The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine, #1)
James Dashner

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 horrific—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.

The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine, #1) book cover

People have raved about Dashner. I gave up on Maze Runner but because a respected friend enthused about the whole Mortality Doctrine saga, but I really must say The Eye of Minds didn’t do much for me.

The writing was almost too high level. There was very little world-building, and it’s so hard to empathise with Michael that by the end of the book I really didn’t give a hoot about what happened to him. Equally, Bryson and Sarah are taken out of things without any real damage done to them, so their loss is so evidently a way to make Michael go on alone there’s no joy in his solo progress. Cutter’s introduction and build-up was far too overblown, Ronika’s mystique seemed pointless and the ending was so Matrix as to be visible from the dust jacket.

I’m not saying I won’t give the series as a whole a try, but I came away thoroughly unimpressed with the quality of Dashner’s writing, characters or plot.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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