The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine, #1) by James Dashner
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on October 8, 2013
Genres: young adult, science fiction
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I’m horrible at playing video games. Absolutely terrible. I could never last more than fifteen seconds in Mario Kart, and I was so bad at other video games that everyone I’ve played with has gotten too mad to let me continue playing. So yeah, you won’t find me playing any video games any time soon.
That being said, I can’t play video games, but I love books about them. The idea of virtual reality is so, so cool, and, when done right, it can make for such a fun escape.
So I was really looking forward to reading this book, because I was expecting a virtual reality video game story just as cool as the one the premise promised. And I was disappointed when this book didn’t deliver.
First of all, this book is boring. The prose is on the dry side (and “tells” enough to make me feel like I was being talked at), and so are all the characters. Michael reads more like a robot than a human–his emotions did not seem genuine or natural.
The side characters aren’t much better. We have his friends…Sarah and Bryson (I actually had to look up their names because I’d forgotten)…who are the barest caricatures of friends. I had trouble picturing both of them; they were very passive and unremarkable as secondary characters. I was unmoved by anything that happened to them. There were several scenes/moments where they could have grown and developed, but Dashner didn’t take the leaps necessary to make any of these characters alive and breathing.
Despite these gripes, I kept reading, hoping for an interesting reveal. And the reveal would have been brilliant…if it weren’t told to us like a recap on the math lesson we’ve missed. The foreshadowing is sloppy, and, while my confused mind appreciated knowing exactly what was going on, I was disappointed that the big reveal was so blatantly stated for the readers. It says a lot when the author has to spoon-feed readers the big twist; that really diminished the overall quality of the book for me.
Overall, cool idea, cool twist, but mediocre execution of both, at best. Probably won’t read the sequel.