Monday, April 18, 2016

YA Book Pick: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Once a month, we choose an outstanding YA book to review.  We want to spotlight books of interest to aspiring writers, as well as highlight some of our favorite books and authors.

This month's book is The Eye of Minds by James Dashner.

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 

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 world of hyper-advanced 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 horrible - 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.


Book had mixed reviews, but our family enjoyed the book.  It was both entertaining and fast-paced.  Here's some of things we enjoyed:   pacing, plot, and premise.  It was a page turning adventure novel filled with action and just the hint of romance.  Dashner is a strong world builder when it comes to creating a high tech world and his characters are very real.  He is a master at creating both flawed, but likeable characters like the antagonist, Kaine.

Good read for:

Middle school boys, reluctant readers, Mom's of boys, Gamers, or anyone wanting to be entertained.

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