I’ve been waiting a decent amount of time for a new book by James Dashner. I picked up The Maze Runner several years ago and absolutely loved his ability to tell a story and drive suspense through the roof. When that trilogy was finished I was eager for some new material of his to read, and now I finally have that chance.
The Eye of Minds is the first book in a new series by James Dashner known as The Mortality Doctrine. It’s a little on the short side, clocking in at about 320 pages or so, which means it’s not going to take me a very long time to finish. However, what interests me the most is how it centers around a character who considers himself a gamer, and consequently the story revolves a great deal around gaming, technology, and other things of that nature. I’m reminded a little bit of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One when I read the cover description for this book, and that’s a good thing because Ready Player One is one of the best books in this vein I’ve ever had the chance to read. It was a fresh entry into young adult science fiction and I’m hoping this book can be the same sort of thing.
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.