After the success of Ready Player One, I was expecting a slew of books set int he 80’s with computers featuring and I guess The Impossible Fortress is one of those novels.
Do not get me wrong, The Impossible Fortress is not a Ready Player One rip off. It does share the same elements: 80’s pop culture references, computers and even a computer mogul but the similarity stops there. The book is more a coming of age story and how one action can lead to another that is worse than the last.
The premise behind the book is Vanna White’s Playboy spread, which a group of schoolboys desperately want. After some failed attempts the boys (somehow I kept thinking of the younger teens in Freaks and Geeks) finally manage to think of a plan, which involves one of the boys befriending the shop owner’s daughter and using her in order to get the shop code.
The next part of the book is predictable. The boy befriends the girl and starts to like her, they work together on a computer game in order to win a competition and when it finally comes to getting the password, the boy fails until an incident happens that changes the plan somewhat.
Doug Walker aka The Nostalgia Critic has stated in one of his videos that one movie cliche he dislikes is the liar revealed. This is more or less the set up for The Impossible Fortress and, yes, the actual reveal is predictable, but Rekulak throws in a clever red herring not only redeems the book but makes it credible and it happens at the right moment as I was actually amazed that the publishers let an author get away with a blatantly obvious plot.
One gripe I do have with the book is that the book is a sort of memoir and yet the ending does not really convey that so will there be a sequel?? As such, I think it would ruin the book itself but we’ll see.
I read The Impossible Fortress in the space of two hours so it is a quick breezy read, it is funny in places and the characters are sweet. It’s a perfect rainy day book or plane read, especially if you are into 80’s coming of age stories then really you can do no wrong with this one.