Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner






Random House


I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review.


Do you ever find yourself “chasing” and authors last or first book? Dashner’s The Maze Runner came into my hands years ago as an arc at San Diego Comic-Con. It had a plain black cover and a paragraph excerpt on the back. That was it. I took it to read  on a trip home, and fell madly in love with it! I kept telling everyone to look out for it, and I couldn't wait until January of that year  to get a “real” copy. On that day I became a Dashner fan.


So now here we are at the start of a new series with Dashner and I’ll confess my expectations were pretty high. This can be a liability since authors, like their readers change and grow. Authors experiment and can even change writing styles. I’ll confess the comparison to his prior works kind of tripped me up a bit as I delved into the first few chapters of the book.

The Good


What I immediately enjoyed about this book was the world building. Its a whole new universe and Dashner does a great job of introducing us to Michael, the potential villain Kaine and Michael’s best friends Bryson and Sarah. There isn't any : “this is how this world works blah blah blah, dialogue” Dashner shows us through the action, Michael’s inner monologue and his interactions with his friends what his world is all about. In a very short time Michael has his mission and the help of his friends on his quest to discover more about Kaine. The journey is where things get a bit tricky .


The Struggle

The Journey to reach Kaine takes up the middle portion of the story and for me this was the point that the story  got a bit dicey . The guides Michael meets and their mode of speech really screamed The Matrix . There wasn't out right copying,but I had a bit of an eye roll with some of  the characters and situations.  I can chalk some of this up to being an adult reading a YA read, but I also think its important not to have your work resemble something’s that’s already been done and is a very recognizable trope to fans of the genre you are writing in.

I also started to notice midway through the book that I was struggling with connecting to Michael and feeling his pain, or even noticing if he was feeling pain. Bryson and Sarah, Michael’s best friends, were much more relatable and I found myself caring more for them. Imagine the Harry Potter trio where all you really like is Ron and Hermione. It was  a struggle but upon reading the ending I think there was a reason for that.

Final Thoughts

Eye of Minds is a solid beginning to a new series. I really enjoyed the characters and the last half of the book was very exciting, and I’m really intrigued by the revelations about Michael and his place in the real and virtual worlds. There is definite room for improvement but I was interested in the story and where it was going. There were a few slow bits but once I turned off my expectations I was entertained. This is a great read for gamers and to some extent fans of Science- Fiction. I will definitely give the second book in the series a try.

1 comment:

Pamela D said...

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed this book. It sounds interesting.