Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Michael is a hacker who spends the majority of his time in his virtual reality "coffin" which allows him to completely immerse himself into the games he plays.  He has two close friends, Bryson and Sarah, he has never met in real life but the three work together to manipulate game code to do what they want.  Although the coffins allow gamers to feel as though things are actually happening to them, they have built in safeties to keep players safe.  So Michael is stunned when he witnesses a girl purposefully disabling those safeties in a game and killing both her character and her real body.  Shortly afterwards, Michael, Bryson and Sarah are approached by VirtuNet and asked to use their skills to hunt down the hacker responsible for several gaming deaths.  At first it feels like a challenge but the three teens quickly learn that their prey has incredible powers they didn't count on which makes them want to back off.  But VirtuNet makes it clear that quitting is not an option for them.  There is a lot of buzz about this book, especially the twist at the end, but it didn't grab me as much as others I know.  I think it is fine, but I found the game play and restarting of levels tiresome and I really wonder how much teens will like it.  I think it will definitely have an audience, but is this a case of adults thinking that this is something teens will like rather than it being something teens actually like?  I know that kids like to game, but does that mean they also want to read about gaming?  Still, plenty of people (besides me) seem to be fond of the book.