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Well Played: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Welcome back BookTasty friends!

James Dashner is one of my favorite YA authors and his Maze Runner series is always my number one recommendation in my library. So, I was pretty excited to see that he had another book coming out! The Eye of Minds is the first book in the Mortality Doctrine series.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to Eye of Minds by James Dashnertechnology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker. And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

Let me start by saying that The Eye of Minds is not as good as The Maze Runner books, but it is an entertaining adventure that has Dashner’s signature non stop action style!

In typical Dashner fashion, the first scene is so intense that you’re automatically captivated by the story! We quickly learn that, Michael lives in a future where many people get their entertainment in a virtual reality experience, the VirtNet. I like this take on futuristic technology and the idea that there is someone, or something, in this “game” that is hurting people in real life, as well as in the virtual one. It makes for a very menacing and mysterious villain.

One thing about this book I enjoyed was that Micahel isn’t in it alone. He doesn’t leave everyone else behind to achieve his goal. He takes his friends with him because he knows that they all have different strengths and weaknesses. Although the characters fell a tiny bit flat at times, I still really liked Michael and his friends mostly because of the way they interacted together, which is a change from the usual YA “only you can save the world”.

The Eye of Minds reminded me of a giant game of Mouse Trap, in that each chapter is action packed with hurdles and challenges for Michael and his friends to overcome (they reminded me a little of Doctor Who episodes sometimes). However, there is a sense of predictability in the overall plot. Until you get to the twist of course! I remember standing in my kitchen cooking dinner while listening to the audiobook and having to relisten to the final chapter because I was so stunned and surprised by what had happened! Well played Mr. Dashner. Well played.

Although this is not the first Dasher title I’d recommend to people, I think that those who are fans of his writing will ultimately enjoy The Eye of Minds. It’s not as strong as I would’ve liked, but it was still a fun and exciting read.

Author: James Dashner

Publisher: Listening Library (October 8, 2013)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 8 hours and 36 minutes

Narrator(s): Erik Davies

Series: First in the Mortality Doctrine series

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book:

 

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Bookish Goals for 2012

It’s always good to have goals, right?

I tend to stay away from making “resolutions” in the new year because I think its silly to resolve to be better or give something up just because its January.  I’d rather make a goal to try to reach.  So I am making some bookish/blogging goals for 2012.

Now, as an educator I know a goal has to be specific, measurable, and realistic.  So, lets see if my goals fit the description.

2012 Debute Author ChallengeGoal #1: Participate in and complete the 2012 Debut Author Challenge

Kristi at The Story Siren hosts this challenge and it sounds like a good way to discover new authors and meet some new book bloggers. All I have to do is read and review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 – January 31, 2013.  Sounds good!  NetGalley is helping me out with the Advanced Reader Copies  (thank you NetGalley!) so I can get my hands on some of these titles.  Here are the books I have e-book copies of and plan on using in the 2012 DAC:

  • Halflings by Heather Burch
  • Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani
  • May B. by Caroline Rose
  • Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
  • After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
  • The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

So, thats already 8 titles I plan on counting towards my goal. Specific? Yes.  Measurable? Yes. Realistic?  I think so.  That’s 1 book per month or more if I’d like. I can spread them out however I like. Don’t forget I have two and a half months of summer break to look forward to!

Goal #2: Read 90 Books

This sounds pretty big for some people.  However, I read 69 books in 2011 so I think that 90 is a pretty good goal.  I think I could have read that much in 2011 if I had started the year with the same momentum I have now.  At the start of 2011 I was just trying out this YA/MG book blogging thing and wasn’t as purposeful about it.   So, specific? Yes. Measurable? Yes.  I keep track of all the books I’ve read on my Goodreads profile. Realistic?  Possibly.  Can I increase the number of books I read by 21?  Hopefully!!
Goal #3: Host 1 Giveaway

I’ve had the chance this past year to win a few giveaways hosted on other blogs.  I’d like to be able to do something similar and give away books as prizes.  I would have loved to do one to commemorate the one year anniversary of BookTasty, but I don’t think I can get it all set up in three days.  So, I’ll wait until another opportune time this year.  I will need some help with this though, so any other book bloggers out there who have hosted a giveaway before please feel free to send advice!  Specific? Sure!  Measurable? Yes.  Realistic? I think it is.  Remember I have until December 31, 2012 to achieve this goal!

So, there you go!  My goals for the new year!  Will I keep you posted?  Oh most definitely!

It seems that everyone else is making goals for 2012, what are some of your bookish or blogging goals for 2012?