A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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: June 19, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love science fiction
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.