Review – The Eye of Minds – James Dashner

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Hello Internet. Welcome back for Review #25. Quarter of a hundred posts! This is an impressive enough statistic for me to ruin a perfectly ordinary novel which is actually terrible. Ha. Well, at least we know the Maze Runner fandom is not misplaced.

Authors are not like musicians. Hmm, that sounds odd out of context. Let me explain. Authors are not like musicians because, though one of their series may be well-written and be well-known, maybe with a fandom or blockbuster or two, if you pick up another series, it either won’t be as good or lack the same following which the author’s main series revels in. Musicians, on the other hand, are consistent. Short of one-hit-wonders, most musicians churn out whole albums of good music, and then another which is equally received, and finally someone collates a best hits and the musician/s end their careers with their lives made for them and happy fans.

Why am I saying this? Because this author is the same one which wrote the ever-popular and quite well-written Maze Runner series. The very same one which has two (slightly horrid) movies accompanying it, and a prequel which I only realised existed about two weeks ago. And they are good. They show a dystopia which I have found enthralling, and one which will keep you guessing until the final epilogue. But The Eye of Minds (gods below, I will shred the next book with a capital T in its name) is not like this. Now just to keep things clear, I’m reviewing both The Eye of Minds and its sequel The Rule of Thoughts (nope, fuck this! I cannot do this anymore! I’m gonna keep a tally now. *Cinema Sins ding sound*, 11). And they aren’t exactly up to scratch with their competitors by the same author.

The Eye of Minds is a young-adult sci-fi series (big surprise) which centres on a system which allows people to enter a digital virtual reality which the protagonist spends unhealthy amounts of time in. There’s suddenly an evil bad guy controlling everything, and a government-run organisation which fights him but seemingly cannot be trusted, and eventually it all falls apart into a massive all-out war against the big bad and nobody is sure who is evil any more. And what makes this book such a let-down is that all of Dashner’s signature qualities are so brutally heavy-handed I want to split my head open and birth a fully-formed warrior god.

The mystery is laid on so thick, you begin to question your own sanity as there is so little to actually cement down. The reveals are all more ridiculous and shocking then the last one, in a desperate bid to keep the audience guessing. The plot becomes more convoluted and twisted than a lantana plant, and equally as detrimental to the rest of the environment of the series. By the second book I had given up attempting to think ahead of what might happen, and after finishing it I have decided to not complete the series when the third (and hopefully last) instalment comes out, purely because I could not give a toss about the characters or their meaningless plights. Literally meaningless, as all of them are wallowing in existential angst. “Oh, why do I exist?” and all that. Just read it. Save me doing it again for you.

The Eye of Minds was published in 2013 by Delacorte Press. It can be found on Amazon here.

Yours: J.M. Pear

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Review – The Eye of Minds – James Dashner

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