Kindly skip the sentences that were underlined as they will contain spoilers.
Before I get into the review of the novel, I'd like to point out that I was expecting this to be a bad rip off of Ready Player One. RPO's one of my favorite novels, so I had mountain high expectations for The Eye of Minds.
Just like James Dashner's The Maze Runner, this one literally started with a mystery. I kinda like that about Dashner. A mystery at the very beginning tends to make the reader speculate possible events, although with that style, consistency is a must.
Honestly there were a lot of problems with this novel. Some that cannot be overlooked.
Michael, Sarah, and Bryson are best friends, but only in the VirtNet, not in the real world. That's not the problem though, the problem was that they were described as the smart ones. Sure, conceitedness is very evident in most novels, but like I said, consistency is necessary. They were introduced as smart kids, so I was expecting them to actually be smart. But blindly accepting VNS' mission/forced task was clearly stupid
. Yes, I know they threatened Michael, and also cut him off VirtNet, and that triggered his choice to accept the mission, but, if he's really smart, he could've found a way out of the threat. But instead, he dumbly followed VNS. Thus causing havoc in his life.
Another terrible thing I noticed was that Dashner didn't explain a very important concept well, and that's tangent. I understood tangent as something from my Trigonometry class, those who aren't computer nerds would be unsure of the meaning. I did use my context clues skills and decided to conclude that the meaning of tangent here was something that exists because it was made, and something in a computer. I wanted to be certain though, so I decided to check it out on the net. Here's what I got from Urban Dictionary: Mathematician who got back from the beach.
Noun: A completely and utterly worthless computer company that sells blocks a shit, aka laptops, to college students.
one that is
a. radio disc jockey that touches a circle of toenails at one toenail
b. a polar bear
c. an idiot of the 270th degree; three pie halves in radians
My point being, the author should've clearly
described what the hell tangent meant. I'm sure that some people would say "use your common sense, it's so obvious that it's all about computer shit", well, that's your opinion of it. I did speculate about it having to do with computers, so I guess I used my common sense.
Now, to talk about things that I liked about this, as to support my 4 stars.
Kaine. He was very likeable, especially this being a YA novel. Most antagonists in YA tend to become boring and weak. Kaine on the other hand, proved to be the monstrous devil he clearly was. In fact, I liked him more than all of the protagonists combined. That's not necessarily bad in a novel, one liking the antagonist more, but clearly the author intended Michael and his friends to be superior.
The huge plot twist in the end, and the one near the end were very good. I did not see them coming, that being said, the rating from 3 moved up to 4. Without those plot twist of Kaine being a tangent, then Michael being a tangent, this would be one hell of a mediocre novel.
One more thing that I liked would be, believe it or not, the somewhat non-existence of romance in this novel. That was a huge thing for me, as I was expecting little romance, if not none because of the blurb. Most, if not all, YA novels revolve around romance, and most of the time, it should be called forced romance. I guess most
YA authors write for the ladies, and that's why I really filter out YA novels, and only read the ones that were meant for both genders. This novel was not
chick-lit, not even a little. It was also not
romance-YA-lit. That being said, this actually turned out to be a good novel for me, in terms of that standard. The only hint of romance would be of Michael and Sarah in the end, where they promised each other stuff. But that could also be interpreted as a best friend gesture, idk, it depends on the reader I guess.
Another thing I'd like to point out before ending this review would be the ignorance of people when it comes to the blurb/synopsis of the novel, or even the genre at all. Kindly read it first, and decide if you really want to read the novel. Don't just read something because of the hype it's been receiving, because if the blurb bored the hell out of you, what more would the novel. I'll be honest and say that I tend to read novels without really reading the blurb, and end up hating the novel. Although if a person didn't like the blurb, but ended up loving the novel, then that makes the author a really good writer. A very difficult thing to achieve, so I'd suggest the reading of the blurb properly part.
The huge plot twist would result into an obvious sequel, and I heard that this was going to be a trilogy, and I can't wait to read the next book. This had an original plot, and I guess I really liked this one. I didn't mind the "writing style" of Dashner, that everyone seemed to hate. It was bearable, for me at least. A solid 4 stars, and I'd like to point out that this may bring back hope to the YA genre(alongside Steelheart- Brandon Sanderson), for me at least. If you're a Sci-Fi fan, I'd give this one a try. It was a good short read, not disappointing, but also not amazing. Kindly remind yourself that this is a YA novel, so don't expect much. Bad world building, and mediocre character development. In terms of YA though, this could be considered amazing, especially when compared to others of the same genre.