Armada by Ernest Cline
I enjoyed Ready Player One, the first novel by this author, immensely. so I was quick to seek out his second book. The premise, that a government conspiracy has been preparing humanity for an alien invasion through subverting popular culture, is excellent. The execution doesn’t hold up.
Armada is highly entertaining, in a frivolous way, for the first third. Then, if you’re like me, you’ll pick the ending. This ruins the book, because it makes the dramatic scenes meaningless. Will Weaton’s performance as the narrator of the audiobook is excellent, which is some compensation for a story which deliberately tells you the ending several times, then tries to pretend that the decisions of the main character are in doubt.
I think it will make a good movie, and is likely to have a tie-in video game, because these are such obvious possibilities of the franchise. As a story told in textural form, though, the characters don’t have time to develop. Their conversations are clipped by combat scenes which will be better expressed visually.