Book Club: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

I've been meaning to read The Eye of Minds for a long time now. I've been curious whether The Mortality Doctrine series is better than the The Maze Runner series. I also had problems with the author's (James Dashner) writing style so I'm willing to read this just to know if he changed it, or improved his writing and story-making.

Title: The Eye of Minds
Series: The Mortality Doctrine
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction
Format: e-book
Pages: 347
My Rating: ★★★★✩

Disclaimer: This review is honest, not sponsored and may or may not contain spoilers. The book cover posted on the left is not mine.


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 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 one gamer has been doing exactly that, with murderous results.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they’ve been watching Michael. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid to the back alleys and corners of the system human eyes have never seen—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.


Before I get myself a copy of the book, I didn't do a background check as usual, but I do know that many of my bookish male friends love this. One day, I have acquired myself a copy, together with Gunner Skale and The Rule of Thoughts, which are also part of the same series. With that, I have started to read as soon as I got the time. I was pretty excited, and this book was one hell of a roller coaster ride.

I have so much to complain about this book, but at the same time, I also have lots to compliment. This will be a long review, so get comfy and let's start by talking about the aesthetics of the book.

I prefer the cover of the book version published by Ember Press than the Delacorte Press one. It is because I like the typeface and the colors used in the former compared to the latter. There isn't much difference with the cover illustration but I know they can do better than that.

I read the book using the iBooks app in my phone and the font that I have been using in reading was Times New Roman. Now that I've realized, I should have picked another font to use and Iowan was much better. Don't get me wrong, I don't always use Times New Roman, but it is the basic font and I tend to choose fonts depending on my mood and the number of pages (it varies per font). It doesn't matter, really but I just want to share this piece of information. *hehe*

Author's Writing Style & Story
After reading the first few paragraphs of the book, I became super excited to finish the book immediately. Why? It is because the book's setting is similar to a famous Japanese light novel and anime called Sword Art Online (SAO). It is one of the best and one of my favorites so this made me go fangirl while reading. And after some research, I found out that this was truly inspired from SAO. But as I read, I became annoyed with the characters' actions and decisions so it took time and strong determination for me to continue reading and eventually finish the book.

I had a love-hate relationship with the pacing of the plot and the author's writing style. This book reminded me of how I hated James Dashner's writing style in The Maze Runner series and it's kinda unfortunate that I still got annoyed with the way he wrote the book. There were so many holes in the plot and some details just make me angry. While reading, I was continuously clinging on to the hope that his writing style will get better or there will be explanations by the end of the book. It's just that the plot goes from "super interesting" to "incredibly boring" to "frustratingly stupid" and back to "unbelievably good". I sound like a hater but please keep in mind that I like his books. If you are currently reading the book or planning to read it at least, and you get annoyed with the what is happening, remember this: Please hold on, be patient and keep reading.

Character-wise, the character development was good. At first, I really hated the protagonist, Michael because he was acting like a coward (at least for me). It's good that I have learned to like him, thanks to the help of the dynamic environment and minor characters. Other characters that I liked were Bryson, Ronika and Gunner Skale. These characters were weird at some point but at the same time, they're cool, interesting and majority of their actions were the most logical out of all.

The setting of the story was nice, and by that I meant amazing. I love it even though it wasn't an original idea. (If you haven't read the light novels or the manga and/or watched the anime series of SAO, you should do it.) It takes place in a modern and realistic world where virtual reality and technology improved greatly. Nowadays, VR is not a strange thing to gamers and one can actually buy consoles and play video games in VR, which is very cool. So, the plot of The Eye of Minds is not very far from reality or maybe it can happen in the near future.

Also, the idea of being able to experience or feel the pain and the death you get from the games is an awesome concept and it will make us question our "morality". And the terms used in this book? I love them. I want to own a Coffin if that exists and dive into the Sleep if possible.

Before I move on to the next part, I would like to point out that there were really creepy and cool scenes in the story and that was the reason why I kept reading. Bryson, their adventure and my curiosity made me determined to finish this book.

For The Reader
I was hoping for a character or two to be a humorous character but no. I guess everything is intense for one to joke. That's fine. The author tries sometimes but fails. 

For the first half, this is not a page-turning book. But when things were starting to get real extreme and interesting, I think I have finished reading the book in one sitting. I love it when that happens and I'm glad that plot got better or else, it would have taken me half a year to finish this. Worst case scenario? I would have dropped and hated this book forever. But I'm glad I have finished this book.

Loved & Hated Parts
There's this one scene that I remember the most from this book. It is that one room or corridor that was full of mannequins or wax people (not sure). The reason I remember that part the most because I really liked the concept and it was so creepy but at the same time, so cool. I actually found that familiar with the game/movie Silent Hill. The scene where there were many nurses and they were attracted to the light of the protagonist? That was great. I think there are many similar horror game "levels" or "puzzles" like that and I'm glad the author included that scene in this book. That part reignited my interest towards the book.

While reviewing my notes, I remember getting super frustrated over that one time when Michael got attacked by that woman in the Devils of Destruction game. He had a freakin' knife and could have stabbed her. That part was a mess and it annoyed the hell out of me.

Another memorable part of the book for me was when they met Gunner Skale. It was so obvious but I let it slide because everything was so interesting and I've had a lot of questions about this character. The whole scene where they interacted with Gunner Skale was one of the good ones.

The last one was when the author revealed the plot twist! After I read that all of my frustrations about some plot holes vanished because they were answered. The words that came out from my mouth were "IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW." And that's when I've decided to give this a four-star rating, instead of a two or three.

F I N A L  T H O U G H T S

The Eye of Minds could have been much better than this. I'm glad that it got more interesting towards the end, though and I really hope that the next two books will be written better. No more frustrations please! I beg of you, Mr. Dashner. I've actually read Gunner Skale and it was good. It was short but it's an interesting read. I'm still not sure if I'm gonna do a full review of it in this blog, though. I'll think of it. Also, I'm currently reading the sequel to The Eye of Minds called The Rule of Thoughts. So far, so good, honestly. 

Anyway, I'll leave this post here. Thank you for reading this long post. I hope I didn't scare you away from the book and I wish that I didn't sound like I really hate the author. Haha. Again, thanks for reading and see you around next time. Have a nice day. *smiles*

♥, Lix



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