Book Reviews, Reviews by Diayll

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

I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Review: The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine #1) by James DashnerThe Eye of Minds by James Dashner
Series: The Mortality Doctrine #1
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers on October 8, 2013
Genres: Cyberpunk, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 323
Format: Paperback
Source: ARC From Publisher

View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:

An all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, The Eye of Mindsis the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

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 Review Banner




Hi, my name is Diayll…and I have a confession (again). So, I’ve heard a tremendous amount of praise for this James Dashner fellow, his charming personality, thought-provoking stories, and overall incredible writing. Yes, I must admit my dear bookworms; even with my eclectic reading habits, I somehow MISSED the Dashner bandwagon. However, don’t take back my geek card just yet. I’ve come to rectify the situation and let it be known, that I too am now a Dashner fanatic!


The Eye of Minds is everything a Science Fiction and Cyberpunk loving bookworm could want. When I was first given the novel, I really had no idea what to expect. However, I knew two things: it was about virtual gaming and it was by this well-known author I never got around to reading (*how sad…how sad*). Needless to say, I was eager and hungry for a taste of the VirtNet.  Gaming is one of my favorite pastimes and books about gaming are even sweeter. It’s akin to smothering caramel drizzle on top of my favorite white chocolate mocha coffee. Yummy…and so very satisfying.


The Eye of Minds begins with our protagonist Michael wandering through one of the various virtual games inside VirtNet when he happens across a young woman attempting suicide. Now, at first glance neither Michael nor the reader can decipher if this girl is for real or if she’s a part of the game. But as the deranged conversation unravels, we discover the young woman is in fact trying to kill herself not only in the game but also in real life. Our main character tries to do the right thing however, even the best attempts can fail and for Michael his failed attempt thrusts him to a world deeper within the VirtNet. A world where death can be permanent and come in many different forms if you fail to play by the rules or if you are caught, and lose. With the help of fellow gamers and virtual best friends, Bryson and Sarah, Michael must uncover who is behind the new rules of VirtNet before they become casualties of the game themselves. From here on out, we plunge head first into a world of secrets, scary computer viruses, and stakes so high even death looks pretty tame.


The world building in The Eye of Minds is a glorious work of art. It’s worth marveling over and daydreaming about. It’s an intricately woven masterpiece constantly stuck in the back of your mind when you’re sitting in your car or on the bus stuck in traffic and you wish you could just escape reality for five minutes. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world where anything is possible? If you could be anyone you wanted, create your own Avatar and wander around different locations, killing zombies one minute or hanging out with virtual buddies and grabbing a pizza the next. It’s crazy insane and so well written I could picture the entire VirtNet as if it was in front of me and I was playing along. Now, don’t get me wrong. Dashner’s world may be full of awesome, but it also comes with some hefty prices. For instance, “the coffin” or Nerve Box, would terrify me (read the novel, you’ll see why). And a virtual reality mastermind and cyber-terrorist Kaine, who our little-known heroes must defeat, might be a bit of a challenge for some of you who aren’t familiar with gaming. Even so, I am still impressed with Dashner’s ability to make me want to overlook my own fears so that I can live in the amazing world he crafted. *le sigh* A gamers paradise.



Overall, The Eye of Minds is a fast-paced well-oiled machine and one hell-of-a book. Mixed with smart, funny dialogue, light romance and enough in-your-face-action to keep you on your toes, the novel is sure to please anyone looking to explore more of the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Cyberpunk genres. If you enjoy novels that automatically transport you places as soon as you open the book, then I HIGHLY recommend The Eye of Minds. Think The Matrix meets TRON with a sprinkle of Surrogates.




My Rating

4.5 Controllers

rate 4-half

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About James Dashner

James was born and raised in Georgia but now lives in the Rocky Mountains with his family. He has four kids, which some might think is too many but he thinks is just right. Once upon a time, James studied accounting and worked in the field of finance, but has been writing full time for several years. (He doesn’t miss numbers. At all.)

In his free time, James loves to read, watch movies and (good) TV shows, snow ski, and read. (Reading was mentioned twice on purpose.) Most of all, he’s thankful that he gets to make a living writing stories and considers himself pretty much the luckiest guy on the planet.