Title: The Eye of Minds
Author: James Dashner
Genre: YA science fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Number of pages: 308 pages
First line: Michael spoke against the wind, to a girl named Tanya.
Goodreads blurb: 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.
The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team. But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.
“How long do we have to wait for book two?” That is the question on all three of my boys’ lips when I finished reading The Eye of Minds aloud to them. (They are 15, 14, and 12 years old.) I freely admit that there were a few days when we skipped science or history in order to have a longer read-aloud time, because all four of us were completely hooked on Michael’s story.
I also freely admit that I put off starting this book for a few months after I had it in my possession, because of how much we loved the Maze Runner series. We haven’t read any of Dashner’s other books, and I was pretty convinced that he couldn’t possibly create another world as real as that one. I was wrong; the world of The Eye of Minds is brilliantly drawn, and we were sucked right into the VirtNet alongside Michael, Bryson, and Sarah. Each challenge they faced was progressively more intricate, more dangerous, and the stakes got higher and higher, until I couldn’t read fast enough.
And then….Wham! Dashner slammed us in the face with the last chapter, and we were left staring at each other in stunned silence, wondering how we could have missed….that. And that’s when the questions started: “How long, Mom?”