QBD Reviews: Eye of Minds by James Dashner

9780552569736In Michael’s world, virtual reality is no longer a toy for the rich; it is a way of life. Anyone worth knowing has a vivacious life in the VirtNet and for Michael, whose parents are away more than they are home, it’s an ideal way to spend his time. Along with a couple of close friends he’s made through the VirtNet, Michael’s adventures online make his real life seem extremely dull in comparison.

Of course, in a world where you can make your wildest dreams a reality, there’s always rules to be broken. With a few extras that Michael and friends have cobbled together with their combined hacking skills, their enhanced VirtNet experiences are generally positive, but lately rumours of a gamer taking it one step too far have been circulating. It’s not until Michael witnesses a girl destroying her Core – the key piece of tech that keeps your body linked to the VirtNet – and plunge headfirst off of a bridge that he realises just how much of a threat Kaine poses. Approached by the government in the waking world, Michael and his friends are given a task: track down Kaine using their hacking skills and be richly rewarded. For Michael, it seems like an easy choice, but the task itself is a mammoth effort that three teenagers cannot take on alone. Despite the help of some colourful and occasionally reluctant players, their paths are blocked at almost every turn by the ruthless Kaine and the obstacles they will have to face to get to him become perilous as they realise that Kaine has the ability to wipe their VirtNet profiles from existence.

Tense and packed with on-the-edge-of-your-seat action, Eye of Minds is a technological thrill ride with shock twists that you’ll never see coming. James Dashner has excelled once again in creating a universe that you want to dive into and be as far away from as possible simultaneously. The VirtNet will swallow you whole and spit you out again, for better or worse.

On Key

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