The VirtNet is an incredibly realistic virtual reality gaming world, and Michael is one of the best gamers there is. The realism has begun to get out of hand, however, as people inside the VirtNet begin taking their lives. These people claim an expert gamer named Kaine is trapping people inside the VirtNet. A powerful organization known as the VNS wants Michael and his friends, Bryson and Sarah, to help hunt down Kaine and lead them to him. They soon find out that the game is no longer just a game.
James Dashner's THE EYE OF MINDS is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine trilogy, and it is an intense and compelling beginning to the series. The ending to the book was completely unexpected, and I wish I had the second book in my hands right now.
The story world Dashner has created with the VirtNet was difficult for me to get into at first because I wasn't sure that there were any real stakes involved with a gaming world where when you die, you wake up to play another day. That's not the way the story world turns out at all, and I wasn't prepared for what the stakes really were for Michael and his friends. The story is much bigger than a story about videogame-obsessed teenagers. The concept of Dashner's story is brilliant and incredibly executed.
Michael is the main character, and we spend a lot of time getting inside of his head. This is really important for how the story progresses. Sarah and Bryson make the perfect best friends for Michael and their interactions with him make the story so much better than it would be without them.
Kaine is the antagonist of the story, and he's definitely not the villain you expect as you're nearing the end of the story. Kaine may be one of the most terrifying villains I've ever read about because of his background and what makes him who he is.
THE EYE OF MINDS was one of the best books I've read this year. James Dashner is gaining a substantial following and for good reason.
Review copy provided by Delacorte Press
Photo Credit: Delacorte Press