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on 27 August 2016
Alright, it was OK for a light read. The main problem was that it didn't connect well with the underlying premise / world within which it was set. Essentially, the skills and scenarios that underlie the core story line just "magically happen" with no sense of explanation of how it happens or what they do... "they close their eyes, the code flies around them and they manipulate it"... Umm yeah, bit like "he closed his eyes, said 'I DO believe in fairies' and he found himself magically transported to fairy land".

The end was fast and (for me at least) relatively predictable, so the 'twist' was unfortunately more of a 'tweak' by the time it happened, then the book was suddenly done. OK, it's part of a series, so sudden cliffhanger endings make it easier to continue, but it felt like it was wrapped up artificially quickly to meet that very purpose.

It sounds like I'm critical, I am. It's a critique, a review. I still rated as 3 stars though. The reason being that I did not expect a William Gibson novel, I expected a story in line with the Maze Runner series, and that's what I got. Was good holiday reading, endless twists and turns, and the constant questioning of "is this real?"

In all it was a good, fun read, and I will continue the series. I just felt it was let down as it picked a "world" for a backdrop and just staged the story in front of it. The same story could as easily have been told against other backdrops with similar results as it didn't really link deeply with the world. Bit of a maze runner clone, but enjoyable holiday reading all the same. Some nice ideas touched on and interested to see where he takes the story.
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on 23 May 2017
Very good action and keeps you wanting to read the whole way through. Definitely would recommend to anyone else. 😜
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 February 2014
What do you get when you combine the Internet with the kind of virtual reality stuff seen in old movies and sci-fi novels?

I don't really know, but according to James Dashner, you get VirtNet (aka "The Sleep"). This "place" serves as the battleground of "The Eye of Minds," the first novel of The Mortality Doctrines -- a place where money can buy you any online experience. And while Dashner has a few rough spots in his writing, this ends up being a fast-moving, twisty cyberthriller.

Michael is a hardcore gamer, spending most of his time on the VirtNet -- a network that allows people to experience anything they want, anywhere they want, with anyone they want, while their body sleeps in a Matrix-like "coffin." Even more important, he is a hacker who can make his way around the restrictions that hamper regular people.

Then he sees a friend being hacked, which causes her to literally kill herself -- in and out of the game. Dead for real. And she's not the only one -- more and more people are dying in the VirtNet, and more malfunctions are leading to death.

Well, as in real life, the government can't do anything about this sort of thing unless they have a hacker on their side -- so they select Michael and his friends Sarah and Bryson to find and stop the hacker known as Kaine, in the VirtNet. Unfortunately, this requires him to leave the parts of the VirtNet that he's familiar with, and venture out into strange, unpredictable areas. And if he doesn't watch himself, the REAL WORLD might be affected by the mysterious Kaine's work.

I've read/seen a fair number of people-in-VR-networks stories over the years, ranging from "oh come on" ("Caverns of Socrates") to "this is AWESOME" ("Epic," "Summer Wars"). And "The Eye of Minds" is definitely on the better end of the spectrum -- and a lot of this comes from Dashner's expansive imagination, and his knack for creating sci-fi adventures that are both exciting and thrilling. In other words, if you liked "The Maze Runner," you will probably like this.

Dashner does stumble over some issues early in the book, such as awkward dialogue and too-slow pacing -- it feels like he's struggling a bit to get to the parts of the story that he really wants to tell. Unsurprisingly, his writing and plotting both level out nicely once he gets to the meat of the story, and succeeds in flowering out a world where nothing is real, except when it might kill you.

But there's also a dark, gruesome edge to the story, from the creatures that threaten Michael to a girl who bloodily kills herself by removing her Core. It adds a sense of urgency to the story, and frankly it's pretty spooky.

Michael is a pretty standard hero -- he's clever, innovative but has a heart of gold, and he has an easy, strong bond with the others in his little gang. There's a little hint of romance forming with Sarah, but it isn't really intrusive at this point -- instead it's a little gang with a girl, a fun guy, and the hero. The characters are not hugely original, but Dashner does them fairly well.

"The Eye of Minds" is a solid if flawed start to a promising new trilogy, and those who enjoyed Dashner's prior books will probably get a kick out of this one. Just be warned: it leaves you hanging for Book Two.
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on 11 May 2017
this is an amazing book that makes you wonder about things that seem impossible but might just be true this made think very differently and although it might be confusing at the start you wil thank yourself that you carried on as it is definitely worth reading!
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on 18 August 2017
Amazing book really enjoyed i recommend it to anyone that wants a good read. it is a must read for scy fi fans
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on 19 October 2013
First of all, I bought The Eye Of Minds just after I'd read The Maze Runner trilogy - which I thoroughly enjoyed. And although I've enjoyed this tale, it didn't quite live up to TMR. Though that's not to take anything away from TEOM, Maze Runner's simply a fantastic read, and difficult to live up to.

I would have given it a three or possibly a low four star rating, but the ending blew my socks off. I wasn't expecting it to end quite like that (at least the end of this first part of the series). So I gave it a solid four stars. In some ways it's a little similar to TMR; the mysteries, the challenges, and the surprises. The way you think you have the general plot figured out, only to be shown how mistaken you were, and taken on a completely different course, one of the things I really enjoy about James Dashner's novels.

Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 4 March 2017
It’s the future. Everyone spends their free time on the VirtNet, an artificial gaming platform that you connect to through a Coffin (a device that connects into your body so that you can really see, hear and feel the things you experience). 16-year-old Michael and his friends Bryson and Sarah are top players on VirtuNet, mainly because they’re willing to hack it but there’s a new gamer in town called Kaine who’s using his own hacker skills to subjugate other gamers to serve him. He’s developed KillSims, virtual creations that can hurt a gamer’s on-line persona and simultaneously cause brain damage or even death to their real bodies. VNS (the company that controls VirtNet) want Michael and his friends to track Kaine down and stop him. To do that he needs to find something called The Mortality Doctrine – but no one knows what it is or how to find it. Michael will need all his skills and courage if he’s to fulfil his task, because failure will cost him his life …

James Dashner’s YA SF thriller (the first in a series) is a wooden, listless affair populated by dull characters who never spring to life on the page and with a premise that has MATRIX connotations but whose virtual existence means that the stakes never really feel significant. Michael simply never really came to life for me on the page – I didn’t understand how his hacker skills worked (it seemed to involve being able to access the code behind the reality but there’s little description of how this worked or how he and his friends learnt it) – and I guessed the twist relating to him in the first third of the book. Bryson and Sarah are little more than convenient sidekicks there to help keep the plot moving when required. There’s no information on how they became friends and little to suggest what keeps them together given that they’ve never met in the real world. When Kaine finally materialises he’s depressingly two-dimensional and again the twist to his story is telegraphed too early on and because this is a virtual world and you’re not shown the effects of the KillSims on real people, there’s no real feeling of the stakes here. I can imagine the visuals in this book making an interesting film but there’s simply not enough story or stakes here for me to want to read on.

Review copy from publisher.
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on 19 January 2017
The story itself is set in a time where Kids, Adults etc spend more time in virtual reality than in reality themselves.
It's very easy to compare this story to Ready Player One. However the stories though similar are very different.

The story follows Micheal, and his online gamer friends who are some of the best game hackers within the virtnet system. Their mission to hunt and track down an evil presence within the game who is trapping players inside their VirtNets in a sleep like coma.

The story is good, and will keep young and old gamers entertained.
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on 9 April 2015
Was quick to dispatch and arrive, great book, really makes you think. I loved the Maze Runner books and I think Dashner has done another superb job!
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on 17 January 2015
There was a good mix of action and tensity and the storyline is perfect. The end to this book is one of the best endings I've read five out of five
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