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|Eye of minds|
Author: Dashner, James
Michael is a skilled internet gamer in a world of advanced technology. When a cyber-terrorist begins to threaten players, Michael is called upon to seek him and his secrets out.
Mortality Doctrine, Book 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 161177
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 61243
Kirkus Reviews (05/15/13)
School Library Journal (09/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2013 Gr 8 Up—Michael doesn't mind spending time in his NerveBox, aka "Coffin,"-it protects his physical body while he's in the VirtNet, a virtual world where he can meet friends, rack up Experience Points in games, and occasionally is killed. When that happens, he is Lifted to the Wake, where he emerges sore but otherwise physically unharmed. When Michael witnesses a true suicide on VirtNet, he is troubled by the fellow gamer's last words and her warnings about a man named Kaine. Days later, Michael is kidnapped by VirtNet Security agents, who make him an offer he can't refuse: track down the cyber-terrorist Kaine so the virtual world will again be safe. Michael enlists gamer/hacker friends Bryson and Sarah, and they set off through the dark underbelly of virtual spaces. The center portion of the book focuses largely on imaginative adventures in VirtNet. Readers familiar with online gaming will identify with the heroes as they query characters for information, look for Portals, and rewrite code to bring weapons over from other games. The final chapters find Michael alone in the level "the Deep," with the safety measures disabled. Like Dashner's action-packed "Maze Runner" series (Delacorte), this title is fast paced. Cory Doctorow's For the Win (Tor, 2010) is more realistic, and Ernest Cline's Ready Player One (Crown, 2011) is slightly more sophisticated, but this book delivers an adrenaline rush.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2013 In Dashner’s futuristic series starter, virtual life offers Michael opportunities to escape the real world. He spends most of his time on the Virtnet, playing Lifeblood Deep with his virtual friends Bryson and Sarah. Now, haunted by his daytime experiences, he needs them more than ever. What Michael fears most comes true: Virtual Network Security tracks him down, but not to chastise him for wrongdoing; rather, they want his hacking skills to get to Kaine, a gamer who is causing terrible tragedies. Michael and his friends begin the trek into the hand-to-hand combat warfare game Devils of Destruction, but with the virtual death of his friends, Michael finds himself alone in his quest. Harrowing evil and dastardly demons place themselves in his path, and he almost capitulates to the pain and exhaustion. What awaits him in the bowels of the game hangs over readers’ heads with each page turn, raising a constant question: Who is human and who is not? In typical Dashner style, this is quick and involving, with the main frustration being the wait time until the next book. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Dashner’s Maze Runner trilogy was huuuuge. With a video game, author tour, and major outdoor advertising, this could be even huger. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2014 Like most people in his world, sixteen-year-old Michael spends nearly all of his free time in the VirtNet, an immersive virtual reality that offers the best of both reality and fantasy without any of the consequences. Now, though, a cyber-terrorist named Kaine is trapping players in the Sleep, wiping their brains and leaving their real-world bodies comatose. Unable to stop him, the government has turned to talented hacker/gamers like Michael to fight Kaine’s skills with their own. Their curiosity piqued by the challenge, Michael and his two best friends follow a trail of underground gossip to the Path, a set of challenges that leads to Kaine’s virtual hideout. Just as they begin to succeed against the Path’s obstacles, Michael realizes that Kaine is hiding an important secret that connects them, one that might convince Michael to change sides. Strongly reminiscent of Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk classic Snow Crash, this high-intensity science fiction adventure emphasizes suspense from its very first scene and never lets up. Fans of video games, especially quest and puzzle-platforms like Portal, will revel in the mission-based narrative, while readers enjoyed Doctorow’s Little Brother (BCCB 2/08) or Falkner’s Brain Jack (BCCB 9/10) will find themselves at home in the hacker-friendly cyber-setting. Characterization isn’t deep, but the relationship between Michael and his friends provides plenty of playful banter. A last-minute twist subverts everything the reader knows about Michael, provides the perfect set-up for expected sequels, and makes for a bombshell ending that will have readers rereading and then coming back for more. AM - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.