The Eye of Minds
I believe it’s only a matter of time before video games and virtual reality rules the world --- for good and for bad. Michael knows this all too well as much of his life is wrapped up in VirtNet, the online virtual reality that people can fully immerse themselves in by inserting their bodies into Coffins, or containers, that tap into the senses and nerves to provide a more lifelike simulation. VirtNet hosts a variety of games and realities that people can experience, but by far the most popular is Lifeblood, a program that reflects real life where you can be someone different, have relationships with different people, and visit places you might otherwise not do in real life. Michael mostly spends time in Lifeblood with his two best friends, Sarah and Bryson, but all that’s about to change.
"THE EYE OF MINDS is a great adventure to read and get lost in, there’s something about it that strikes a nerve, as if all of this could really happen."
On his way to school one day, Michael is abducted on the street and taken to see Agent Weber with the VNS where Michael learns that his skills as a gamer are needed. Apparently, a mysterious element known as The Mortality Doctrine is threatening the very fabric of VirtNet --- with real world consequences. A gamer, known only as Kaine, has been tied to The Mortality Doctrine, and because of his influence, people have been found dead or comatose in the real world. Kaine has large plans: plans to not only destroy the VirtNet and kill anyone who gets in his way, but perhaps take over the world. And Michael and his friends have been asked to help stop Kaine --- or die trying.
The biggest problem, though, is that Michael, Sarah and Bryson don’t know where to begin. Every part of Lifeblood seems intent on stopping them in their tracks. It also doesn’t help that everywhere they turn some person or program keeps telling them that Kaine is watching and knows all. After numerous harrowing adventures and escapes they soon learn that the only way to get to Kaine is by finding and following The Path. Finding The Path, however, may prove elusive as no one wants to help Michael, Sarah and Bryson, not to mention they have no idea what awaits on The Path itself.
Failure, though, is not an option. Somehow Michael, Sarah and Bryson withstand attacks from KillSims, computer programs known as tangents who appear as real people but aren’t, and even dying in the virtual world to ultimately find The Path. Before entering, Michael and his friends learn that once they step on The Path, there is no turning back. Dying on The Path means they can never come back, and that means Kaine and his evil scheme will prevail. With no choice but to press on, Michael, Sarah and Bryson soon learn they have no idea what they are getting themselves into.
Fresh off the success of his Maze Runner series, author James Dashner returns with this intriguing start to a new series, exploring the possibilities --- both good and bad --- of what could happen if virtual reality and computer programs take over the world. While THE EYE OF MINDS is a great adventure to read and get lost in, there’s something about it that strikes a nerve, as if all of this could really happen. It’s that realization that will keep you flipping pages and long for the next book to get here quickly.
Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on June 3, 2013
The Eye of Minds
- Publication Date: July 22, 2014
- Genres: Young Adult 12+
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Ember
- ISBN-10: 0385741405
- ISBN-13: 9780385741408