Review: The Eye of Minds

The Eye of Minds
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I keep meaning to read The Maze Runner books and haven’t yet but they’re at the top of my list now. I absolutely loved The Eye of Minds. I thought it was interesting, engaging, with several twists and turns that can be chaotic. I’m not sure the ending really worked though I loved the twist of it and the never-ending danger of the virtual world wore on me a bit but I still finished the book with a happy sigh and wanted to read it all over again immediately. I’m impressed with the writing and handling of such complex plot lines while giving relatable and engaging characters. I can easily recommend this book and I’m very much looking forward to more in the series.

Michael is a gamer, like everyone else. These days the only real entertainment is found in the virtual world. People plug in through contraptions called “coffins” and they can experience the virtual world as if it were real. Michael and his two best friends, Bryson and Sarah, are enlisted to help hunt down a rogue gamer, called Kaine, who is hacking the virtual code in very dangerous ways. Although they’re just kids, the three know they’re smart and capable enough to find this Kaine. Besides, the consequences are unthinkable. The journey to find Kaine is long, scary, and tiring. The three friends only have one shot to get to him and they’re determined to make it happen.

Right away I was sucked into the world of TEoM. I haven’t read anything like it and was intrigued with the concept. I loved how the author incorporated the virtual world with reality and made it such a seamless transition. It’s an easily recognizable future and a believable one as well. The action is quick to start and doesn’t end. The intrepid trio must go through numerous different virtual worlds, games, and incredibly scary scenarios to try to find Kaine and the author doesn’t shy away from gore or pain. It’s removed from the three friends for the most part and it didn’t bother me, partly because of the virtual gaming setting. For most of it, if the three die, they respawn and start again. So the feeling of violence and death is not real, which helps dilute any emotions.

I liked the characters from the start and quickly became invested in their lives and mission. I had to get over a few caveats because it made no sense the Virtual Network Security bigwigs would be asking some teenage hackers to find a dangerous man who’s killed people in real life but that’s a common element in books so I could get over it. Likewise there are several points in the journey to find Kaine when I questioned why that happened or whether it made sense but I was mostly wrapped up in the tension and action to really be bothered. I’m sure many of those were linked to the twist at the end, which was great and caught me off-guard while prompting even more questions. Some I hope are answered in the next book of the series.

I found the writing to be complicated. It’s an intricate and elaborate book, both in the plot and world building, so the writing has to convey this. Instead of clear and concise prose, the author prefers convoluted details and arduous descriptions. I personally didn’t mind and in fact devoured the book in short order but the writing style definitely stood out. It’s not a clean way of writing with crisp language but more dark and labyrinth like. It suits the subject matter and fantasy of the never-ending trials and ever more dangerous worlds.

In a word, I think this story really is epic. It’s a narrative without equal and plunges readers into a virtual reality that becomes reality. I found it pretty addicting and never wanted to put it down. I’m extremely curious to see where the plot goes from here and hopefully some more questions will be answered in the next installment. In the meantime I’m definitely reading everything this author has on their backlist.

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