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


4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

The Eye of Minds opens with the protagonist, Michael, witnessing a girl commit suicide within the game world of the VirtNet. But before doing so, she talks to Michael and tells him she will never be free. She cuts out her Core, the device which keeps the virtual life separate from the real one – meaning that if she dies in the game, she dies in real life.

The VirtNet is a place of escape for millions of people, who link up to the game via boxes which provide them with nutrients whilst they play. To some, having a virtual reality world to escape into 24/7 may be perfect. However, this shocking opening shows that there is a dark side to this virtual utopia – because it’s never a utopia, right? Through witnessing this act, Michael becomes involved with something he never expected, something that requires him to risk not only his virtual life, but his real one too.

The Eye of Minds is a very fast-paced novel that almost constantly kept up a sense of terror and fear, with Michael and his friends being pursued at every move. It took something that sounded like it could be an amazing invention and showed how it could go horribly, horribly wrong. Whilst I love the idea of a virtual reality online game, this was pretty terrifying. Whilst Michael’s friends, Sarah and Bryson, felt a little flat in all that we knew about them was that they were excellent coders, this also reflected how little Michael knew about his own best friends.

With a fantastic twist that I did NOT see coming, this is a fast-paced and action-packed science fiction novel with an element of mystery. It ended at a great point and got me really excited for book two. Whether you’re a gamer or not, I highly recommend this book – after all, just like with virtual reality, you forget the characters are in fact within a game for the majority of the book. Perfect for fans of the .//hack series or Ready Player One.

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