretty puerile stuff, which Wil Wheaton does a sterling job of making sound interesting. Leaden, cliched characters, minimal emotional depth, and delusions of grandeur way beyond its capability to deliver. I'm not sure anyone above 12 should listen to this. Sorry, really must do better!

1 person found this helpful

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  • ElltheCam
  • 14-12-2015

Don't bother. Very well read banal juvenile dross.

Started fairly promisingly but soon sank. Why did I persist? Very good narration and i was curious as to whether the the blazingly obvious plot was all there was. Has all the depth and sophistication of a cheap TV guide's headline summary of a poor soap episode.
Felt it was written by a 13 yr old for a 10 yr old with absent father issues.
I do not mind an unpretentious simple plot if exciting or witty. But this was irritating. Maybe I read more into R.P.O. then there was?

1 person found this helpful

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  • "gregpakes"
  • 27-08-2015

No Ready Player One...

Starts strong, but fades.

If you're looking for another Ready Player One, there are flashes of it in here, but sadly it's not as good.

Entertaining, but felt rushed.

5 people found this helpful

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  • anthony
  • 12-08-2015

liked it

enjoyed this book just wish it was longer
look forward to his next work . enjoy the pop culture references

1 person found this helpful