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The Eye of Minds

(The Mortality Doctrine #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  36,665 ratings  ·  4,306 reviews
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 h ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Jennifer It is. I actually recommended this book to my friend, an SAO fan, because of its similarity to SAO. However, when it comes down to virtual realities a…moreIt is. I actually recommended this book to my friend, an SAO fan, because of its similarity to SAO. However, when it comes down to virtual realities and life-and-death risks, I'm sure it boils down to getting stuck in VRs, dying in VRs, or getting brain damage from VRs. Also, Lifeblood and Aincrad are both VR worlds, and VR, being virtual reality, should naturally be real-life in games (or inside a world made by technology). So the basic similarities between SAO and The Eye of Minds are, in my opinion, intrinsic to the virtual realities.

I've read the light novels for SAO 1 and 2 as well as Alicization (in addition to watching the anime). While the VR concepts are the same, the writing (and translation) styles are different. I personally prefer Reki Kawahara's style and writing to James Dashner's. Kawahara explains things much more clearly, and I love the way Kirito thinks and logically solves problems. Michael, at one point in the novel, solves a riddle given to him by an old woman named Satchel (I think that's her name). It was hard to deduce his thought process myself.

Call me stupid, but the vague hints that allowed Michael to solve several of his trials weren't clear—something someone would understand only if it was explained to them before. Of course, you can still predict certain things, but how Michael solved things as a character inside the story (versus us readers outside the story and more easily able to predict the future in the story) is just... unclear.

In relation to what I just said, the plot of SAO is less predictable than that of The Eye of Minds. The Eye of Minds is literally a quest-line: Talk to this person, who'll give you information to do something that'll bring you to the next person... Additionally, Michael started out with both of us friends. He loses one of them and then another, so he's left to face the antagonist alone. Which is a good thing. I just prefer more subtly. SAO is a new adventure every volume (I forgot how they divided it up), but the story is still able to progress through the character's relationships and experiences.

Another thing is genres. SAO is less science fiction and thriller 'feeling' than The Eye of Minds. The Eye of Minds is about action and plot. SAO is about feelings and story. They have completely different atmospheres. Also, the 'game' system of SAO is more explained and focused on than that of The Eye of Minds (hence why huge SAO games exist).

It seems that I prefer SAO over The Eye of Minds, and I do, but I still recommend The Eye of Minds as a view into what the future could be. The Eye of Minds DOES focus a lot more on what the real-life world is than SAO (the gloomy descriptions of the world and stuff), offering an accurate outlook on the world based on current science and the author's own predictions. It is a good book to try.(less)
Elan Sometimes if you finish an asignment early they will let you read a book during the time that others are finishing. Your can bring the book to class a…moreSometimes if you finish an asignment early they will let you read a book during the time that others are finishing. Your can bring the book to class and if you finish anything early then you can read it. Hope that helps!(less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Start your review of The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine, #1)
My thoughts after I finished this book:
What the HELL did I just read?

James Dashner's writing style is nothing like anything I've ever read, or anything I ever will read.
It's simple and complex at the same time. It is full of so many contradictions, so many layers, so much depth that it's really impossible to describe his books.

The thing about James Dashner:
He does everything for a reason.

No detail is too trivial. No plot twist too big or small. Everything matters. In the end, when everything fi
Kelly Brigid ♡
Sep 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
“Who knows the true definition of real?”


Real ˈ
/rē(ə)l/ adjective.
1) "Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined supposed."
2) "(of a substance or thing) not imitation or artificial; genuine."

According to Google's definition of real (dictionaries are a thing of the past), anything that is not artificial or an imitation is real. Therefore, everything in a virtual reality is purely a figment of our imagination. Ah, but the question is, is the VirtNet real? If we are
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jon by: Stephanie
Check out Scott Reads It! for giveaways, reviews & more!

Thank you to the lovely Go Flash Go! from Read, Rinse, Repeat! It was so kind of you to send me TEoM and I really appreciate it ;) Thanks for being awesome!!!

The Eye Of Minds was one of my most anticipated read of 2013 and it definitely delivered. I have been a huge, huge James Dashner fan ever since I first read The Maze Runner in my pre-blogging days. I consider myself a member of the Dashner Army, and I was so happy when Go Flash G
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I go off track my reading challenge schedule. I just got a ton of work and I really have to set aside reading the last 100 pages of this book. I hate it when work interferes with pleasure reading. It's just ain't right. Hahaha.
Okay back to the book.
5 stars.
This Dashner novel is very reminiscent of the anime "sword art online".

I really really liked that anime show a lot! Plus I was an avid fan of MMORPG back in my days (It was the dawn of Ragnarok Online)..
So the inspiration is not really new to
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
UGGHH where to begin with this book. Let me first say before I go in to dislike mode, that I am a James Dashner fan I loved the Maze Runner even though that series didn't end the way I wanted I still enjoyed it (even got my brother & boyfriend to read it, which never happens). I was pretty disappointed about this book the entire time I was reading it, as you saw from my status update earlier. Like I mentioned earlier that I really enjoyed the Maze Runner series it was hard to get into at first b ...more
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
That plot twist might've been way out of left field, but it just created more logistics problems. :S And I read this almost in tandem with Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart, which really highlighted for me the main problem with Dashner's books: his writing is so clunky. It's really awkward. ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 Not as bad as some people are saying, not as good as I thought it was going be, either. The worst thing is that we're all comparing it with The Maze Runner series, it is not better, so, people get really dissapointed. But I liked some details and plot twists, it is also a very fast-paced book with no wasted pages at all. It has some good funny dialoge...I don't know, is not bad or good, it is just entertaining. It has the possiblility of a very good continuation, hope I can read it soon. I w ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted at Book Probe Reviews.

After I finished reading The Eye of Minds, the first in James Dashner's new YA sci-fi series The Mortality Doctrine, all I basically did was:

1. eat in my sleep...


2. run in my sleep...


... then wake up in shock horror.

3. play the guitar, pretending I'm a rock god in my own VirtNet...


...while really feeling considerably itchy.

Basically The Eye of Minds will mess with your mind.

Even Sassy attempted to access
Jeff Raymond
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-ya-sci-fi

Okay, if I put on my "would kids like this" hat, this book is pretty great. It's a fast-paced techno-thriller with a lot of twists and turns to keep the story moving along. A good gateway book for reluctant readers, perhaps.

If I put on my "is this a good book" hat, I just want to throw it across the room in frustration and agony. While the book certainly falls in line with Tad Williams's Otherland and Conor Kostick's Saga thematically, it's written more like a Dan Brown or Brad Meltzer book
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dystopian
Eye of Minds is about a gamer named Micheal and his journey through a virtual world called the Vert Net. He was sent by a security system called the VNS to stop an evil figure named Kaine. He journeys far and even losses some friends on the way but at the end of his journey he finds Kaine and it wasn't what he expected.

I liked how this book had so much detail and ho the ending held a big twist. it left me on hanging on and wondering what would happen next. Overall there was nothing that I disli
Dec 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
When I was reading this I hated the writing style and felt we needed a better a introduction of the characters
Oct 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, audiobook
Such a bad book. Absolutely ridiculous. I couldn't finish it; I got maybe 25% of the way through, but it was mind-blowing; and not in a good way.

Yes, I understand how a virtual reality "game" does not need to be realistic. But even the "real life" aspects are totally without any connection with "real life." Just as an example, why would a government agency kidnap a teenager, and then demand an apology from the teenager when he rebels against his captors? And then, the teenager actually does apol
C.P. Cabaniss
Aug 25, 2017 marked it as dnf
DNF around 18%.

I read the first 10% or so of this in 2014, because it sounded like something I would love. Don't as me why, but I love books (or the idea of books) that are somehow set around gaming. Not being a gamer myself I don't know why this is, but I do. So this sounded like the perfect book for me. I put it aside quickly then, but recently wanted to give it another chance. After listening to an hour and a half or so of the audio, I think I will relegate this one to the DNF pile permanent
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have a problem with the way Dashner writes.

First things first, the book was okay after I finished it. I read The Maze Runner (really liked it) and The Scorch Trials (hated it), so this was my third Dashner book and the book that would sort of solidify my opinion of Dashner. And I've decided I don't like the way he writes.

While I found the book okay as a whole after finishing, it was not fun to read; it was just annoying. Similar to the Maze Runner series, I appreciate the concept and core sto
Karen’s Library
I met James Dashner at a book event last year and at one of his panels, he challenged the audience to read The Eye of Minds. I accepted, bought it, and he signed it for me. I'm a huge fan of Ready Player One and I just finished Warcross, which I thought was pretty good. Being a non-gamer, I figured since I enjoyed those 2, I'd probably enjoy TEOM as well. Hmmmm... Not so much.

It was ok, and I'm giving it an extra star because of the ending and that twist. But, I never really connected with Micha
 ♥ Rebecca ♥
This book was pretty meh. At first I thought it reminded me of Ready Player One minus the nerd references and the humour. But as it went on it reminded me of Ready Player One less and less. I don't know if I will continue this series or not. I'll see if I ever get in the mood for it again in the future or not. ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read Maze Runner, but other than that I haven't had much experience with Dashner. I was disappointed with this book. My biggest issue is that if your character is supposed to be a great hacker, or really smart, then he should do some amazing hacking or something really smart. Throughout the book I was wondering why the protagonist was ignoring his hacking skills, ignoring clues, refusing to search more deeply, or interview potential sources more than superficially.

Overall, this book made me w
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
(1.5 stars) I mean... it had an okay story line and the signature Dashner twist was at the end... I just didn't care much idk. It felt really long.

It was very similar to the movie Ready Player One, I haven't read the book of it yet though.

It's such an interesting concept to meet your friends in VirtNet and chow down on whatever feast your heart desires. You think you're chowing down on poutine and cupcakes, and it tastes like it but in the "waking world" you're actually eating pure healthy nutr
Aug 27, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-nope
What a ride... Of awfulness.
Will M.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Kindly skip the sentences that were underlined as they will contain spoilers.

Before I get into the review of the novel, I'd like to point out that I was expecting this to be a bad rip off of Ready Player One. RPO's one of my favorite novels, so I had mountain high expectations for The Eye of Minds.

Just like James Dashner's The Maze Runner, this one literally started with a mystery. I kinda like that about Dashner. A mystery at the very beginning tends to make the reader speculate possible eve
This book surprised me for the better. I didn't expect it to be bad, as I'd already enjoyed the Maze Runner series, but because I'm not keen on video games I thought maybe I wouldn't enjoy it as much. I was very wrong. Whether you like video games or not you can definitely find enjoyment in The Eye of Minds. It's almost like an adventure or fantasy book except that everything that going on isn't actually real, it's all in the world of the VirtNet.

Yes, the plot was very interesting and action pa
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
This was definitely a different kind of book. I didn't love it, but I also didn't hate it. There were parts that were very interesting and parts that kind of bored me. The writing style wasn't my favorite ever and some of the wording and descriptions and such felt weird to me. There was a lack of flow, everything happened very fast. It was kind of hard to follow. The characters were likable, but also sort of generic. Their personalities won't stick out in my head at all. The ending was neat, but ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the first book by James Dashner I read and I definitely enjoyed it! I found myself constantly rooting for Michael, Bryson and Sarah the whole way through. The VirtNet world the author created is amazing. This book was fast-paced and drew me in right from the beginning. I did not see the ending coming, however, there were clues. I was so enthralled with what was happening and what would happen next, that I missed them. I can't wait to see what happens next. This book will keep you on the ...more
⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess)
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, sci-fi
This wasn't bad, but it wasn't especially good either. The Eye of Minds was a very quick read though, and I can see teens, especially boys, liking the book.

What I liked:
- the action and fast pacing. There was a lot of action that kept the story going.
- the easy writing style. It made for a really quick read.
- the overall idea. It wasn't anything new (consider Ready Player One), but I still think virtual reality is am exciting topic to explore.
- the final plot twist, I didn't see that coming!

Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Had a chance to read the manuscript of this amazing novel, and I honestly think it is going to be even bigger than Maze Runner. If you are a Dashner fan, this is going to blow you away. And if you aren't this will make you one.

As with all Dashner books this is a great combination of action and what the heck is going on here. Great read!
Neil (or bleed)
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner is the first book in the Mortality Doctrine series. After reading the Maze Runner (also by James Dashner) I thought he was a great author and I thought I'd give this book a try. It was just as great and original if not better. This book is about a boy named Michael in the future world. He is a great user of VirtNet, a whole new virtual world where your coffin allows you to feel everything like it 's the reality. Michel and his friends Sara and Bryson are great p ...more
Ashlee G
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is about a person named Michael. Michael is a game. He spends more time in the Virtnet than in reality. This book is all about his journey to stop Kaine. Michael is very talented with his hacking skills. Michel has two friends in this quest with him. Their names are, Sarah and Bryson. Virtnet seems like the real world. Once you are in there, everything is real, including the danger. Do you think Michael and his friends can do it? can they stop Kaine? There will be challenging obstacles ...more
Athena of Velaris
I read this a while ago, but vividly remember not liking it.
Sara Geiser
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't really enjoy reading this book. It was very boring, and predictable. You could tell what would happen a lot of times in the book. The beginning was kind of hard to get into and understand, but then it became easy to understand. At the end of the book when they were fighting Kaine it became a little bit more interesting. The only thing that I didn't know would happen was parts at the end, like Sarah dying in lava, and Michael being a tangent. Then after finding out he was a tangent findi ...more
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James is the author of THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy and THE 13TH REALITY series. He also published a series (beginning with A DOOR IN THE WOODS) with a small publisher several years ago. He lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains.

Other books in the series

The Mortality Doctrine (3 books)
  • The Rule of Thoughts (The Mortality Doctrine, #2)
  • The Game of Lives (The Mortality Doctrine, #3)

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