The Eye of Minds: The Mortality Doctrine, Book 1
By Michael Berry,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Cyberpunk series hits the ground running for gaming fans.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Set mostly within an immersive gaming system, The Eye of Minds plays fast and loose with what actually constitutes hacking, to the point where it becomes just another synonym for magic. More realistic is the novel's portrayal of the psychology of gamesmanship and what motivates players to persevere in the face of incredible odds.
The Eye of Minds emphasizes bravery, loyalty, resourcefulness, and empathy as its characters struggle against digital obstacles and ponder the meaning of being human.
Positive Role Models
Michael, the protagonist of The Eye of Minds, is brave, resourceful, and loyal to his friends. He's also impulsive, sarcastic, and unhealthily obsessed with online gaming, but those flaws give his character additional depth. Readers will find him worthy of their attention across multiple installments of the story.
Violence & Scariness
Set within a totally immersive online gaming system, The Eye of Minds features plenty of violence, but it's not graphic in its description. The protagonist and his allies are attacked by monsters and engage in vicious hand-to-hand combat, but the fact that they're playing a game without mortal consequences lessens the impact of the mayhem.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Michael, Sarah, and Bryson exchange occasional flirty comments.
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Occasional "damn" and "hell." Characters infrequently say that situations "suck" or that they're "pissed."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Eye of Minds is a fast-paced cyberpunk thriller set in a virtual gaming world. It follows three teenage hackers as they search for the rogue gamer who's holding people hostage online and harming them in the real world. It contains a fair amount of violence (monster attacks, hand-to-hand combat in a warfare scenario), but the mayhem's usually not described in detail and usually doesn't have mortal consequences. The strongest language is "damn" and "hell"; characters sometimes say situations "suck" or that they're "pissed." Sexual content's limited to flirting, and there's no mention of drugs, smoking, or drinking.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
After he witnesses the online suicide of a fellow gamer in the VirtNet, Michael is recruited by government agents to track down a rogue player suspected of holding people hostage within the digital realm. Accompanied by his close friends and fellow hackers, Sarah and Bryson, Michael travels the hidden, dangerous byways of the online system, searching for the virtual location where everything will supposedly be revealed. The path to enlightenment is strewn with danger, however, and Michael must face the realization that his fantasy adventure might actually kill him and the people he cares about.
Is It Any Good?
To fans of The Matrix or other science fiction from the '90s, this book might feel a tad old-fashioned in the way it poses familiar game-or-reality questions. But younger readers coming to the novel without any preconceptions will undoubtedly enjoy the fast-paced plot, snappy dialog, and shifting layers of perception. Author James Dashner serves up a couple of neat reversals, and the book concludes with a narrative jolt sure to propel fans into the next installment.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why online gaming is so popular. What makes video games so compelling to such a large audience?
What dangers do online games present to young players?
Do you think technology will ever reach a point where players won't be able to distinguish between online fantasy and offline reality?
- Author: James Dashner
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Publication date: October 8, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 320
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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