Justin’s Letter Essay #4: The Eye of Minds

I’m halfway through reading the book “The Eye of Minds”, it is a 310 page science fiction book, written by James Dashner. I chose to read this book because I enjoy the author’s writing and the back intrigued me, Dashner usually doesn’t make summaries on the back, but instead questions or small details of important themes in the book.

The book starts out with the main character, Michael, he’s trying to negotiate with a person, Tanya, to stop her suicide. It was a calm moment in the start for Michael because he knew that they were just in a game, LifeBlood, so he knows that as soon as she hits the ground from the bridge she’s on, she’ll just go straight back into the real world. LifeBlood is a virtual reality game that has gained severe popularity over the entire world. It takes place in the coffin, a containment that when you go in, wires crawl through you’re body to convert you over to the actual game. The game is supposed to be a very realistic version of the real world, but with more impossible things that you wouldn’t be able to do in the real world. Of course, you still need to eat in LifeBlood, and when you do, the coffin feeds your real body pure nutrients and sends sensations to your brain to make it seems like you’re actually eating that food. You’re connected to the virtual reality world by a core implanted in your head, when the core is destroyed you can’t go to the virtual world, if it is coded out of your virtual head, you will be stuck in the virtual world, and when you die, you die for real. Which is why Michael starts to not be so calm when Tanya codes her core out of her head. Why would Tanya do such a dangerous thing? Because of Kaine, a cyber terrorist known for trapping people inside the virtual world and never letting them out, he targets people with very good coding skills so that they can never beat his. Of course, Michael is terrible at suicide negotiations, infact, he’s so bad that they both end up plummeting towards the water. Michael wakes up in his coffin merely microseconds after. He goes to sleep, sure that the story of Tanya’s death will be on the news soon. When he wakes up, he goes to school, just another day in the city, he walks down his usual alleyway to school, but gets rundown by a black SUV, a man in a ski mask drops out of it and grabs Michael, practically forcing him into the car. Michael tries to fight his way out, but to no avail. I turns out, the man was an agent of the VNS (VertNet Security, the people who run LifeBlood). They take him to Agent Weber, who appears to be their boss, and Agent Weber informs him about how they know about his coding and hacking skills, and due to that they propose a question to Michael. Find Kaine.

I was surprised by the intro to the book, it was very weird coming into a book with a serious situation happening to the main character involving the death of another. If I were the author I’d change the beginning to be a “narrated by the main character” style opening. I did like the way Dashner described the Virtnet, or LifeBlood and made sure that there were no cracks in the explanation. This is an example of how he explains the coffin after Michael nose dives into the water. (Page 9-10… yes I know, it’s quite early in the book, but I really like how he explains it) “He blinked a few times, waiting for the unlinking process to be complete. Never before had he been so relieved to be done with the VirtNet, done with the game, ready to get out of his box and breathe in the polluted air of the real world.

A blue light came on, revealing the door of the Coffin just a few inches from his face. The LiquiGels and AirPuffs had already receded, leaving the only part Michael truly hated, no matter how many times he did it–which was way more than he could count. Thin, icy strands of NerveWire pulled out of his neck and back and arms, slithering like snakes along his skin until they disappeared into their little hidey-holes, where they’d be disinfected and stored for his next game.” I like this a little more because of how he describes the Coffin’s set-up, and leave you open to think about what each tool of the Coffin does.

I rate this book, so far, an 8 out of 10

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3 thoughts on “Justin’s Letter Essay #4: The Eye of Minds

  1. Justin,
    You provide a lot of detailed information about the book to your readers. In the future, I’d like to see more elaboration in your Reflection. . . . I was hoping this letter-essay would show you branching out in your reading; alas, you’ve read yet another James Dashner book (yes, I know: it’s not technically from the “Maze Runner” series, but . . .). Consider this the last James Dashner book upon which to write a letter-essay. Please try something new. Thank you.

  2. Dear Justin,
    Your letter essay was very good, it included a lot of detailed information from the book and you chose a great passage that really got an idea of the book, one thing I think you could have done better was adding a little bit of text after the passage explaining why you chose the paragraph, overall I liked your letter essay a lot!

    Andrew White

  3. Dear Justin,
    I have read this book as well (I know you’re still reading it). The summary was very detailed, and I like how you explain how the LifeBlood game in the book is almost a simulation of real life. I think this is a really interesting idea. I also like how you summarize many different parts of the book, but don’t spoil it, because that makes the book more interesting. One thing I think you can improve on is maybe telling us more about Dashner (the author), or about other books he has written. Otherwise, you did a good job.
    – Matt Urso

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