Review – The Eye of Minds – James Dashner

This book, The Eye of Minds, is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine series by James Dashner. After having read The Maze Runner, which is a separate series of his, a few years ago in high school, I was very much excited to learn of this series and dive right in! I was a fan of The Maze Runner, both book and movie. James Dashner just has the type of writing that I love. But- instead of gushing about it incoherently now, let me do some fancy organization with my thoughts.

*clears throat*

I was very drawn to this book just because of the cover at first. As a budding fan of scifi, this cover can be described using the only word in a middle school boy’s vocabulary: cool. Like, really, really, really cool. I mean, it’s not elaborate, but it’s interesting. There’s the boy, presumably the main character, standing in front of this ominous background and the tag line reads, “The world is virtual. The danger is real.” So, right off the bat, I was drawn in.

This book was not something I actively compared to The Maze Runner while I read, which seemed to be the problem for many of the authors of reviews I read. Instantly, I saw Dashner’s immersive language and world building and I fell immediately in love. His choice of wording is always oddly specific, but yet I feel like I totally know what he’s talking about. The best example would be when he used the verb “coding”. He never really told us what was exactly happening, but I didn’t feel like I needed to know any more than he described to be informed enough of the goings-on taking place. He wasted no time in shoving his readers straight into this world and consequently, straight into the trouble. That’s where I draw my one issue with this book…

Too Much and Not Enough

I cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot express my dislike of feeling like I didn’t get enough when I finish a book. Yes, I understand plot devices are used to keep a reader wanting more, therefore ensuring they will continue to read the rest of the series. But this was a different kind of empty feeling I was left with. A lot happened in this book. I mean, when it comes to scifi, a lot has to happen in the first book anyway just to adequately build the world and introduce the main plot lines. So it’s not lacking… But at the same time I just felt like the story should have progressed further than what it did in the amount of time we covered.We get a lot of filler information which, like I mentioned, has to happen with this genre, but not enough plot movement. I’m wondering if maybe this won’t be corrected in the future books of the series with a few jump-forward scenes in the time-line. Even if it is, that doesn’t make up for the sort of emptiness I felt when I closed the book.

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Other than that, I could gush about the good qualities of this book all day. The world building is fast, but understandable, the characters are real and relatable, the plots are strong… Seriously, guys. This is one good book. There are enough geeky elements to equal the social elements so I feel like it really has something to offer everyone on each side of the spectrum (or if you’re like me and a mix of the spectrum, then it’s even better)! And now that I’ve mentioned the fact that I think anyone and everyone could love this book, let me also say that this would be a great starting book for kids who don’t enjoy reading just yet because they haven’t found something interesting; especially boys.

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I haven’t got my hands on the rest of the series yet, but I hope to soon, and I’m looking forward to exploring the world, plot ideas, and characters that Dashner introduced us to in this first installment. Also, that plot twist at the end made me literally, physically gasp. Literally. I saw a lot of the other things coming, but never that.

—–

All in all, this really was an amazing book. Even though I felt like there wasn’t enough plot movement, I would still give it 5/5 stars.

—–

Here are some reviews from Goodreads that are similar to what I’ve said here:

Jeff- “A good gateway book for reluctant readers, perhaps.”

Dyanne- “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.”

Jessica- ” I oddly like the video game like quality of the book. I also LOVED how it ended! It was shocking, surprising and an overall awesome plot twist!!! Sorry, I love plot twists!”

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