Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Eye of Minds

TITLE: The Eye of Minds
AUTHOR: James Dashner
RELEASE DATE: October 2013
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PAGES: 310 pages 
SERIES: The Mortality Doctrine (Book 2: Rule of Thoughts, Book 3: Game of Lives)
GENRE: Science Fiction

APPROPRIATE AGE: grades 7-12

SUMMARY: In a future where people spend almost all of their days in the VirtNet (virtual reality), Michael is a player with the skills to get whatever he wants. But when he experiences a player's true death, he begins to realize that this virtual reality, might be a little more real than he would like. When the Virtual Network Security tracks Michael and his friends down asking for help catching a killer, Michael has no choice but to accept. Set on a dangerous path to retrieve the Mortality Doctrine, Michael, Sarah, and Bryson they are no longer in a game that even their hacking skills can get them out of. 

WHAT I LIKED: As a techie nerd, I love Science Fiction books. This particular book went perfectly with our library unit on Hour of Code. With the students learning to code in the library and then reading this book where the characters used code to create things in their games. While it isn't exactly a reality right now, the students could relate with how it all worked. 

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I felt absolutely no connection with the characters in the story. The main character, Michael, spends his days in a coffin playing video games. Does he go to school? Where are his parents? Does he have any friends? The minor characters in the book: Sarah and Bryson have absolutely no backstory. Michael meets them in the VirtNet and they are immediate best friends. But in the VirtNet, you can create anything you want. You can make yourself look anyway you want. Whose to say these two "friends" aren't actually forty-year-old adults targeting teenagers? But of course, it is all answered in the very last chapter of the book! Can anyone say PLOT TWIST!

READALIKES: Insignia by S.J. Kincaid


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