David asked:

I just checked this book out from my local library for my sister. And from what I can tell it is a lot like Sword Art Online, is that how it is?

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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 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.
Valentina Well, it draws inspiration from videogames but I find it more similar to Ready Player One by Ernest Clyne than SAO. It also borrows from old school cyberpunk titles like William Gibson's Sprawl/Bridge trilogies books. And it reminds me of Tron movies too.
Kuruneku Sound like another Hunger Games modus operandi to me.
Matthew I would say yes.
Nathan it does sound like SAO. It sounds like gun gale with the masked gunman who terrorizes everyone and kills people inside the game. I feel as if Michael is Kirito and Kaine is the masked gunman.
Quinn Never read or watched SAO(Though it's on my to-watch list) but it seems similar in setting(Cyber-terrorism, VR games, etc.)
Faisal Pretty much the gun gale online story.
Miles Masters Yes, pretty much with all the cyber terrorism and virtual reality of SAO I.
Ava Its basically how everybody imagines the future-- a virtual world built to escape reality.
Meg I totally agree with you. They are pretty similar and both are great. So glad I picked this one up.
Lara Strauss It sounds like SAO <3
Avaminn F'nett I just heard about this book and it sounds a lot like SAO to me.
Yell Mae After reading the first part, all I can think is SAO.
David All I could think of when reading it last night, (yes, I finished it in a few hours... It is a good, quick and fun read) was how much like .Hack or SAO it was. Seriously. A strange cross between SAO and .Hack with a bit of The Matrix thrown in for good measure. Very fun ride!

While comparing any of those is like comparing apples and oranges... I hope you get an idea of what type of book you are in for. If you like SAO you WILL enjoy The Eye Of Minds!
Ace Balwayan Just started reading the book and it is a lot like SAO (2).
Mark Fuller Funny that you ask that, I love Sword Art Online. I haven't read the light novels for SAO, but I do watch the anime and there are many elements that are sort of the same, but many elements are different, especially one in particular. If you like SAO, in my opinion you will like this too.

I don't agree with Linda, you don't need to read The Maze Runner first. And I really don't think you can compare EOM to SAO, as they were meant for very different audiences. I like both and was entertained by this book. So give it a read.
Linda Slightly. It's about a game alright.

Two things:
1. Read The Maze Runner first, if you (or whoever) are considering this book. If you can stand that book, go ahead. Otherwise, trash it. It's largely made of similar crap.

2. I'm not hugely into Sword Art Online, but I think The Eye of Minds can be simplified down to a crappier, more juvenile version of that.
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by James Dashner (Goodreads Author)
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