Book Review: The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine #1) by James Dashner

An all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

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.

Release Date: October 8, 2013
Age Group: YA
Source: Purchased
Reviewed By: Kelli

I really like James Dashner's writing, and was excited to read the first installment in The Mortality Doctrine series.  The Eye of Minds was very different from my usual reads: it's about high-intensity virtual gaming.  I'm not a gamer, but I still really enjoyed this unique, imaginative, thrilling book.
Michael is a gamer, and not just any gamer; he's an expert hacker.  In Michael's world, he and his friends spend more time in the VirtNet than in the real world.  Their gaming systems are a little odd: they have these coffins that they lie in to enter the VirtNet.  The coffins are equipped with technology that allows them to feel everything that's happening in the game.  So, if they get hurt while gaming, they feel it in their bodies.  Everything feels real, which makes the gaming experience more exciting than real life.  The premise of the coffins and gaming having a real impact on the gamer's body was unique and well-executed, if a bit creepy. 
Like Dashner's other books, The Eye of Minds is told in a first person narrative with Michael as the narrator.  There is no love story at all; which is typical for Dashner.  These attributes would appeal to a male readership, however they didn't keep me from enjoying The Eye of Minds
As is custom for Dashner's novels, The Eye of Minds was full of fantastic imagery.  I felt like I was really on The Path with Michael and his friends.  There were parts of this book that completely freaked me out: no ghosts, but enough scary things to keep me thinking about them after I finished reading.  
The story moved at a good pace, and held my interest.  I was shocked at the twist at the end---so shocked I must have read that passage three times.  I couldn't believe how the story ended, and now I'm really excited to read book two, The Rule of Thoughts 


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