I really enjoyed Armada, I felt myself actually wanting to read it. Which is unusual for me. I liked it so much because of Zack and Lex’s relationship, the idea of an AI giving humanity a test, and Zack finally meeting his father after 18 years.
Zack and Lex’s relationship felt real and it was a great part of the book. Unlike Ernest Cline’s previous book he didn’t fall in love with this girl, it was a breath of fresh air because it felt real. It started with them casually flirting. With Zack sometimes being awkward like he really should be. He’s a nerd who plays video games all day, he wouldn’t be able to just whisk her off her feet. He had to work for it. It made for an amusing bit while they were meeting, he eventually got her to like him and they started to work together during the story. Lex had a relatively small part showing up when it was convenient, like her hacking something to move the plot along but I thought her role was necessary. It makes sense to me that teenagers or really anyone would find someone like them in a world ending scenario like this. Zack never scared her off or had rash feelings like Wade did in Ready Player One, it just felt like a large step up from the relationship from Ready Player One. It was a background story but I found myself rooting for Zack when he finally was able to actually go on a date with her.
The entire time ,during Armada, you are under the impression that the enemies are some race of aliens who pilot drones and are trying to destroy earth’s civilization for no apparent reason. It turns out that there was a pretty big reason. It was funny to me to think that after Nixon saw a swastika on Europa that he would immediately panic and fire off a nuclear missile at some moon he knew nothing about. To turn out to be some AI that was testing the human civilization for a bigger purpose was a great way to end the book. Looking back there are so many things foreshadowing this. AI was one of the things that Zack was thinking the aliens could possibly be but he never really confirms he actually truly thinks this. He always sticks with some sort of species of alien. The drones flying like they were video game AI was another foreshadowing that makes the book even better looking back. Xavier’s theories on how the aliens were testing humanity was a great way to install this, you already know he was right about the EDA being real so you have no reason to deny his theories. It turned out being right which showed how Xavier seemed to always be in the right.
Zack had always dreamed of his father somehow being alive, and that turned out to be true. I loved the part when he finds out his father is alive because it showed a lot about Zack’s character. He acted like a hurt little boy and it seemed like he was, he was a boy who just wanted to know his father. He was bullied for having a father who died in a “shit factory” but turns out his father was helping save the world. When Zack met Xavier, it was a great moment because he was speechless. Who would really know what to say in a situation like this, then his silence became anger and it perfectly depicted his character. He is just a hurt boy who never knew his father and he hated him for it. Then he started to learn to love his father to only have him taken from him. He developed into a new person, he had gotten closure about his father and he just wanted to keep him around. He thought he may have him around for a long time after he survived his kamikaze run, but it seemed like Xavier had a death wish. Now he was fatherless again but he didn’t react like last time. No, he was a more mature person now. He was no longer that little boy who just wanted to meet his father who everyone told him was dead for so many years. Having Zack meet his father was a great decision by Cline and made the book so much better.
I really enjoyed reading Armada, it’s whole plot grabbed me into the world. I liked it so much because of Zack and Lex’s relationship, the whole idea of the AI being the real mastermind behind the attacks on earth, and how Zack was able to meet his father for the first time.