Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book Review: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

   Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?
   But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

I wasn't originally going to do a review on this book, but I've seen about .02 reviews for this, so I decided to add to the pile. I could see where people would be cautious- when I see the name James Dashner, I associate it with The Maze Runner, not some random gamer book. For me, I never want to really read something by an author who already has a fan base built around another series. It might just be me and my need for little things not to change, but who knows.

I found this book at Target SIGNED, and I jumped on it and practically acted like Gollum with his precious Ring. However, it did sit on my shelf for a few weeks before I read it, mainly because I didn't know what to think of this new series from a legendary YA author. I did like it though. Most of the book was good (nice paced, but eh, I don't know. It just felt a bit off) but as usual, Dashner delivered with the ending. I can't wait for the next book.

One of the things that I loved about this book is that, like the Maze Runner, Dashner creates a world that is suited for boys but is still sprinkled with light romance. I think that this book has even less than the Maze Runner. I liked that, mainly because I feel like sometimes they get a little too balanced, like a book that should be 100% guns, games, and boy stuff instead of 50-50. It feels awkward most of the time, like the author is trying way too hard.

Dashner's writing style makes this book very easy to read too. This is a great book to read in between classes or work, where there isn't too much time to get fully invested but it's a nice break from reality. You can stop and start this book without getting confused or missing key details that were meant to flow together.

Some of the scenes were a bit weird, though. When the main plot line gets introduced to Michael about the Mortality Doctrine, he is SUDDENLY pulled over by four weird men in suits. It wasn't very realistic, to say the least. I suppose that was the point intended, though. Who knows? (James Dashner.)

The world is built wonderfully. This book was a really nice break from all of the fantasy and contemporary I've been reading. I love how everything felt virtual, right down to the freckles on their faces. It just felt like a futuristic movie, through and through. I feel like that is sometimes hard to portray without a visual aspect, but Dashner did it very nicely.

I would just love to see inside of James Dashner's head sometime. The characters and the scenes that he paints are so unique and potent. In The Maze Runner series, Dashner created many weird and creepy enemies, just as he did here. The plot is so intricately woven, with most of the secrets being saved until the last, final breaths of the novel.

Dashner certainly doesn't disappoint in this new sci-fi novel. He's very, very talented, and I will recommend this to all of my friends. I think that everyone should definitely pick up a copy of this, especially if they loved The Maze Runner.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Over and out,

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