Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

True to James Dashner-style, this is a fast moving novel. It is a cyberpunk thriller which is set in the future in the virtual gaming world. It follows three teenage hackers, Michael, Bryson and Sarah, as they search for rogue "gamer" Kaine who is holding people hostage online in "the Sleep"  (a virtual reality known as VirtNet) as well as harming them in "the Wake" (the real world.) One criticism of the novel is that it is hard to find a real connection with the characters and to be able empathize with them and both their situation and losses due to the fact that the plot drives the action rather than the characters who are only developed in a shallow way. Any ideas formed about the characters has to be arrived at only through their dialogue and actions in the games they play in order to track down the ever-elusive Kaine.  Maybe this is intentional given one of the major twists near the end when the reader discovers something rather disturbing. The characters determinedly trek along the Path through a very bloody war game, a surreal  Alice in Wonderland-like setting and a volcanic landscape as they endeavour to reach the Hallowed Ravine. The futuristic language such as EarCuffs, Tangents, NewsBops, KillSimms, and so on will be a draw card for readers along with Dashner's refreshing use of similes. I really enjoy his books and recommend them to the more sophisticated and mature readers in my classroom. This novel has many twists and turns and the chapter headings (Through the Floor, Three Devils, The Floating Desk etc. ) are another interesting dimension to the story line.

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