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The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine, Book One) Hardcover – October 8, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 612 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Mortality Doctrine Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Q&A with James Dashner (Interviewed by Brandon Sanderson)

Mary C. Neal

Q. The Eye of Minds is quite the edge-of-your-seat cyber adventure. How did you come up with the idea to write such a different type of book compared to the Maze Runner series?

A. Well, my good sir, first of all, thanks you for saying that. When I started brainstorming what I wanted to do next, I didn’t really think much about The Maze Runner books, or try too specifically to be different. I just wanted an engaging story, something that I’d love to write for several books. Two of my favorite movies ended up serving as an inspiration: The Matrix and Inception. Readers will see a lot of influence from those stories. In fact, I kept thinking a certain something would happen in The Matrix, and it surprised me when it never did. It happens in my book!

Q. Recently, privacy, online security, and online warfare have been featured prominently in the headlines. Did that influence your fiction at all? If not, do you think it’s a coincidence that those issues are cropping up right when you were inspired to write this particular book?

A. I think everything in the news influences me without my realizing it. It chills me to the bone when I think of what hackers can do to the stability of so many things that we take for granted. I’m also fascinated by the realm of virtual reality, and what happens when you can no longer tell the difference between what is real and what is not. But, mainly, really I just set out to write a great story.

Q. There’s a lot of great buzz surrounding next year’s release of the film version of The Maze Runner. As the author, you must have the world completely imagined in your head. How close do you think the movie will be to that vision? What are you most looking forward to seeing on the big screen? How do you feel your readers will respond to the transformation from page to movie screen?

A. Of all the things in my career so far, I have to admit this is the one I’m most excited about. I’ve been a movie buff all my life, and to see something I wrote being turned into one . . . It’s just surreal and hard to believe. It was scary at first to place something so close to you in the hands of someone else, but luckily for me, I’m in very, very good hands. I’ve been blown away by how much Director Wes Ball and the producers have captured the vision of the book. Also, at how true they’re being to the spirit and tone and story. I think my readers are going to love it. Personally, the scene I’m most excited to see is the one where Thomas gets stuck in the maze for the first time, with Alby and Minho.

Q. Tell us about The Eye of Minds!

A. It’s in the future, but I really don’t want people to think of this as dystopian. It’s not. The world is basically in fine shape. But virtual reality technology has gone through the roof and most people are obsessed with it. Like I said earlier, the line between what’s real and what’s not gets blurred, which sets the stage for some fun twists and mind-bendy stuff. I think my fans will have a good time with it.

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–Michael doesn't mind spending time in his NerveBox, aka “Coffin,”–it protects his physical body while he's in the VirtNet, a virtual world where he can meet friends, rack up Experience Points in games, and occasionally is killed. When that happens, he is Lifted to the Wake, where he emerges sore but otherwise physically unharmed. When Michael witnesses a true suicide on VirtNet, he is troubled by the fellow gamer's last words and her warnings about a man named Kaine. Days later, Michael is kidnapped by VirtNet Security agents, who make him an offer he can't refuse: track down the cyber-terrorist Kaine so the virtual world will again be safe. Michael enlists gamer/hacker friends Bryson and Sarah, and they set off through the dark underbelly of virtual spaces. The center portion of the book focuses largely on imaginative adventures in VirtNet. Readers familiar with online gaming will identify with the heroes as they query characters for information, look for Portals, and rewrite code to bring weapons over from other games. The final chapters find Michael alone in the level “the Deep,” with the safety measures disabled. Like Dashner's action-packed “Maze Runner” series (Delacorte), this title is fast paced. Cory Doctorow's For the Win (Tor, 2010) is more realistic, and Ernest Cline's Ready Player One (Crown, 2011) is slightly more sophisticated, but this book delivers an adrenaline rush.–Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Mortality Doctrine
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385741391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741392
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (612 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By weathered1 VINE VOICE on September 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I read THE MAZE RUNNER, I was pulled in from the very first page, and couldn't put the book down. So, I eagerly picked up THE EYE OF MINDS, hoping for - and expecting - the same result. Did that happen? Not so much.

I'll start by saying that, even with the above in mind, this is not a bad book, and in all fairness, I had let my expectations rise a bit too high. As other reviews have mentioned, it does have some shades of READY PLAYER ONE (an excellent book), in terms of the gamer culture, references to the various games being played, the point of playing them, and all the wonders of the virtual reality in which all if it takes place. Just as is the case with the aforementioned book, one does not have to be a gamer to understand and/or enjoy the plot, the characters, or the book, as a whole. The amount of exposition given is enough to explain all of those things and give readers an understanding of the world-building, while not straying too heavily into boring recitations of information that would make one's eyes glaze over and seek to skip any number of pages devoted to nothing but rote explanations.

All of that was fine. My problems with the book started with the pacing. Initially, even though the story doesn't get bogged down in unnecessary details, it does take awhile for the action to really get going, so my interest was not captured right off the bat with this one. That may sound odd, given what transpires when the book begins, but after that first situation is resolved after a handful of pages, nothing much happens until Michael is given his mission (which is mentioned in the book's summary). After that comes the preparation for the mission, and it is only after Michael and his friends begin that particular journey that things really take off.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Eye of Minds is an action-packed and edgy cyber adventure with plot that revolves around the concept of virtual reality, otherwise known as VirtNet. Sporting an intriguing, futuristic premise and highly imaginative vision, this book is a treat for all fans of science fiction thrillers. Suspenseful and twisty, The Eye of Minds blurs the line between what's real and what's not, making the reader question everything that transpires within the pages. It's a great mind-bender written in signature Dashner style - gripping, intense and stimulating.

Michael, the lead character, is a gamer addicted to Lifeblood Deep. Lifeblood is a game mimicking real life - realistic and gritty. And it's the most popular game in VirtNet. And what is VirtNet, you may ask? Why, VirtNet is a cool concept in itself! It's a vast cyber world, with games and hangouts for gamers of all ages. In VirtNet, you can experience just about anything you wish to - from physical pleasure to pain - and it's a whole body, full-stimulation experience. You can eat, but you'll never get fat in the real world because the Coffin (which is what most people call the NerveBox that allows them to connect to virtual reality) feeds you pure, healthy nutrients, even if you think you're eating some high calorie junk food. You can cut your hair, take a shower, even pee if you want to, and the Coffin will provide your brain and body with stimulants that will make the experience feel real. It's all extremely cool and entertaining, until someone decides to turn it into a nightmare. A cyber-terrorist named Kaine is somehow trapping people inside the Sleep, not letting them wake up. And not being able to get back to their real lives, some of them end up killing themselves. And not just in the virtual reality, but in the Wake, too.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was not a book I took to immediately. For a good chunk of the first section of the book, I was not immersed in the story for a variety of reasons. As interesting as the concept was, I didn't think it was executed all that well for a good stretch. Some spoilers to follow.

The writing for a good portion of the beginning part of the book is not very good. The dialogue often felt stilted and unnatural. I also thought some sections were not just superfluous, but boring. There's too much mundane activity going on, things that don't have any real reason to be in the text.

Hand in hand with this, I didn't find the characters particularly compelling, and some of them just felt silly. The descriptions of them are laden with heavy details that serve as flags to let the reader know at an instant what sort of character they're dealing with. Agent Weber in particular struck me as ridiculous, and the description of her is so heavy with cliche that it almost dripped right off her.

After a while, though, both Michael and Sarah began to grow on me, and their strongest moments took place when I saw what they were doing instead of listening to them talk or explain themselves. I still take some issue with Michael, though, as there is heavy implication of how special he is, yet at no point did I feel like there was anything overly extraordinary about him. If he's so special, show me him being special, don't keep insisting that he is without providing any evidence to back the claim up.

Setting was also disappointingly weak for a good chunk of this novel. I loved The Maze Runner because the setting was so well imagined.
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